Cultural differences are no excuse for rape. 

Cologne is currently in the spotlight after it suffered an astonishing breakdown in  normal behaviour. It is claimed it was a clash of cultures. Rape can not be justified under any circumstances.

In Cambridgeshire, we witnessed a similar event. 

In the early hours of 26 October 2014, a group of Libyan cadets, who were stationed at RAF Bassingbourn, ran amok in the centre of Cambridge.

Fuelled by alcohol, the Lybian cadets roamed the streets looking for victims. Cambridge is a particularly tolerant city, with a long history of welcoming different culture.

 Four women were sexually assaulted. The Libyans exposed themselves, grabbed the women, and put their hands up their skirts.

 A young man was seized by two of the cadets, Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud and Ibrahim Abugtila, and raped. 

Describing the “Arab guys” who attacked him, the victim said, “They were horrendous, they weren’t human. I was trying my hardest and they were like overpowering me. It was horrible. Don’t say anything to my mum.”

Moahmoud and Abugtila were jailed for 12 years apiece; the men who groped the women received shorter terms and will, if the European Convention on Human Rights is willing  be deported at the end of their terms. They had better be!

All of this was deeply disturbing for the residents of a tranquil university town. It was truly astonoshing, however, when a Libyan spokesman appeared on our local TV news. The uniformed male said he was sorry, but the Libyans didn’t realise that you weren’t allowed to do such things in England. It was an unfortunate case of cultural misunderstanding.

This is no excuse. The fact that someone tried to defend these barbaric actions on the grounds of different culture speaks volumes. This is not a cultural faux pas. This is about male dominance, sexual predators and a culture that hardly values women outside of breeding and cooking.

There will be hundred of thousands of people in the famously civilised city of Cologne, who will be in a state of shock about a similar “cultural misunderstanding”.

 It seems,  on New Year’s Eve,  up to 1,000 men of Arab or North African appearance sexually assaulted and robbed women who were enjoying the festivities. Around 100 complaints have been made to police so far, including two cases of rape. 

Eighteen-year-old Michelle said she and her friends were surrounded by 30 men, who molested them and then stole their belongings. Michelle said the men looked angry.

And there is the crux of the problem. If you are doctrinally commanded to cover up your women then the sight of a woman like the lovely, blonde Michelle, who is both uncovered and happily self-confident, provokes temptation, and this makes you angry. 

That anger is not directed where it should be – at yourself or at a belief system which forbids a woman to move and dress as she pleases – but at the temptress. This is just not acceptable in a liberal western society, which values women’s rights. 

It’s difficult to raise the issue without being shouted down by cries of “Islamophobia”. 

 “It’s their culture, isn’t it?” 


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