Everyone assumed it would be the threat (or the reality) of international terrorism that would ultimately break Europe’s resolve when it came to goodwill towards Mid-East refugees.
Indeed, we remember vividly when the first reports of a “Kalashnikov assault” on cafes in the French capital hit social media on that fateful Friday in November.
“That’s it,” we assumed, for Europe’s experiment with an open-door migrant policy.
In spite of the violence and in spite of the chaos that ensued (manhunts across France, lockdowns in Molenbeek, a shootout in Saint-Deni) Europe largely kept its arms open to refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The Paris attacks, Europeans seemed to reason, were more indicative of why people were fleeing to Europe, than they were a precursor of what refugees would ultimately import to the bloc.
But sentiment soured in January.
A wave of sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated by men of “Arab and North African origin” caused Europe to cast aspersions. No longer were these “victims” fleeing the type of carnage that tragically befell Paris in November, they were suddenly transplants from a barbarous culture whose attitude towards women was outdated by hundreds of years.
Is that reputation justified?
Frankly that would require an academic study of rapes and sexual assaults across the bloc before and after the mass migration, and control variables would need to be introduced for the nationality (or at least the likely suspected race) of the attackers. We’re reasonably sure someone is working on just that type of analysis at this very moment, but until robust, objective, quantitative results are available, the following interactive map will have to do. Explore it for yourself using Google’s legend and tools.