Features Australia

The return of the racism versus rape debate

Is the West really prepared for an influx of angry young male Afghan refugees?

11 September 2021

9:00 AM

11 September 2021

9:00 AM

The gang rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Austria recently has provoked outrage throughout the nation. Four Afghan refugees have been arrested in connection with the murder which has, unsurprisingly, reignited the debate throughout Europe over migration from Islamic countries.

A group of anarcho-feminists stormed a newspaper office and attacked staff because the newspaper reported the ethnicity of the alleged murderers. Their argument was that violence against women is not ‘imported (but) is the cruel consequence of a sexist society, capitalism and patriarchy’. The Viennese Greens also argued that this murder was not about Afghan refugees, but was a ‘case of male violence’.

But for most Austrians, the sickening details of the murder of this young girl have been another example of the problems caused by refugees from Islamic countries and it is not only the Austrians who have had enough.

At a time when the trickle of refugees from Afghanistan is about to turn into a flood, France, Germany and the Scandinavian countries have already expressed reluctance to lay out the red carpet for another large-scale group of refugees from a war-torn Islamic country. Germans still vividly recall the assault of at least 1,200 women during the 2015/16 New Year’s Eve celebrations across the nation by mainly men ‘of north African or Middle Eastern appearance’. The worst attacks were in Cologne where at least 446 women told the police that they were assaulted by gangs of ‘Middle Eastern men’.

There was also an outcry in Sweden where debate followed the familiar left/right divide, with the Left denying the incidence of rape and crime in general by Arabic migrants. Instead they said that the high incidence of sex crimes by Muslims was a fiction of the Right. Conservatives claimed that mainstream media concealed the truth to appease the Left. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the author of Prey. Immigration, Islam and the Erosion of Women’s Rights acknowledged the difficulty of making sweeping statements due to the absence of definitive data. With characteristic sober and meticulous analysis of what data there is, she recently wrote, ‘we find there are 565,902 foreign-born people living in Sweden who were born in North Africa and the Middle East, representing 4.9 per cent of Sweden’s population. Yet 16.4 per cent of those convicted of rape and attempted rape are foreign-born individuals from North Africa and the Middle East: over-representation by a factor of 3.3’.


In the UK, the debate surrounding the data about the association between migrants and crime is also intense and follows the same pattern of a strong divide between conservatives who express horror at the sort of things that took place in Rotherham and the Left who, along with their European counterparts, try to argue that associating crime with migration is a right-wing beat-up.

The details of what took place in Rotherham and other British cities with large migrant populations have been the subject of numerous enquiries. In 2014, an official report found that local government councils and other agencies in the Midlands had ignored the issue of a disproportionate number of Muslims involved in the exploitation and abuse of young girls because of possible accusations of racism. Investigations are continuing and at least one report has been withheld by the Home Office because its release ‘was not in the public interest’.

The same willingness to ignore or suppress stories about gangs of men of ‘Middle Eastern appearance’ raping young white girls emerged in Australia when, in July 2001, a Sydney newspaper broke the story of dozens of young ‘Aussie sluts’ being raped by a gang of Lebanese Muslims led by Bilal Skaf. According to Paul Sheehan, ‘Muslim men raping young non-Muslim women in significant numbers… was an emotive subject… so police, civil rights bureaucracies and the media, notably the ABC and SBS, sought to put a lid on the subject’ (‘Girls Like You’).

The spate of gang rapes by Middle Eastern and Pakistani Muslims in Australia appears to have come to an end and we must acknowledge that the majority of men of Islamic background who arrive in the West appreciate the opportunity they have been given and make every effort to assimilate. But we must also recognise that there is a significant minority which resists adopting the standards of behaviour and beliefs that apply in Western democracies.

In 2017, in a hard-hitting piece in the National Interest about young Afghan male migrants, Dr Cheryl Bernard wrote ‘To them, Europeans are the enemy, and their women are legitimate spoils, as are all the other things one can take from them: housing, money, passports. Their laws don’t matter, their culture is uninteresting and, ultimately, their civilization is going to fall anyway to the horde of which one is the spearhead. No need to assimilate, or work hard, or try to build a decent life here for yourself—these Europeans are too soft to seriously punish you for a transgression, and their days are numbered’. (‘I’ve Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe’s Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling’).

Dr Bernard is no right-wing nutcase. A respected academic and author of numerous academic papers on Islam, in the same article she wrote ‘my personal and professional life has endowed me with many Afghan and Afghan American friends, and there is nothing collectively psychopathic about them. They are doctors, shopkeepers, owners of Japanese restaurants, airport sedan drivers, entrepreneurs, IT experts, sales ladies at Macy’s—they’re like everyone else. The parent generation tends to be a bit stiff, formal and etiquette conscious. It is impossible to imagine any of them engaging in the sort of outlandish, bizarre and primitive sexual aggression their young compatriots are becoming infamous for. Yet here we are’.

The West is shortly going to have to deal with hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees and, as usual, Russia and China will sit back and laugh at the situation which we have created for ourselves. There are currently 2.2 million Afghan refugees around the globe. That number is certainly going to increase and Turkey and Pakistan have already expressed reluctance to permanently accept any more. The Australian government is going to have to take more than the three thousand that it has already agreed to accept.

Perhaps all that we can do is ensure that the young Afghan males who do come here are at least given to understand that a woman who chooses to drink alcohol in a bar is not fair game, regardless of her attire.

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