A string of robberies and sexual harassment cases in Germany have sparked the tension around the issue of migration. The biggest attack on women was committed in the western city of Cologne on New Year’s Eve. The German police blamed it on 1,000 men described as having a “North African and Arabic” appearance. Similar incidents were reported in the number of other German cities, including Zurich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Hamburg. The attacks were largely ignored by the German police, as well as by the German news media, in the days afterward.
Nearly six hundred criminal complaints, including one allegation of rape, has been brought to the local police department. Although it is unclear whether any of the men involved were among the refugees who arrived in Germany over the past year from war-torn Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, police suspicion rests on asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. This puts enough pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel and her “open-doors” migrant policy under which more than 1 million migrants and refugees, most of them from the Middle East and North Africa, entered the country in 2015. In her statement, Chancellor expressed her “outrage” and called the assaults disgusting arguing that those who are guilty must be punished “regardless of how they look, where whey come from or what their background is.”
So, now police officers must figure out whether the attacks were planned, and the European society should answer one important question—how far is it ready to go in their tolerance?