There isn’t much I can add to the numerous comments regarding the “brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating” of CBS News correspondent Lara Logan by a large group of men in Tahrir square in the moments after it was announced Hosni Mubarek had resigned.
Some of the comments around the net have been insightful, others horrid. We only can hope that Ms. Logan has a speedy physical and psychological recovery.
Yes, it’s absolutely true that rape and gang rape could happen anywhere, and have happened with shocking frequency particularly in war zones. Whether it was Soviet troops in the aftermath of the conquest of Germany, or various African troops in the conquest of tribal villages, the use of rape as a means of exerting political power has been all too common and worthy of condemnation and action. Ms. Logan’s native South Africa has a particularly notorious problem of rape being used as a means of societal revenge.
There is no single racial, ethnic, religious or political group which uniquely owns such infamy.
But we also cannot ignore that while it could happen anywhere, it did happen in Tahrir Square at a moment of national celebration in the open and in a public place, directed at someone who must have been viewed as a symbol of the West.
This is a fact those who glamorize the “Arab Street” have yet to deal with.
Update: Howard Kurtz:
“But the sexual assault and beating that Logan endured underscores that the Middle East remains a particularly dangerous place for women. And it is hard to imagine that this was some random attack, that members of the mob didn’t realize that she was an American television correspondent.”
Update No. 2: The NY Post is reporting that the crowd shouted “Jew, Jew” as the men attacked Logan:
“60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan was repeatedly sexually assaulted by thugs yelling, “Jew! Jew!” as she covered the chaotic fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo’s main square Friday, CBS and sources said yesterday…
A network source told The Post that her attackers were screaming, “Jew! Jew!” during the assault. And the day before, Logan had told Esquire.com that Egyptian soldiers hassling her and her crew had accused them of “being Israeli spies.” Logan is not Jewish.