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It could happen anywhere, but it happened there again

It could happen anywhere, but it happened there again

We all know about the sexual assault on Lara Logan during celebrations over Mubarak’s resignation, see my post It Could Happen Anywhere, But It Happened There.  There also were the cases of the French journalist Caroline Sinz and US-Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy assaulted in Tahrir Square, see my post, It could happen anywhere, but it keeps happening there.

Now there is yet another case, British student journalist Natasha Smith.  Her horrifying ordeal during celebrations over the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi is set forth on her blog.

There has been relatively little U.S. mainstream media coverage of the assault on Smith, although to its credit CNN has covered it (via Mediaite):

I’ll repeat what I said with regard to Logan:

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.


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In some cultures, a gang rape is an outrageous aberration.

In some, it is a tool of cultural terror.

    Owego in reply to Ragspierre. | June 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    It’s cultural. Go ahead, give CNN some credit, but restrain yourself. They’ve been ignoring this for years and years and cover it only when it’s one of theirs or another journalist and they need to be in on it. Multiple, repeated violation of basic human rights, women’s rights, any non-muslim religious rights – to CNN these are all just occasional crimes and aberrations. They are cultural and CNN and the mainstream media are frightened to death to cover it.


Just examples of Egyptian exceptionalism. You know, the same type of exceptionalism as we have here. Well, not quite.

    SeanInLI in reply to Jim. | June 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Just a different kind of exceptionalism. Different, but just as distinguished and desirable as any “American exceptionalism”.

Our democrat media was climbing over each other to be the most offended by Rush’s use of the word slut and the Republican “war on women”. But when there is a real war on women, they look the other way and are silent.
And they wonder why their ratings are tanking….. People will go to where they can find news not propaganda.
Kudos for CNN on actually reporting this.

Dear Leader and Secretary of State Hildebeast have nominated the Brotherhood for Sainthood (Islam division), so never is heard a disparaging word!

TrooperJohnSmith | June 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Why is anyone surprised? In the Medieval Islamic mind, a western woman is: non-Muslim, a kaffir, and therefore, completely fair game; she’s female, little better than cattle; she’s western, which means she’s decadent and exotic; and they are an evil mob, ready to prey upon the unsuspecting.

In my opinion, any western female should get the fu*k out of that dark, evil place.

Natasha Smith wrote:

Women were crying and telling me “this is not Egypt! This is not Islam! Please, please do not think this is what Egypt is!” I reassured her that I knew that was the case, that I loved Egypt and its culture and people, and the innate peacefulness of moderate Islam. She appeared stunned. But I’m not really a vengeful person and I could see through the situation. This vicious act was not representative of the place I had come to know and love.

She was sold a bill-of-goods and out of the goodness of her liberal heart and her “women’s rights” cause is, yet today, after her near death experience, unable to comprehend that the big lie: “Islam is the religion of peace.” Before she left for the land of the Nile, you would think that she would have researched the politics of death that has been going on there.

And so (groan) I suppose that I have to end with the obligatory:

Denial is not just a river in Egypt”

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gad-fly. | June 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I think Ms. Smith is dumber than a bag of hammers. She STILL hasn’t figured it out. It ain’t rocket surgery. Duh.

These Egyptians seem to be big on the “Number 6” …

Taggart: We’ll work up a Number 6 on ’em.
Hedley Lamarr: [frowns] “Number 6”? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that one.
Taggart: Well, that’s where we go a-ridin’ into town, a-whompin’ and a-whumpin’ every livin’ thing that moves within an inch of its life. Except the women folks, of course.
Hedley Lamarr: You spare the women?
Taggart: Naw, we rape the shit out of them at the Number Six Dance later on.
Hedley Lamarr: Marvelous!

    Weirddave in reply to Neo. | June 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Oh Lord Neo, I haven’t laughed really at all since the SCOTUS decision, this almost made me pee myself. Thanks, I needed that.

The professor was wondering “where’s Rick Santorum” last week or so. Here’s the answer:

Rick Santorum’s Phone Is Cold
By Robert Costa
June 29, 2012 4:11 P.M.

National Review Online hears from reliable sources that the former Pennsylvania senator is ready to help Romney, but since the pair huddled in Pittsburgh last month, he has not been asked to become an active surrogate.

A few weeks ago, Santorum recorded a couple short web videos for Romney, and he has agreed to share his extensive mailing list. But beyond that, the senator hasn’t heard much from Boston, and he is not being vetted for veep.

    CalMark in reply to newrouter. | June 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    So, Rick Santorum is being ignored. Newt Gingrich apparently feels alienated enough to be out of the country for the momentous Obamacare decision.

    So, Mitt-ster: no need to be nice to the two men who command half the GOP’s loyalty; conservatives will grit their teeth and toe the line. Even if (when?) Bush III (that would be “Amnesty” Florida Jeb) becomes Mitt’s running mate.

    We need to:
    1) Do whatever we can to elect Romney, because he’s not Obama.
    2) Regardless of the Nov. 6 outcome (I think Romney will morph into McCain and lose big), on January 21, 2013, walk away from the GOP and form a new conservative party, then get cracking for 2014 primaries. If we’re not appreciated at “home,” let’s go build our own.

Consider what the global reaction would be if an Arab woman was gang raped in Times Square in broad daylight on the Fourth of July.

Now consider what the reaction would be if that event happened multiple times.

    CalMark in reply to Cassie. | June 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm


    Now, now. Silly, benighted American. With your Eurocentric so-called culture. That’s soooo insensitive.

    We can’t impose our Western sensibilities on them. We ar not even entitled to judge them. It’s their culture, their country. That’s just how they do things.

JackRussellTerrierist | June 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I would not enter a den of lions or tribal savages and expect to escape unscathed. To expect barbarians to behave unlike barbarians is absurd. They are what they are. What happened isn’t right, of course, but it’s predictable. She taunted these savages simply by being there, and what resulted was predictable. She may as well have ventured out among the orcs. She was foolish.

Thank you, Professor Jacobson, for reprinting your earlier post on Lara Logan. I just want to underscore something about the attack on Lara Logan which was omitted from most mainstream accounts at the time. The men attacking Lara Logan attacked her while screaming at her for being a Jew. Her mistaken status as a Jew made sexually assaulting her even more justifiable than had she “just” been a “symbol of the West.” For the best analysis of the attack on Logan and the media’s treatment of it, it’s worth re-reading Caroline Glick:

    Owego in reply to SGLawrence. | June 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Yoiu are correct. There is no better insight into the middle-east than Caroline Glick. She writes so many columns, so well, that it’s impossible to remember them all. I’d forgotten the column at the link. It is a must read. The concluding sentence: “But until reporters are willing to admit this – that is, until they dump their ideological attachment to identity politics in favor of the truth – news consumers worldwide will continue to receive news reports that obfuscate more than they tell us about the world we live in.”

    Again, be very sparing with praise for CNN; they have a long, long way to go.

In more fundamental Muslim countries it has always been true that women of all ages only venture out in the company of other women or men of the family. To do so otherwise, and then be raped, was to be asking for it.

Men are evil. Women know that. So if the woman ventures out where evil men will do what evil men do, who is surprised? The women have been warned: men are evil.

Here is the question … what happens to western women when they go to a muslim middle-eastern culture and walk among the hyper-horny men wearing … well, you get the point (western clothing).

Help me out here. They’re muslims. They exist in the most repressive cultures on the planet. WTF?

It’s not men that are evil. It’s muslim men. In middle-eastern countries where they own the culture.

Just. Don’t. Go. There.

So that there is no misunderstanding here, what happened to
this young lady was horrific, and should never have happened.

Having said that, there is something a little
offputting about someone lecturing the very people who
are showing her some sympathy, for supposedly not caring enough about all the other women in the world who have
been sexually assaulted.

It’s also interesting to me that she seems to have more condemnation for those sympathetic to her (e.g. the reporters and viewers) then she does for the guys who
attacked her so violently. She seems to be suffering a little from liberals disease. In spite of that, I am sorry for her. Actually, I guess I’m sorry for her for both reasons.

“Women were crying and telling me “this is not Egypt! This is not Islam! Please, please do not think this is what Egypt is!” I reassured her that I knew that was the case, that I loved Egypt and its culture and people, and the innate peacefulness of moderate Islam.”

After reading that, even if I had been sympathetic to begin with, any traces of sympathy would have utterly washed away with that statement.

I won’t say she deserved it, because no one does, but she had to go to a lot of trouble to ignore a great deal of reality that could have informed her that this was very likely to happen.

I read a comment on her blog that resonated with me:

“I am fed up with “this is not the true Islam” . Terrorism : “this is not Islam ” Beheadings “this is not Islam” Honor crimes “this is not Islam” Excision “this is not Islam ” women forced to wear burka “this is not Islam ” young women forced to marry a man they don’t want “this is not Islam” Call for murder because of caricatures “this is not Islam” Journalist, politicians, teachers threatened or killed ( Theo Van Gogh, Ayan Hirsi Ali…) “this is not Islam” …

Happily, most muslims are not terrorists but they ( and you) should try to find out why “such a beautiful religion ” ( as muslims say) can generate such monsters and so horrible behaviours…and protest against this..”

Happens all the time in Amish country. A guy buys a new buggy and everyone just goes crazy – bam! Gang rape. Gather for a barn raising, have a few glasses of lemonade – bam! Gang rape.

I guess it’s just human nature, huh?