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The 'Taharrush' connection: xenophobia, Islamophobia, and sexual violence in Germany and beyond

Abdelmonem, Angie, Bavelaar, Rahma Esther, Wynne-Hughes, Elisa ORCID: and Galán, Susana 2016. The 'Taharrush' connection: xenophobia, Islamophobia, and sexual violence in Germany and beyond. Jadaliyya 2016 (Mar 1)

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New Year’s Eve 2016 witnessed the collective public sexual harassment and assault of dozens of women during celebrations in Cologne, Germany, reportedly by more than one thousand men. Similar, smaller-scale incidents were reported in other German cities, like Hamburg and Stuttgart. In the aftermath of the attacks, numerous media outlets quoted alleged police sources describing the perpetrators as men “of Arab or North African appearance”; of “Middle Eastern appearance”; or originating from “Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.” Die Welt later characterized the assailants as “Syrian asylum seekers,” citing an unnamed police source. Still others referred to the harassers as “‘southern looking’ with ‘darker skin,’” reflecting the narrative of one woman who was sexually assaulted that evening. Despite the initial reluctance of German authorities to point fingers, these outlets ascribed the crimes to migrants and refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, often conflating populations with little distinction between those who had previously settled in Germany and those fleeing conflict, thereby obscuring differences in religion and national origins.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Publisher: Arab Studies Institute
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2022 23:08

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