CHARLOTTE, N.C.,, Jan. 10, 2016 – On Friday, a 32-year-old female artist and model from Dusseldorf, Germany, stood completely naked for 20 minutes in 40-degree temperatures in front of the historic Cologne Cathedral to protest rapes and assaults that took place throughout the country on New Year’s Eve.
Milo Moire attracted considerably more attention and onlookers than her more traditional counterparts, who usually occupy the square replicating famous paintings in chalk, but no action was taken against her.
Her sign, written in German, read, “Respect us! We are not fair game, even when we are naked!!!”
The following day, a larger, fully dressed, crowd of protesters came to the square to again express outrage over the attacks throughout Germany and in other European cities.
Though well-intentioned, and legitimate given the perspective of abuse toward women, the protest missed the point, which should have been focused against Islamic violence.
The events in Western Europe continue to get only slight notice by the American media, even though a police officer was shot in Philadelphia at point blank range by an Islamic extremist since the chaos in Europe.
How do those incidents compare? Because they represent ongoing efforts by ISIS and other terror organizations to disrupt and confuse Western societies, which still do not recognize the depth or the magnitude of the problem.
Reports from Germany said that “some” of the attackers in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Helsinki, Brussels and Zurich, to name a few, were Islamic migrants from Syria.
While that may be true, odds that the attacks were perpetrated by Germans, Finns or Swiss citizens is hardly a consideration. Perhaps locals saw what was happening on New Year’s and eventually joined in to make things worse, but they probably did not start the violence.
Of course that still does not justify their actions, and it does give the protests in Cologne credence, but it is not the primary culprit that needs to be addressed.
Suppose an attack against women took place in Times Square in New York City on New Year’s that was perpetuated by drunken American males. Can we honestly accept that the same sort of attacks would have occurred simultaneously in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington?
Such episodes would have to have been coordinated assaults planned by outside sources with higher authority.
Why then should we believe that cities in Germany, Belgium, Finland and Switzerland would all suddenly erupt in violence without some outside provocation if we do not accept that premise in our own country?
Given the absurdity of such a possibility makes the idea of coordinated “terror” attacks developed with careful planning from elsewhere all the more logical.
Since 9/11, the world has witnessed numerous terrorist assaults using similar tactics employed by al Qaeda in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania in 2001. The strategy is simple: strike simultaneously in multiple locations and create havoc everywhere as disoriented law enforcement officials attempt to determine where to respond first.
The events in Europe on New Year’s Eve were nothing more than a modification of an old strategy. Suicide bombs were not necessary. Fear was the primary motive, and it succeeded.
Women were the ultimate victims, but they were nothing more than props in the overall goal of letting innocent citizens know that trouble can arise at any time and in any place.
Terror organizations know they do not have to plot huge 9/11-style actions to make their point. The attack on the police officer in Philadelphia is a perfect example.
Islamists also know they can hurt the West economically simply by establishing the idea that something horrible might occur.
For the moment, the Islamic playbook has focused on multiple attacks in multiple sites in particular cities. They have also attempted simultaneous assaults in several states.
Do not be surprised the see a future situation where a San Bernardino-type attack takes place in one city in the U.S. on one day and in another and another and another on subsequent days in several states around the country. It’s the same general idea as 9/11 and New Year’s Eve in Europe with a twist that again changes the way we cope with terror.
Milo Moire had the right idea, but her primary focus was wrong. Germany and other European countries have been compassionate toward Islam for far too long. Whether it is political correctness or some other driving force that makes the West fail to recognize what is staring us in the face is subject for debate.
Ignoring it, pretending it does not exist, or trying to reason with an unreasonable culture will not solve the problem. It is going to take bold, honest and, perhaps, sometimes brutal measures to “fix” what we have created through our own ignorance and values.
And that is the naked truth.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod