Germany's start to 2016 has been dominated by a wave of sexual assaults that took place in Cologne and elsewhere on New Year's Eve. A number of the suspects for these assaults were of North African origin, which has once again stirred up the main debate in Germany- how to deal with the European refugee crisis.
If we allow the radical right to maintain their poisonous grasp on this story, the experiences of these women - their violent fight, their fears and their scars - will be left lying amongst the placards and the banners, dropped and forgotten whenever 'the mob' inevitably find something new to shout about. It's time to start writing headlines about real victims, rather than those who simply shout the loudest.
If any of these occurrences had been done by a stranger or a random club-goer I would probably have shouted or slapped or let the Irish rage bubbling up inside erupt. Instead I kept quiet and for the most part, laughed it off. So as not to cause unnecessary drama amongst friendships or to maintain a polite-ish persona.
In an age of rampant Islamophobia, it is entirely responsible of politicians to reject arbitrary anti-Muslim rhetoric, seek to insulate oppressed communities from the adverse impact of runaway prejudice and emphasise equality before the law, regardless of a person's origin. Conversely, we liberals must be resolute in our opposition to both Islamophobia and misogyny...