A new sexual assault game is hitting the streets of Europe. An Arab game called ‘taharrush gamea’ (which translates roughly to “collective harrassment”) has spread to Germany.
In the game, a group of Muslim men will identify a single woman, then go after her in a group-drive sexual assault — groping, grabbing, and in some cases raping. Often the victim is also robbed.
Many trace the origins of the game to the 2011 sexual assault of Lara Logan, a CBS correspondent who was covering a story in Egypt. Logan was blindfolded and assaulted by a mob of men.
Arabic scholars seem divided on the term “taharrush,” with some saying it’s simply a way of flirting, not intended to do harm or be aggressive. It seems that Logan’s attack may have redefined the term as an instance of sexual assault.
Angie Abdelmonem, a graduate student at Arizona State University, recently made the connection in a publication.
“This (perception) shifted on Feb. 11, the day Mubarak stepped down, with the mob assault and rape of CBS correspondent Lara Logan,” she wrote.
Authorities have traced instances of this violent new game to New Year celebrations in Cologne, Germany, where there were hundreds of sexual assault complaints filed.
The attacks were believed to be committed by Arab and North African men, many of whom were identified as refugees by the papers they carried with them. German police identified 19 suspects, all of them foreigners.
These types of attacks are happening in other locations where there are large gatherings—let’s hope it doesn’t happen here.