A Cologne imam believes 521 victims of sexual assaults in the city on New Year’s Eve have themselves to blame for being half-naked and wearing perfume.
Sami Abu-Yusuf, a cleric at a Salafist mosque in Cologne, spoke to Russian channel REN TV to explain why the unprecedented assaults happened. Abu-Yusuf said “it is not surprising the men wanted to attack them” because of their appearance.
“If they walk half-naked and use perfume, then things will happen,” Abu-Yusuf said. “A man, a woman…it’s like a splash of oil into the fire.”
Abu-Yusuf also criticized the public’s strong reaction to the assaults by saying people “need to react properly, and not add fuel to the fire.”
Breitbart reports Abu-Yusuf’s mosque was raided in 2004 on suspicion of terrorism activities.
More than 1,000 men carried out the alleged assaults, according to witness reports. So far just one person has been charged with sexual assault. Convictions are unlikely, experts believe, due to the nature of the crimes.
“You have to prove a perpetrator’s personal guilt,” Cologne-based attorney Nikolaos Gazeas told Deutsche Welle after the attacks were exposed. “That’s problematic in the case of crimes committed from within groups, and it’s particularly problematic in the case of New Year’s Eve because everything was so chaotic at Cologne’s main train station.”
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