The morally repugnant response to the Cologne sexual assault gang

What’s worse is that Reker’s advice highlights that Cologne has temporarily lost one of the heretofore distinguishing features of Western civilization: the general sense of social trust and solidarity that allows women to venture freely and safely in central city districts. Her code of conduct sounded like a European concession to Sharia law: women must be modest and accompanied by trusted guardians, or else.

Reker backhandedly admitted that the assailants were North Africans and Arabs, likely of recent arrival, when she added, “We need to explain to people from other cultures that the jolly and frisky attitude during our Carnival is not a sign of sexual openness.” The condescension runs in two directions. Germany’s women are blamed for their own sexual assault, and the criminals are relieved of guilt. They merely suffer from a misunderstanding about how to party correctly, and that can be remedied if only Germans educated them. You see, it’s the native’s fault both ways…

The stakes could not be higher for Europe’s future. Merkel and Germany’s political class seem to be blundering into a disaster. Their move to moral leadership of Europe now looks naive and stupid. And they risk making the debate about Europe’s future a referendum on Merkel’s leadership in this continent-wide drama. This would be a disaster, because there really is an actual referendum on Europe’s future in the near term.

David Cameron has demanded a tough renegotiation of the E.U. as he promises a Britain referendum on an exit. A spiritual, if not political, secession is already happening in Eastern Europe.