Not surprisingly, my former Hudson Institute colleague John O’Sullivan has written the most thoughtful commentary on the mass sexual assaults that took place during New Year’s festivities in Cologne and other German cities. The story — both the violence that occurred and the subsequent cover-up by German authorities and media outlets — has raised uncomfortable questions about the impact of mass Muslim immigration on Western societies.

For the British, it has offered a painful reminder of Rotherham, the South Yorkshire borough where, over a 16-year period stretching from 1997 to 2013, some 1,400 girls were sexually abused by organized criminal networks. The main reason the abuse — which included gang rapes, death threats, vicious beatings, and sex trafficking — went on for so long, and claimed so many victims, is that Rotherham officials allowed a perverse mix of multiculturalism, class prejudice, and cowardice to stand in the way of justice.

When an independent report commissioned by the Rotherham Council revealed the full extent of the abuse, the details were shocking. From an August 2014 New York Times piece: “Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers, the report said, and others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act.”

And why did they fail to act? “The vast majority of perpetrators have been identified as South Asian and most victims were young white girls, adding to the complexity of the case. Some officials appeared to believe that social workers pointing to a pattern of sexual exploitation were exaggerating, while others reportedly worried about being accused of racism if they spoke out. The report accused officials of ignoring ‘a politically inconvenient truth’ in turning a blind eye to men of Pakistani heritage grooming vulnerable white girls for sex.”

As O’Sullivan writes, the Cologne and Rotherham stories both highlight the dangers of importing vast numbers of young Muslim men into Western nations that have lost their cultural confidence:

“What happened this week to the women in Cologne differs in important ways from the abuse of the young girls in Rotherham. But it proceeds from the same Muslim group loyalty and sense of superiorities inherent in Islam. What the rioters in Cologne demonstrated in the crudest possible way was that among the things they wanted to take were ‘our’ women. Our own society finds such logic hard to follow: In what sense are modern independent women anyone else’s property? But by the logic of the societies and religion from which the rioters and most migrants come, women are either behind the veil, and thus the property of the family, or on the street, and thus the property of anyone. And the rioters were imposing their logic, values, and identity on us on the significant date of New Year’s Day.

“Nor did the initial reaction of the German authorities differ very much from that of various Rotherham officials. The police did little at the time; no one was arrested. Indeed, they announced that the night had been a peaceful one. The media made no mention of the event. All told, the story was suppressed for three days by the media, the police, the Cologne authorities, and the federal government until it began to seep out through social media. When it could no longer be denied, the local (female) mayor warned women to travel in groups in future, and federal ministers were concerned mainly to warn that these crimes should not be linked to the ‘welcome policy’ that Chancellor Merkel had extended to migrants. It would be, said one minister, an abuse of debate to do so.

“I don’t think German officials have quite thought this one through. Either the misogynistic rioters included a significant number of recently arrived migrants or they did not. If they did, then the migration fed directly into the riots; if they did not, then the rioters were people of ‘North African and Arab appearance’ who had previously been law-abiding but who now felt able and entitled to assault local women in public without much fear of the consequences. What changed them? What gave them that confidence? The obvious answer is that those rioters who had been living in Germany for some years, maybe even having been born there, have been emboldened by the arrival of many others of similar origin, faith, or ‘appearance,’ and the potential arrival of many more. They sense that the German authorities are restrained from halting immigration or imposing Western values on the migrants, or even preventing them from imposing their values on the locals. And as the feminists say, they feel ‘empowered’ as a result.

“Policy in Germany, the U.K., France, and the U.S. since the late 20th century has been one of killing the Muslim sense of superiority with kindness and expecting Muslim migrants to gradually surrender to the lures of Western liberal-democratic capitalism. It’s not an unreasonable policy; it was adopted in part from sympathy for ordinary, respectable Muslim families, some of whom did adapt; and I can understand why governments pursued it. But it simply hasn’t worked. And it will fail more and more as more and more migrants arrive to strengthen Muslim solidarity and to weaken pressures for assimilation. Germany is today in a state of shock; France on the verge of serious communal conflict, even perhaps a low-level civil war; the European Union dithering, with no idea of how to cope with the expected future levels of mass migration; the Brits wondering how they can regain control of their border whether they are in or out of the EU.”

O’Sullivan concludes his article with a brief discussion of Donald Trump’s proposed “shutdown” of Muslim immigration:

“His policy of simply halting Muslim immigration has been denounced all around. It is, of course, discriminatory and thus a mortal sin in today’s politics. Fine. Let’s rule it out. But if his critics don’t want a blanket moratorium on all immigration — which I assume they don’t — and if they don’t want to repeat the experiences of France and Germany in 30 years’ time — which I also assume they don’t — shouldn’t they tell us what they will do?

“And, for once, that’s not a rhetorical question.”