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Op-Ed: Lara Logan's TV Testimony

Unbelievably, Logan was careful not to use the words “Muslim” or “Islam.” She refused to characterize what happened to her as “barbaric.” You will disagree.
Published: Monday, May 02, 2011 8:56 AM


I watched Lara Logan on CBS’s Sixty Minutes this week.

She was blonde, beautiful, brave, tearful, soft-spoken, strong, clear, eloquent, still obviously traumatized (who wouldn’t be?) — and
Does Logan fear she will lose her mainstream media credentials if she analyzes what happened to her in cultural or political terms?
yet, although she has been praised for “breaking the silence” about the sexual violence that afflicts female or foreign journalists in the field, Logan was still careful not to use the words “Muslim” or “Islam.” She still refused to characterize what happened to her as “barbaric.”

In her own words: She said that two to three hundred pairs of hands, one after the other, grabbed at parts of her body, and kept raping her non-stop. The mob had torn off all her clothing and the more she screamed the more excited they became.

When someone yelled that she was an “Israeli, a Jew,” the frenzied mob turned murderous. They continued to beat her with flagpoles and sticks. They tried to tear her apart, limb from limb. They were tearing her muscles in every direction. They tried to tear her scalp off her skull.  She believed that not only was she going to die but that she would die a long, slow, torturous death.

This went on for 25 minutes.

I would call this “barbaric,” “monstrous,” a lynching-in-the-making.

Logan did not. She reminded me of so many Western mainstream media talking heads who kept showing the bloody and barbaric footage of the lynching of two Israeli reservists in the police station (!) of Ramallah—but who failed to draw back in horror, refused to call what they were showing by its rightful name: Abhorrent. A lynching.  A human rights atrocity.  A war crime.

Logan at least wept a little.

Then, like so many female rape victims, she tried to blame herself or imagine that she had the power to save herself. Logan said “I can’t believe I (would) just let them kill me. How could (she) do this?” She had to fight—not for her own sake, women are still not trained to do that—but for the sake of her two young children. She said: “I came so close to actually abandoning them.” Logan’s “fight” consisted of understanding that all she had to do was “survive.”

On camera, Logan still does not really blame the mob of men, the mob of Egyptian Muslim men to be specific.

But, as in so many female war-zone encounters, luck saved her. The Muslim male mob stumbled past a camp of completely veiled Egyptian women (only their eyes showed). One woman put her arms around Logan and the other women closed ranks around her.

Now, the shameless, cowardly male mob would have had to assault “one of their own.” It was no longer just about Logan. Meanwhile, Logan’s all-male television team had persuaded the Egyptian police to try to rescue her and they did so at the last moment. The police had to beat the mob back, get her into a tank, fly her back to the United States where her sore muscles, cuts, and internal wounds and bruises required four days of hospitalization.

With all due respect both for Logan’s terrible ordeal and for her choice to “break the silence,” how naive can she have been? How frightened is she still now?

Does Logan fear she will lose her mainstream media credentials if she analyzes what happened to her in cultural or political terms?

I think she does. While she has told the truth about what happened to her, her careful, cautious, exceedingly politically correct presentation suggests that many hands were, once again, behind what she said and how she said it.

Logan was born in South Africa where the sexual violence against girls and women is extreme. She was born in Africa where gang-rape and rape have been employed not as a spoil of war but as a systematic weapon of war (think Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Liberia). She is a reporter at a time in history when both infidel and Muslim women are routinely raped—then arrested for it, raped again by their jailers, then flogged, hung, or stoned for the crime of having been raped. Think Iran. Think Pakistan.

And finally, it is a well known fact that the male sexual harassment of women on the streets of Egypt is pandemic. One survey documented that 98% of infidel or foreign women and 88% of Egyptian women have been harassed on these mean streets. Thus, should women reporters not cover Muslim countries?

Guess what? Muslim men also rape Muslim and infidel boys as well as foreign male journalists whom they also torture and behead. (Think Daniel Pearl.) There is a long history of Muslim men kidnapping, enslaving, selling, branding, and castrating infidel men as well as selling infidel women as slaves.

This is the history of Islamic imperialism and racism and the contemporary face and nature of jihad.

What are they teaching journalists in our universities? Does the mainstream media only view rape as a Western, American, and white male crime?

The answer is: It sure does.

I once lived and traveled in the Muslim world and have long loved many things about the people, architecture, landscapes, food, and conversation, but I would hesitate long and hard before crossing their borders today without a full military escort replete with overhead bomber pilots, drones, tanks, and infantry. What will it take to convince Westerners that war has really, truly, honestly been declared both against infidels and against Muslims by Muslims and that we cannot pretend otherwise?