In the aftermath of New Year's Eve's mass rapes of European women by Muslim refugees, the questions have been repeated: Should we have known this kind of thing would happen? Could we have known? And from local bars to parliaments, from family dinners to the nightly news, the answers keep coming back: Yes; we could. Yes, we should.
But interestingly, the people who say this with the most conviction are not right-wing Muslim-bashers, or activists opposed to the settling of Syrian refugees in Europe. They are Muslims, and mostly Muslim women.
Over and over, these women, and other Western women who have worked in the Middle East and North Africa, pointed out the commonality of rape in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia (the MENASAS region), and noted the oppression of women in most cultures there. (The Kurds form a notable exception.)