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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 02/16/2011

A thank you to CBS reporter Lara Logan for letting her story be known

By Melissa Bell
lara logan
"60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan is shown covering the reaction in in Cairo's Tahrir Square the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. (CBS News via Associated Press)

On Friday, the world watched a gleeful, giant celebration. History was made, President Obama told the world. Men and women danced in the street. Fireworks lit up the sky over Egypt. Although there had been bloodshed and pain, it paled in comparison with what a disparate group of people had done when they came together in peace. The people had toppled a dictator.

On Tuesday, CBS released a statement, short and straight, that punched people in the stomach with its staccato message. Amid that joyful party, there had been "a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating."

Lara Logan, CBS News' chief foreign correspondent, had been surrounded by more than 200 people in Cairo's Tahrir Square, separated from her colleagues and attacked.

After the news came the responses, in three distinct categories:

• Those who blamed her for being beautiful and blond in a foreign country.

• Those who blamed the Muslim country.

• Those who blamed journalism for not doing enough to protect women.

The responses make a terrible situation so much worse. (And cost at least one man, Nir Rosen, his job.)

Here's why this story is not just about Logan:

A 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights found that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women experience public sexual harassment, from groping to assault.

Here's why this story is not just about Egypt, either:

In 2000, in New York's Central Park, an assault similar to Logan's occurred during a parade. Seven women were attacked. In the United States. Attacks occur everywhere, every day. Again and again.

The assault did not happen because Logan was a reporter in a dangerous country. It did not happen because that country happens to be Muslim. It happened because sexual assault occurs every single day to women everywhere in the world.

Here's why this story is about Lara Logan:

That 2008 report also said nearly 97 percent of Egyptian women and 87 percent of foreigners do not alert police after an assault.

Logan did not stay silent. Through CBS's statement, her story was heard. It gave voice to an incident that happens all the time, every day. Maybe it will push one more person to tell their story.

For that, I say thank you.

By Melissa Bell  | February 16, 2011; 1:30 PM ET
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Comments

Rape and torture have been part of the political oppression Egyptians have suffered at the hands of their own government - with official U.S. support, no less. Recall this?

Human Rights Watch, April 2005: "Newsweek reported a clash between the FBI and the CIA during the interrogation in Afghanistan of terror suspect Ibn al-Shaikh al-Libi:"

"FBI officials brought their plea to retain control over al-Libi’s interrogation up to FBI Director Robert Mueller. The CIA station chief in Afghanistan, meanwhile, appealed to the agency’s hawkish counterterrorism chief, Cofer Black. He in turn called CIA Director George Tenet, who went to the White House."

"Al-Libi was handed over to the CIA. “They duct-taped his mouth, cinched him up and sent him to Cairo” for more-fearsome Egyptian interrogations, says the ex-FBI official. "At the airport the CIA case officer goes up to him and says, ‘You’re going to Cairo, you know. Before you get there I’m going to find your mother and I’m going to f--- her.’ So we lost that fight.” (A CIA official said he had no comment.)"

While this is a horrific event, such things appear to have been routine for anyone who fell into the hands of Mubarak's secret police. For all we know now, they are also behind this as well. After all, they are the ones who've been attacking journalists, aren't they?

Posted by: cargocult | February 16, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Why does the Obama administration support the “protesters” and why call them pro-democracy when they are Islam revolutionaries who want to overthrow pro-Western regimes. Gadhafi’s Libya released 110 suspected Islamic militants at the demands of the protesters who also set fires to security headquarters.

Obama and Hillary Clinton are making some big mistakes by supporting the protesters and characterizing them as pro-democracy. Why do the liberal Obama Democrats want to misrepresent these so-called protesters? The uprisings are against established pro-Western regimes who are against Islam jihad terrorist.

Posted by: klausdmk | February 16, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

From:Thomas Sutton,U.S. Torture Victim and Political Prisoner. While shopping Saturday, An older white woman, Stalking me for Obama and Congress. For a few of course. Touched my shopping cart. a said to me MOCKINGLY, 'You have to go through a lot,huh" Well she's right. But, every know and then theirs a LOGAN or helmet Head from Arizonia which makes me SMILE. Thank you EGYPT!! YOU CAME!!

Posted by: ThomasSutton | February 16, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

To be "gang raped" by an angry crowd has to be one of the most humiliating, degrading and hurtful experiences that a woman can ever live through. And it is something that she will never recover from, fully.

A friend of mine's daughter was raped at a fraternity party, numerous times, when she was drunk. She switched to another college campus, but the emotional scars never left her.

Another old friend's daughter was raped twice, when she was a young girl. She is in her 70s now, and she still carries the emotional scars and believes it was her fault.

It is so sad and tragic. War-torn areas in Africa and elsewhere breed such conduct by men. What happened to Afghan women under the Taliban rule was inhuman. It is one of the reasons why I support that war, and never want to see the Taliban in control ever again.

Laura Bush has been a champion of the rights of Afghan women, and of course she is right. Barack Obama is in the process of cutting and running from that country, as fast as he can, which is pathetic and tragic.

Equally outrageous is human trafficking, which enslaves women around the world, including many in the United States.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1102 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/

Posted by: TimothyDNaegele | February 16, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Just Muslims being Muslims.

Posted by: allamer1 | February 16, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Look at that picture of her in the crowd in Cairo, and tell me what foreign correspondent would be so insensitive to local customs to dress that provocatively in a Muslim country? And if she dressed that way, why did not CBS provide her with security? You cannot get into the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem dressed in a provocative manner, and Israeli police are stationed at the gates to ensure tourists don't provoke Muslims heading for prayer by being dressed too provocatively. Nor can women get into St. Marks Cathedral in Venice if they are not properly dressed. Other foreign correspondents know the dress rules and adhere to them. Look at Erin Burnett's dress on a recent trip to the Middle East, or even Christine Amanpour's visit to her native Tehran. It is insensitive for Americans to go to foreign countries expecting people will not be insulted by how they appear in public.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | February 16, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

It remains a mystery to me that political correctness predominates, even by a female writer, and even when a female American reporter has been viciously and repeatedly raped by Muslims chanting anti-Semitic slurs. And the 2000 Central Park event? There's no comparison with what happened in Egypt(I was nearby, in Central Park in 2000). The 2000 Central Park event was in conjunction with the City's annual Puerto Rico Day Parade. Why doesn't the writer of this report say that? Isn't that relevant to the completeness of the story? To compare the two events in terms of severity, meaning, or import is liberal double talk. On this occasion, however, I must admit: who is the writer trying to protect? And at what cost to honesty and accuracy does she attempt to do this?

Posted by: kalraza | February 16, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Prayers are going to Miss Logan,

Sadly, these are the people Obama and Clinton continue to funnel money to.

Posted by: gremlin | February 16, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Just Muslims being Muslims.

Posted by: allamer1 | February 16, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Big question here: Why didn't she leave after seeing just how violent and out of control the siutaiton was getting? I understand her duty as a journalist but you have to draw the line for personal safety at some point....http://bit.ly/fUnFFU

Posted by: kal8bd | February 16, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The smartest, most thoughtful post yet on this sad topic. Thank you.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | February 16, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

edwardallen54:
If you're saying that she deserved to be repeatedly gang-raped because she wasn't dressed modestly enough for fundamentalist Muslim tastes, you're sick.

Posted by: trace1 | February 16, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much for this.

I spent all of last night getting more and more angry on Twitter, trying harder and harder to marshal my thoughts, and eventually writing my own post, in my own tiny space, that reflects much of the same idea you express here: http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/lara-logan-assault-reality-of-rape/

But it must be said that I don't have any numbers or statistics, and that is a tremendously important piece of the story. I will be updating my piece with a link to this.

Thank you, so much. As I said elsewhere on the web today: As a former foreign reporter, I really feel the dangers faced by all my reporter brothers and sisters out there -- but this isn't a reporter-specific threat. This is something every woman faces, everywhere and every day.

Thank you.

Posted by: EmilyLHauser | February 16, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

@allamer1

One might also say: Just men being men.

But I'm aware that vast majority of men aren't rapists, and that indeed, a great many men fight this battle alongside women.

You appear to need to do a little more reading about Muslims.

Posted by: EmilyLHauser | February 16, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

this case is not just "another rape case," this is a famous woman, taken from a "reporting news group" while on the job, at an event generating international attention, and getting brutally attacked by participants....

i just can't see this type of thing happening anywhere else in the world, except for Islamic countries. Their disregard for basic human rights, especially for "non-Muslims," will prevents all these nations from ever being enlightened .... if American authorities do not pursue some type of justice here, I believe Obama will continue to lose support.....

Posted by: ptandcarol | February 16, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"Just Muslims being Muslims"? are you kidding me. So if i said "Oh another alter boy was raped, Thats just catholics being catholics" would that make sense to anyone? The bigger issue is how women are treated in general. In the United States alone a woman is assaulted every three seconds. So before we go generalizing and condemning the Muslims religion... how about the lack of respect for women everywhere. Dont be so self righteous folks.

Posted by: Corin09 | February 16, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm always amazed at the right or the left to be so quick to jump on to someones tragic event and victimize that person all over again just to score points when really it breaks down to, do we really own our story or are we just to become more fodder to score with?Elvis said it best," What's so funny 'bout peace,love and understanding?"

Posted by: gpittcrib | February 16, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

In America, they are alleged rapists until tried. But if Egyptians and Muslims, they are “just Muslim being Muslims”. Would they say, “Just Christians being Christians” when a Christian lady is raped by a Christian in a Christian populated country?

That incident has handed some an argument against Obama and the cause of freedom and democracy. Allow these Muslims the luxury and privilege of Freedom? They have rapists among them. We do too, but we are Americans! Obama should stick with the pro Western torturers. Freedom is not an inalienable right of humans. We the Americans have the right to confer Freedom upon whom we please. The Muslims are uncivilized and not deserving of it. They hate us for our Freedom and our “way of life”.

Partisanship shows in statements like “these are the people Obama and Clinton continue to funnel money to”, forgetting that every American administration funneled money to Egypt since Carter. That includes Reagan, Big Bush and Little Bush. The money was never funneled to the people but rather to the Pharaohs.

Political correctness is one thing, but political incorrectness bordering on hypocrisy is plain despicable.

Posted by: MunirMunshey | February 16, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I watched her report on the unprecedented events in Egypt on Charlie Rose and was impressed with her intelligence and comprehension of the underlying dynamics of this volatile nation. I was stunned to learn of her fate but not surprised. She experienced first hand the terror and horror that was life as a woman under that regime. I wager the attackers were the police who were waiting for this opportunity for days.

Posted by: hakafos44 | February 16, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

NOT ONE PENNY to Eygpt until the thugs are brought to justice. Enough of pandering to Muslims who dont respect women.

Has Obama issued any statement on this? Demanded justice? Not likely

Posted by: Taxpayer100 | February 16, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Very brave that she came public with her story. She knows there may be a backlash of folks that say she knew what she was getting into. Regardless, nobody wishes this on anyone.

http://precisiontradingsolutions.blogspot.com

Posted by: kjordan3637 | February 16, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Lara Logan deserves a Nobel Prize. Far more than Obama did.

Posted by: Taxpayer100 | February 16, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's to the integrity of those journalists who stayed in Cairo and Alexandria and covered the story on the ground. Here's to Ms. Logan and her family: blessings and peace and healing.

And here's to a vivid reminder of the chaos, stupidity, violence, and thuggery inherent in mobs.

Where was Ms. Logan's security coverage?

Posted by: roboturkey | February 16, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable that anyone in America would argue that "she asked for it" or she knew what she was getting into. Violence is one thing, sexual assault another. There were small children in the crowds, people talked about how organized and cooperative the protesters were.
This was "chaos", the people ousted the government and were not being controlled by any threat of force. Yet there was order and organization, the people cleaned the streets after the protest, majority were governed by consensus. It was a thug minority who attacked. This could have happened in a crowd in New York, people walk or run away from trouble, getting involved, you could get hurt, or sued.
Those who would blame the muslims should also note that it was a group of muslims who rescued her.
Sexual assault may happen more frequently in fundamentalist culures of any religion, where the regulation of sexual behavior is also extremist, including prolonged or enforced celibacy or abstention. Think of the tolerance of rape in the military and in prison. Note the difference in the rate of sexual assault in countries where prostitution is licensed and medically protected. It all stems from the premise, unfortunately all too commonly accepted, and taught from an early age, that a man is not capable of controlling himself when it comes to his sexual urges.
In Egypt,women are also assumed unable to resist temptation, that is the reason for female circumcision. This ancient culture does not expect its people to exercise self control. They have to learn this is part of self government.

Posted by: chispaquitena | February 16, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse


This isn't the only newswoman that faced sexual attacks in the square. I heard another crew talk about attacks early in the demonstrations and they specifically stated that the crowd tried to rip the clothes off of a female producer.

It is Islam.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 16, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

So what is the government of Egypt doing about this crime?

If a similar crime happened in the US, there would be an investigation, a trial, imprisonment. Will Egypt abide by international law, and prosecute these criminals? Egypt relies on tourism and US dollars to thrive. If the new government fails to prove that foreigners, especially foreign women, are safe in Egypt, there will be -- and should be -- a terrific backlash.

Egypt, you asked for change. You have it. Now let's see what you do with it. I am hoping this is not an indication of the direction you're going.

Posted by: SarahStegall | February 16, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

For those of you geniuses who are blaming Islam for Lara Logan's sexual assault (which, the WSJ reports wasn't a rape, just to be accurate) ... you do realize that whites routinely used rape as a method to terrorize blacks back in the antebellum and Jim Crow days, right? Shall we blame Christianity for that?

Posted by: Potomac50 | February 16, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Sarah said:

If a similar crime happened in the US, there would be an investigation, a trial, imprisonment.
-----
Hmm ... not necessarily true. Rapes are underreported and underprosecuted in the US.

-----
Will Egypt abide by international law, and prosecute these criminals? Egypt relies on tourism and US dollars to thrive. If the new government fails to prove that foreigners, especially foreign women, are safe in Egypt, there will be -- and should be -- a terrific backlash.
-----

How about hoping that Egypt is first safe for Egyptian women who have to live there everyday?

Who cares about tourism right now? Is this how Americans see the world -- to make it safe for our tourism? That's foremost in our thinking right now?

Posted by: Potomac50 | February 16, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

corin09 said: "So if i said "Oh another alter boy was raped, Thats just catholics being catholics"

Well, that's true, isn't it?

Posted by: taonima2000 | February 16, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

The statistics cited from the study in Egypt are telling (83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women experience public sexual harassment). 98%! Clearly, there is something going wrong within the Egyptian culture. I can't see making the leap to the United States, unless someone has a statistic showing an equal lack of regard for women.

Posted by: ESP40 | February 16, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Woman goes to the armpit of Islam and is raped.
Why is this new news?

Posted by: dottydo | February 16, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

A 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights found that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women experience public sexual harassment, from groping to assault.

So why would you send a women into an unstable unruly mob knowing this? Huh?
Is this even necessary. What's the point. The pictures from afar are plenty.

Posted by: thejames1225 | February 16, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

We know so little about this event and yet people are talking about gang rape, multiple rapes, etc. Her employer said "brutal and sustained sexual assault." That could cover being abusively groped or disrobed by a mob or it could be rape. As delicate a matter as this is, I think CBS should have said what happened, or should have said nothing, because the descriptions (based on zero information) continue to get worse and worse. Also, there is no indication whether this attack was perpetrated by protesters or by pro-Mubarak forces. The one thing we do know is that people like dottydo above are racists. Good to be clear on something at least. I also thank the commenter who noted that we supported an Egyptian regime that used rape as a form of torture against opponents. The United States supports other regimes that support torture and rape. To pretend this society is morally superior when we condone such behavior in our allies is the height of hypocrisy. This kind of sexual violence should be condemned whereever it happens.

Posted by: Leila1 | February 16, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Certainly many viewpoints from many folks that have very obviously never stayed in a Muslim nation for an extended period, or have been abroad extensively to see first hand the subjugation of women at every imaginable level. The worst part about it is I once imagined my beloved America was so much better than these nations, but the fact of the matter is, it's simply not true. Sure, we're certainly more open to the idea of equality in this regard, however too often we fail in practice. The fact of the matter is, I would be hard pressed to imagine a place or culture where this was impossible under the circumstances of a mob of people that large. It's a terrible thing, and she's quite the woman to speak about it.
In reality, the major difference between we Americans and those we consider more oppressed peoples: They discriminate and subjugate openly; we discuss it amongst our peers and act upon it when we think no one's looking.
We're not better, just more discreet. We can acknowledge and change or ignore and brow beat other nations. What have you done for your country/fellow (wo)man lately?

Posted by: Alcibiades101 | February 16, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

it's laughable how the Post goes out of its way to avoid making a connection between Islam, the way its men treat women, in particular, non-Muslim women and this assault....if the Post was truly a newspaper, it would mention how rape by Muslim men of non-muslim women in countries like Sweeden and France are creating more and more tension in those countries ... instead, our great journalists at WAPO draw a parallel between this horrific event and "wilds" at Central Park....

yes, rape is a brutal crime that occurs every day, but this one (even if it wasn't rape), was an assault of epic proportions, considering that a woman was taken from the midst of team of co-workers on an international stage and assualted in a savage manner..... I would only expect this from a "Islamic Republic."

The President needs to address this, and address it now.... this was hardly a random "street crime," it was a symbolic event that punched Americans in the eye.....

I would expect Obama will probably blame Logan for the crime....

Posted by: ptandcarol | February 16, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Assuming it was Muslims who perpetrated this act (Egypt is 10%-20% Christian and Christians were in the square as well), then it was also Muslims who rescued Ms. Logan. Yet somehow for the racists above, it is only when Muslims are perceived as criminal perpetrators that their religion comes into play. Somehow when they rescue a victim, or otherwise banded together to protect journalists many times in Tahrir, they are not Muslims then. This is idiocy. When our boys in Iraq perpetrate rapes (as has happened), they are individual criminals who should be judged individually, not as representatives of America or Christianity etc. Yes, elements in Islam subjugate women. Elements in every Abrahamic faith does. But women were major parts of this protest. And there was no indication that this revolution was Islamist. Why can't we condemn this brutality without making bigoted generalizations?

Posted by: Leila1 | February 16, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Lara has been in some very dangerous situations, which, I have seen numerous times on CBS. I just shook my head on how brave she was and how she seemed bullet proof. When I heard what happened to her, it just sickened me. I wish her all the best. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. During an uprising, anything is possible, unfortunately.

Posted by: mzwiefka | February 16, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

This horrible incident reminds me of the 30 GOP senators who bravely voted to protect Halliburton employees from prosecution after they gang raped one of their co-workers, Jamie Leigh Jones.

Here again are the names of the Shameful Thirty:

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/healthwellness/143164/30_gop_senators_vote_to_defend_gang_rape/

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Posted by: B2O2 | February 16, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

It's not just about Egypt? So this happens how often there and how often in the bad, bad, bad USA?
I say this is not just about Egypt, but to finish the thought, it's a WHOLE LOT more about Egypt than the USA.

Posted by: kls1 | February 16, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

There is far too much conclusion drawing here in regard to both the events in Egypt and the public statement released by CBS News. It is difficult to even discuss these matters (I feel that represents a certain level of violation, too), but since so many comments have been filed, I will respond. The statement released by CBS said Ms. Logan had been assaulted sexually. It did not indicate the nature of that assault. No one but the people there knows what that means and everyone else should, please, shut up about it. Whatever conclusions or thoughts you want to draw in your own mind should stay there. It is always very important in any matter to reserve judgment or comment about things of which you have no knowledge.

Second, in regard to the column which began this discussion by Ms. Bell, it might very well have not been voluntary for Ms. Logan to disclose these events. My impression is that the matter was forced by some news outlet getting the story and making plans for publication. My impression, lacking full facts, is that since the story was going to come out anyway, a decision was made to offer a statement.

Every journalist in Egypt was in a certain amount of danger during the revolutionary events. The further fact is that any woman would be in even greater danger. This is nothing against women in journalism or any other field, but a simple fact.

Having dealt with large crowds in volatile situations, I can say that large crowds are difficult and require total attention and experience to remain safe. One of the key rules is to try one's best not to become enveloped by the crowd. Given the celebratory nature of the night, I assume that reporters on the scene probably believed that the greatest dangers had passed days before. This could have happened anywhere in almost any large city in the world. "Lawless elements" always find ways to take advantage of moments when civil authority breaks down. To use these events as debating points is totally inappropriate and non productive, in my view.

Doug Terry at terryreport.com

Posted by: terryreport | February 16, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

@edwardallen54

You make some good points. I vividly remember sitting on a stone bench on the Temple Mount near the Dome of the Rock. I was wearing a buttoned-up long-sleeved white shirt and mid-calf khaki skirt, a white scarf covering my hair, socks and sneakers. I thought I was modestly dressed. But I was approached by a Muslim gentleman who scolded me (gently, but still) for sitting with my legs crossed, which revealed part of one leg above the ankle. At the time, I thought the man was being rude, but I now see it was I who bore that burden. That said, I wonder why you imagine that beating and sexually abusing a "provocatively dressed" woman would be an understandable way to express offense.

Posted by: Mara_Seaforest | February 17, 2011 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Women serving in the American military face sexual harassment every day.
Rape is a tool of war.
The problem with the statement from CBS is are you talking about rape?.
My problem with watching the coverage on Egypt was when the million dollar media people showed up who did not lend one iota of insight.
America is a country on the verge of loosing the fourth estate that no democracy can survive without.
I think that is the topic, million dollar people in a country with a huge empty space once covered by journalists.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | February 17, 2011 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Hang on -- 98% of foreign women and 83% of Egyptian women experiencing sexual assault and harassment in Egypt is quite different than the equivalent stats would be for U.S. women.

I suspect a survey would show that 98% of American women have never had their genitals and nipples pinched or groped in public places in America.

Sex assault in America is a crime that men try to hide because it will be prosecuted -- in Egypt it occurs on the street everyday and the police do nothing.

Egyptian and American men have nothing in common where it comes to women. To suggest otherwise is to slander American men, believe me -- I've experienced Egyptian men's leering and groping firsthand.

We should despise the absurd relativism of the "we're just as bad as them" crowd of self-loathers and rape deniers.

Posted by: jcline1 | February 17, 2011 3:27 AM | Report abuse

I am so horrified by what happened to this journalist in public in what was supposed to be a celebration. For me, this underscores the need for America to get out of the Middle East! We aren't helping anyone there. They don't want us there. They want to be-head us, blow us up, rape us and we are sending Americans there???? We are sending journalists with families, soldiers, our sons, our daughters into these countries. For What???? I say, bring all Americans home and spend the money we are spending on war on American families and children.

Posted by: averagemom | February 17, 2011 4:56 AM | Report abuse

The state run, leftist water carrying, Obama sycophant media is trying to bury this story because it doesn't fit the leftist narrative of the event in Egypt. Namely, Pharoah Obama led the people out of bondage without firing a shot..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 17, 2011 6:23 AM | Report abuse

TomSeattle1, I removed the offensive comment and your request as it included the comment. Thank you for flagging and I'm sorry to see that the conversation had to turn so ugly on here.

To jcline1, kls1 and others on the chain, of course there are grave issues in Egypt concerning public harassment of women. This incident has been a way for Egyptian women to bring those issues to the forefront of the conversation. But saying this is a problem ONLY in Egypt disregards the fact that it happens all over the world. The post is not meant to suggest just because assault happens in New York, Egypt should not take a long, hard look at their societal mores. It is meant to say that everyone should be looking at the reasons behind abuse everywhere.

Thank you for the discussion.

Posted by: Melissa Bell | February 17, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I was astonished to learn about the juvenile attitude of a reporter with the experience of Sara Logan. I saw a lot of women reporters over internet of differents countries covering the same event for so many days and NOTHING happen to them. Probably because they were thinking in their jobs traying to inform the world what was happening and not thinking HOW to call the world attention about ME ???( sorry, them)...Or is Sara intention to muddy the already welcomed rebelion of the Egiptian People ?? What she is saying is disturbing, but in no way she is going to succeed. Try something else Logan !!!

Posted by: checarfe | February 17, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Melissa, thank you for such a straight-forward, beautifully reasoned piece! These disgusting attacks against women happen all around the world, and it's time people first and foremost realize that we have to condemn them wherever they happen and severely punish the socially destructive monsters who perpetrate them in order to clearly define behavior that is NOT acceptable, no matter where it occurs.

Posted by: andover2011 | February 17, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Dumb article Ms. Bell

You said
"The assault did not happen because Logan was a reporter in a dangerous country"

Really? This had nothing to do with being in an extremely dangerous situation in a country undergoing revolution?

So I didn't see many other reporters refusing to leave their hotels because of the danger of being in that crowd?

I was not petrified watching Christine Amanpour confronting an angry groups of Mubarak's thugs hoping and praying I was not about to see her assaulted?

You harm your own arguments when you say silly things - that putting herself to be in an extremely dangerous situation did not put her in a dangerous situation.


Reporters take on an extremely dangerous job at times- this time- horrifically- the danger blossomed in a terrible way.

The poor woman has whatever goodness I can send her through the ether.

Posted by: dfolk1 | February 17, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Lara, I hope you take all the time you need to heal from this horrible ordeal. Don't be rushed by those who know what a good reporter you are and want you back on the job. I'm so saddened to hear of this attack and the other barbaric attacks happening in a country that seems to want a civilized democracy. You were so brave to take the assignment. I'm praying for you and your family during this time of healing. I hope the people of Egypt choose to end the violence now .......they can choose peace over violence.

Posted by: gowashington | February 17, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

jcline1 is right... there is NO comparison between Egypt and America on sexual assault.

"98% of foreign women and 83% of Egyptian women experiencing sexual assault and harassment in Egypt..."

"Sex assault in America is a crime that men try to hide because it will be prosecuted -- in Egypt it occurs on the street everyday and the police do nothing."

The question for supporters of Islam and Egypt is why are women treated so terribly ?

Doug Schoen 2/1/2011 wrote: “the Egyptian public is strongly aligned with fundamentalists and traditionalists...

“Blaydes and Linzerhow concluded that 60 percent of Egyptians have fundamentalist views, while just 20 percent are secular

“In Pew polling conducted last year, almost half (48 percent) say that Islam plays a large role in politics in Egypt, and an overwhelming majority – 85 percent – say Islam’s influence in politics is positive. Only 2 % say its influence is negative.

“Egyptians also support the central elements of Shariah Law. 84 percent say that apostates, or those who forsake Islam, should face the death penalty and 77 percent say thieves should have their hands cut off. A majority (54 percent) says men and women should be segregated in the workplace.

Is it possible womens' rights and Islam are incompatible ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 17, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Egypt is a conservative Islamic country – “Blaydes and Linzerhow concluded that 60 percent of Egyptians have fundamentalist views…

The Lara Logan story reminds us of the treatment of women under Islam… Nonie Darwish would tell you it is appalling..

In Joys of Muslim Women by Nonie Darwish (former Muslim, Egyptian Gazan, and daughter of a Shahid (martyr) she writes:

“a Muslim man can marry a child as young as 7, consummating the marriage by 9. The dowry is given to the family in exchange for the woman (who becomes his slave)...

“To prove rape, the woman must have (4) male witnesses. Often after a woman has been raped the family has the right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore the honor of the family. Husbands can beat their wives 'at will' and the man does not have to say why he has beaten her.

“The husband is permitted to have 4 wives and a temporary wife for an hour (prostitute) at his discretion.

“The Shariah Muslim law controls the private as well as the public life of the woman.

“In the Western World ( America ) Muslim men are starting to demand Shariah Law so the wife can not obtain a divorce and he can have full and complete control of her. It is alarming how many of our sisters and daughters attending US and Canadian Universities are now marrying Muslim men and submitting themselves and their children unsuspectingly to the Shariah law.

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 17, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I just followed your link to Debbie Schlussel's blog about muslim countries affinity for sexual attacks on women and I totally agree with it. I don't know, Ms. Bell, if you have ever walked the streets of Cairo or Alexandria without an escort, but if you have and have not been pinched or groped by muslim men - often young boys as young as ten - then you are in the distinct minority. It happens every day. Not in America, Ms. Bell, but in Egypt and other muslim countries. You are either extremely naive, or a complete leftist ideologue if you do not recognize this fact, and the difference between America and the muslim world. Get an education, Ms. Bell...go it alone on the streets of Cairo for a day.

Posted by: Larryw21 | February 17, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

She set herself up. Simple. Why the news media is so ignorant of other cultures is beyond me. You cannot change the way the men in such cultures think. Simple. At the least, she should not have gone over there dressed like a babe. Simple.

Posted by: joanharlin | February 17, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Democracy and Islam will never co exist. Any nation that lowers the rights of women cannot be a democracy.

I will not respect the Islamic Culture until they respect the rights of women and treat them as equals.

Posted by: DonnyKerabatsos | February 17, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Larryw21, I have traveled in Muslim countries and I have traveled in Catholic countries and I have traveled in Protestant countries. As a 19 year old on a bus in Florence, in the middle of the day surrounded by at least 20 people, I received one of the most audacious, invasive attacks of my life. As a teenager in California, a man assaulted me in a parking lot in California. I have been abused and grabbed and harassed everywhere in the world as have women everywhere. It is incredibly frustrating that it has to be a there or here mentality. It is a problem. Period. Every country, every society needs to examine itself and stop the attacks from happening. Period.

Posted by: Melissa Bell | February 17, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Let's be clear here, from what I have read, she was with a security detail. From the Photo above it looks like she is dressed like anybody else riding the Metro here in DC.

I love the women on this blog saying 'She asked for it'

She was physically removed from her security detail by a group of men and assaulted.

Posted by: DonnyKerabatsos | February 17, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The French and British who constructed and guarded the Suez Canal may have thought Egypt by encouraging European style laws and customs had become "civilized" (i.e. more like them). However, those measures could not be expected to dissipate over a millennium of the kinds of conditioning imposed by dictates in the Quran, hammered in by Saudi-financed propaganda during the last several decades.

For some background on what the CBS Chief Correspondent (who unfortunately did not have time for hijab compliance) became subjected to, one might refer to Dr. Abdul-Latif Mushtahari, the general supervisor and director of homiletics and guidance at the Azhar University in Cairo itself, one of the foremost institutions of Islamic education, on the subject of justifications for Islamic permission of slavery. He has been quoted, as follows:

"Islam does not prohibit slavery but retains it for two reasons. The first reason is war (whether it is a civil war or a foreign war in which the captive is either killed or enslaved) provided that the war is not between Muslims against each other - it is not acceptable to enslave the violators, or the offenders, if they are Muslims. ONLY NON-MUSLIM CAPTIVES MAY BE ENSLAVED OR KILLED. THE SECOND REASON IS THE SEXUAL PROPAGATION OF SLAVES WHICH WOULD GENERATE MORE SLAVES FOR THEIR OWNER." (quoted in "You Ask and Islam Answers", pp. 51-2, with capitals added) The last sentence can only refer to rape.

For hundreds of years before the Suez Canal undertaking, it had been religiously approved for Egyptians and other North Africans to kidnap from their homes and ships and sexually enslave thousands of European and American “infidel” women and subject them to the kind of atrocity to which the CBS correspondent was subjected in Tahrir Square. This history was researched and enumerated in the scholarly work, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800, by Ohio State University professor Robert C. Davis.

In conformity with the above background, the "thugs" reportedly referring to the victim as a “Jew” provided themselves with religious cover for their outrage.

In view of this kind of this atrocity to an American citizen many US voters, particularly women, might be asking: was it enough of a response to the atrocity for a POTUS, who personally knows the victim and has daughters who could have been in the victim’s place, to merely make a perfunctory telephone call to do no more than utter some words of “comfort”?

Would it be too much to expect that the POTUS, an announced sympathizer with purportedly oppressed Muslims, could at least make a public call on those of its faithful to rethink and revise the moral dogma expressed in the above passage of their esteemed Egyptian university authority as to how Muslim men may treat foreign women?

Posted by: reformthesystem | February 17, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

You know what I find ironic about his whole ordeal after listening to Amanpour's comments (told by Whoopi I think) on The View? When Ed Bradley passed I was VERY saddened 60Ms didn't hire another QUALIFIED African American to join the team BUT more WHITE journalists.

I remember when 60Ms II was started years ago I ALWAYS said Christian Amanpour with her foreign credentials and experience should have joined the 60Ms team. NOW a white blonde woman gets into trouble and again the media is all over it. I noticed the story is getting the Jessica Lynch treatment with every report being exagerrated, now its "gang raped etc." The reason I have NO SYMPATHY is because Lara said on Charlie Rose she will keep going back knowing the dangers. Why hasn't Amanpour been through this in all her years of dangerous reporting. My guess is she commands more respect when people see her in war zones. H@ I know this lady's rep for getting the story. Not another blonde bombshell being hyped by American media!!!! Sadly if Lara were black she wouldn't get this kind of media atten and we know it!!!!

I want to hear about POOR soldiers fighting for this country and losing their lives. Not rich journalists looking for a story!!!

Posted by: MDlady2 | February 17, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'll ask it again. Assuming that the perpetrators of this act were Muslim (Egypt is 10-20% Coptic Christian and they were in Tahrir), then what was the religion, do you suppose, of the men and women who rescued Logan? Why is Muslim identity somehow crucial to the attackers but not to the rescuers? If there is some kind of monolithic Muslim behavior as people are suggesting, then who was Logan rescued by? Was there some wandering band of Baptists who came to her aid? Some lost Roman Catholics? Were they all Copts? Highly unlikely. People are so intent on their Islamophobia that they can't even see the fact that the same religion they are defaming is likely the religion of her rescuers, male and female.

Male sexual assault is universal, and it has been used as a political act by Christians as much as any other group, eg. in the Balkans. Are the American soldiers who famously raped and murdered a young teen and members of her family representative of all American soldiers? All Christians?

Posted by: Leila1 | February 17, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

One aspect of sexual violence that should be noted with shame: gang rapes are common in US prisons . Another aspect to note: at least one Egyptian male reporter was killed in the same violence that caught Lara Logan. We should ask ourselves the shameful question of whether we would even be having this discussion if a woman reporter of color or a woman reporter representing Al Jazeera had been assaulted. it is sad that it takes violence against a US celebrity reporter for the mainstream media to highlight it.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | February 17, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

To Miss Bell,

Re: your post above:
... But saying this is a problem ONLY in Egypt disregards the fact that it happens all over the world...
With respect, you just did it again. That is, characerize a story and comments on that story as somehow stating that Egypt is the only place these things happen. No one ever said that, but stories like yours that percieve readers will assume Egypt is the only place these things happen -- unless we remind them it happens in the USA -- are annoying to those of us who see USA-bashing comments in far greater proportion in the "liberal media" than there is any need for.

Again, thank you for the discussion.

Posted by: kls1 | February 17, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Many years ago, a friend of mine in Riyadh was walking in the Suq with his wife and two children. One child was holding her hand, the other was on her hip. They were in the most public part of the market, at about 1:00 pm, he maybe a step ahead of her, when she was surrounded by four or five young men and groped. She cried out, but the time it took her husband to turn around was long enough for the men to disperse in the crowd. I was told this is common among societies where sexual mores are as restrictive as they are.
Now put Ms. Logan in her circumstances: darkness, a greater crowd, confusion, no law around. She might have been wearing a full Abaya and would still have been easily separated from her crew. Without an armed escort, she had no more chance to avoid what happened to her than my friend so many years ago. Armed guards would have prevented her getting the story.
But don't blame the religion for the wrongs of the men who assaulted her. They violated their own religion and their own laws, regardless of how lax the government there has been in enforcing them. In this way, Ms. Logan's assault is exactly the same as the assault in Central Park - a bunch of criminals took advantage of a crowd and a public event to commit a crime.

Posted by: PLMAnnapolis | February 17, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I used to live in Cairo and I had the impression that while groping of women (native and foreign) was common, violent sexual assault and rape were not very common and sexual assault and rape in public would be almost unheard-of. So, I'm chalking this incident up to mob-mentality and chaos. I think any society could have an incident like this with an out-of-control mob so I'm not going to lay the blame on any religion, ethnicity or country. This incident has nothing whatsoever to do with government or the police or everyday culture in Cairo.

I wish this reporter the very best and am grateful to her for allowing the whole world to witness this completely uncalled-for and savage attack.

Posted by: PleinAir | February 17, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

What happened to this young American journalist in Cairo is very sad but unfortunately, was predictable. I think her bosses at CBS lacked judgement in sending her there on such a dangerous mission.

Posted by: mark921 | February 17, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Kls1, No one said rape only happens in Egypt, you are correct, but comments such as "Just Muslims being Muslims" or "I would only expect this from a 'Islamic Republic" say the exact same thing. Thank you for the discussion, as well. (And, please, call me Melissa!)

Sasquatchbigfoot, I agree that there is a definite difference in the coverage, but part of the reason is the platform: Lara Logan is a well known personality and her story was announced by a major news organization. People's interest is piqued partly because they already knew who she was. Still, it is a topic that merits reflection.

Posted by: Melissa Bell | February 17, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

To:Thomas Sutton-

Cuckoo!! Cuckoo!! Cuckoo!!

Posted by: shershon1 | February 17, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Melissa,

(I'm sure I meant to write "Ms. Bell." In the context of this incident certainly "Miss" was weird.)
Thanks for responding, I'm sure most writers would be too busy. The comments about Muslims perhaps are to be expected for someone familiar with these boards, however to say that they are the reason you put references to America in your posting amount to what I would call prior restraint. That is, you brought up crimes committed in America, and then these comments were made. Again, I see the need to mention bad things here in stories about bad things there as the either "anti-" American stance of the media, or the "ashamed" of America stance that prevails.
Again, thanks for the discussion!

Posted by: kls1 | February 17, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Pvilso reiterates the Islamophobic statements that Muslims have to face in the Christian countries. Perhaps, misconceptions like these abound about Christians too in Muslim countries.

Islam condones honor killing? If it occurs in Muslim populated countries, it does not mean Islam condones it. Murder happens in Christian dominated countries, but that does not mean Christianity condones it.

It is a blatant, through your teeth lie, to say that a woman needs 4 (male) witnesses to prove rape. Actually, 4 eyewitnesses are required to be produced by a person accusing another (male or female) of a consensual extra-marital sex. Failure to produce them would make the accuser guilty of slander mandating punishment.

Husband does not have a right to beat his wife ‘at will’. Actually a Muslim woman had a right to divorce her husband without having to disclose her reason 14 centuries ago. She still does. By comparison, an American woman (and so also an American man) still does not have a right to divorce her spouses. Citizens do have a right to petition the courts for a divorce.

In Islam the state stays out of the life of individuals as much as possible. The state has the right to be informed who marries whom, but is barred from issuing ‘licences’ to their citizens permitting them to marry.

In Islam marriage is a civil contract, not a union between souls. It does not require a priest or pope to ‘annul’ that contract. It can be entered into voluntarily and terminated unilaterally or by mutual consent by either party before or after consummation.

About the only thing povilso got right is that Islam allows a person to have 4 wives at the same time, under certain stipulated conditions. An American man (and woman) is permitted to enter into unlimited number of ‘relationships’ as long as he is careful not to call them a ‘marriage’.

Muslims, even those living in the West, feel that Islam is a better way of life. Why must others insist that Muslim renounce it?

Posted by: MunirMunshey | February 17, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps this group www.humanitariandefense.org, could provide protection for reporters in bad areas. They are a non-profit security frim that works all over the world. The have photos on their site of some of their people doing 'security' durring an Anderson Cooper filming in Haiti last year. The non-profit thing may help them get into countries with reporters et al that would freakout if a company like Blackwater was hired... they just posted a 'lessons learned' on this situation - it is worth reading. They make a bunch of points I have never thought of, but I am not a security expert. Link to post: http://j.mp/h3CUeo I so hope she recovers fully and that the animals that did this face Egyptian justice (i.e. Rendition) ;)

Posted by: sandjm | February 18, 2011 4:53 AM | Report abuse

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