BOSTON (CBS) – Learning of the brutalization of a CBS News reporter on assignment in Cairo fills every decent person with a sense of horror and disgust.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
Rape is one of the most vile forms of violence; gang rape tests the limits of human understanding. Pathetically, it can and does occur just about anywhere, in relatively civilized societies as well as in hellholes where the rule of law and human rights are little more than a distant dream.
Egypt is considered to be one of the more advanced societies in the Middle East, but it seems that compared with the social behavior we’ve come to take for granted in the West, that’s not saying much.
According to a 2008 study by the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights, 83-percent of Egyptian women and 98-percent of foreign women visitors to Egypt experience brazen sexual harassment, public groping, attempted rape, you name it, and 62-percent of Egyptian men admit to engaging in the practice.
Does this sound to you like a “modern” society as we understand it?
And Egypt is far from the worst offender.
Google mass rape sometime and read about Bosnia during the war or the Congo, and you will get a grim picture of the depravity and total disrespect for human rights that is considered a prerogative by thugs in too many parts of the world.
We are hardly perfect in our treatment of women here, far from it, but we are in a different league from these places.
What happened to the reporter teaches us many things — how risky it is for foreign correspondents to do their jobs, how naive some of us were to pretend that what’s happening in Egypt is some kind of remake of Woodstock.
The violence-marred fiasco of Woodstock 3 is a better comparison.
But it also teaches us how lucky we are to live where we do, compared with the many bleak uncivilized alternatives.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.