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German Muslims condemn Cologne attacks, fear consequences
by Frank Jordans
Members of Cologne's large Muslim community have joined the chorus condemning a string of assaults on women on New Year's Eve that have shocked Germany. But some are also voicing concern that pointing the finger of blame at Muslims in general — and North African immigrants in particular — is unfair when most migrants are law-abiding and the full facts of what happened on the night remain unclear.
In Ehrenfeld, a multi-ethnic neighborhood where streets are lined with colorful Turkish grocery stores and halal butchers, few can believe that those who allegedly carried out the assaults amid the crowds ringing in the New Year may share their religion.
Police said Wednesday that 121 women have filed criminal complaints for robbery and sexual assault — including two allegations of rape. They said the attackers were among a group of some 1,000 men described as being of "Arab or North African origin" who gathered in front of the Cologne's main train station and gothic cathedral that night.
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