On November 10th, Mohammed (17) was sentenced to six months of juvenile detention and a fine of 30 000 euros in damages for the rape of two girls, one of which was only 13 years old. While the investigation was still going on regarding the rape of the 13-year-old, the Salvation Army let Mohammed participate in a conference where he could commit the second rape. When the girl told the adult conference leaders about the assault, they chose not to report it to police, stating that they did ”not want to send Mohammed home”. The girl then contacted her mother and police was contacted.
The Swedish branch of the Salvation Army directs some of its activities towards asylum seekers and immigrant groups, such as Muslims. The Muslim boys are invited to summer camps where there are also Christian girls. One of these events took place during the weekend of August 21st – 23rd outside Vingåker in Södermanland, central Sweden. The girl, who had just done her Lutheran confirmation, shared a room with a 14-year-old girl. On Friday evening Mohammed, whom she had never met before, walked straight into their room without knocking and said he wanted to use a power outlet to charge his cellphone. The girls were about to go to bed and Mohammed sat down next to the victim on the mattress.
”Mohammed talked about girls he met, that he partied a lot and that he had a criminal record”, the girl told the police according to the court documents. He also asked if she was a virgin, to which she answered no. He then replied ”Good, then I know which one to go for”. After half an hour Mohammed asked her if they could go outside for a while, which meant that he would at least be out of her bedroom. Once outside, Mohammed remarked she ”had a nice ass”, which made her ”a bit shocked”. He then got increasingly pushy and started to grope her, but she managed to push him back. His only response was a grin.
She went back inside and was followed by Mohammed, who sat down next to her on a couch and again started groping her. She said ”No, I don’t want to”, but Mohammed just smirked. When he started to remove her clothes, against her will, she asked him if he was going to rape her. ”Yes, if I have to”, he replied. The girl told police that ”he was very strong” and that ”it hurt a lot”, according to the written verdict from Västmanland lower criminal court.
The 14-year-old girl who shared room with the victim told police that Mohammed tried to assault her as well earlier that same evening.
Youths at the Hjälmargården center. Photo: Hjälmargården
The following day, the raped girl told one of the female leaders at the conference about what had happened, which led to two male leaders approaching her to ask her about the details of the assault. The church leaders told the victim that they were sorry, but did not want Mohammed to go home. She did not want to tell the men all of the details, but their testimonies indicate that she did tell about being held down and groped, which in itself is a sex offense. She finally sent a text message to her mother, who was on a cruise headed for Helsinki in Finland, and told her what had happened. The mother went, as soon as she could, to the camp, picked up her daughter on Sunday and drove her to a hospital. The police met her there and filed a report. In a later hearing the victim told police that she had felt pain in the lower abdomen for a week after the attack.
Lars Beijer. Photo: Salvation Army
The Salvation Army spokesperson Lars Beijer claims however that the gravity of the assault wasn’t immediately known by the staff:
– We have been trying to establish what has really happened and we identify some errors in the official documents. The girl told the staff on Sunday morning that she had been raped. Saturday nobody in the management team was aware that a rape hade occurred. They knew that these two had met and that there had been some incident. When she told them about a rape Sunday morning, they immediately contacted social services in Västerås, he says to our reporter.
Mohammed insists that everything that took place was consensual , but the court deemed the girl credible and saw no reason why she would lie about the offender. Her 14-year-old roommate also testified that she heard the victim say ”stop”, ”quit” and ”I don’t want to”. Through an interpreter the mother of Mohammed, Ghaydaa, was also heard, which provides an interesting insight into the preliminary investigation notes:
”Mohammed has told Ghaydaa about what happened, he told her that NN who was also at the camp wanted to have sex with Mohammed. He said no since he knew that it would be wrong as they were not married. Ghaydaa is convinced that Mohammed is telling the truth.”
The mother of the raped girl told police that her daughter received a morning-after pill at the hospital, which caused cramps and bleedings. After leaving the hospital her daughter stayed at home from school for a week and slept through the days. She also took many showers during this time. The Västmanland lower criminal court also sentenced Mohammed for child rape, after he was charged with assaulting a 13-year-old girl earlier that same year. He was sentenced to six months of juvenile detention and around 15 000 euros in damages to each of the two girls.
The preliminary investigation notes show that the staff of the Christian summer camp admits to having known about Mohammed being investigated for child rape at the time they admitted him to the camp, but Lars Beijer says that he cannot comment on it, since he has not looked into that particular matter. We then ask him if there should not be some kind of background check and whether this kind of individuals should really take part in activities with minors:
– I can only agree with you there. You’re right about that.
Lars Beijer says that no new practices have been introduced and he thinks that background checks are not necessary, since the youths ”are already known to us”.
The police documents show, that the victim’s roommate, who was herself exposed to indecent behavior by the perpetrator, stated that she had met him at another camp and that he then constantly talked about sex.
FWM: Regarding this Mohammed, should there not have been some warning signs even before this camp?
– I can understand why you think so.
FWM: When this case came to public attention, many people were surprised that a Muslim was even at a Christian camp.
– Yes, some people ask that. We do not ask participants ”are you a Muslim or a Christian”. Everyone is welcome, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. We do not exclude anyone from our activities.
The Salvation Army encourages asylum seekers and Muslims to attend activities with Christian girls as a means to improve “integration”. Photo: Salvation Army
Muslim families letting their boys and young men socialize with young girls is a good thing and beneficial to integration, in the eyes of the Salvation Army. They even organize particular activities for asylum seekers. Few Muslim men are willing, however, to let their wives or daughters take part in activities with non-Muslim men. This has led the Salvation Army to meet their demands by introducing separate groups for Muslim women. At their website they tell about a project in the Akalla suburb of Stockholm:
”Today there are classes in three classrooms and in this group there are eight students, two of which wear black clothes which cover them completely, leaving only an opening for the eyes.”
The reason for this separation is also given:
”Another important argument when recruiting students is that only women are being taught at the center, since the culture in many Muslim groups demands that women do not take part in classes with men or have male teachers.”
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