"Asylum seeker" who raped devout Christian virgin, 21, twice before casually walking away is jailed for 10 years
An asylum seeker who raped a devout Christian virgin twice - leaving her feeling 'dirty' and fearing that she had HIV - has been jailed for 10 years.
Eritrean-born Mebrehtom Abrha, 25, of Birmingham, casually walked away after he subjected his victim to the harrowing four-minute ordeal.
Liverpool Crown Court heard how he dragged her off a pavement after she had been trying to find a taxi home from a night out.
The 21-year-old woman said she had found it hard to return to church as the attack had left her 'angry at god'.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, she said: 'I felt ashamed, dirty and unclean after I was raped. 'I still have to come to terms that I am still a virgin and it's still mine to give. 'Now I am getting tired of putting a brave face on when deep down I feel unsure that I will be fine.
'Going to church has always been in an important part of my life but since the attack I was not able to go to church for many months because I was angry at God and I was angry at myself for feeling this way.
'And the fear of contracting HIV was my worst nightmare.'
Abrha, who gained five year asylum to the UK in 2014, followed the woman for 10 minutes as she walked through Liverpool City Centre to her boyfriend's house on July 19 last year.
The court heard how she could not get a taxi and decided to walk the mile and a half route.
She was spotted on CCTV running past Crown Park with a jacket over her head to shelter her from the rain with Abrha following moments later, walking at a brisk pace.
Despite warnings not to cut through the park from her boyfriend, the woman was then confronted by the East African man before he dragged her off to a wooded area next to a church.
He then subjected her to a horrific attack, ripping open her dress before raping her and 'chillingly' walking away.
The attack left the woman covered in dirt and with injuries to her back and neck. She ran to her boyfriend's house and he raised the alarm.
In her statement the victim admitted the attack had caused her to move house and find a new job as well as end her relationship with her boyfriend.
She added: 'I have lost any desire to do anything in my life. 'I didn't want to share food or drink with anyone as I felt too dirty and thought they would be disgusted if I did. 'I wasn't able to sleep alone for a long time and had to have the light on in my bedroom throughout every night. 'I feel terrified in the shower. I get the feeling that someone is going to get me and I start to panic.'
Abrha, who lived in Liverpool before fleeing to Birmingham, was arrested following a BBC Crimewatch appeal on October 12.
Michael O'Brien, defending him, told the court that his client had written a letter begging for forgiveness for the horrific crime. Reading the letter out in court, Mr O'Brien said: 'This was an un-Christian act and I did a horrible thing to this woman. 'I am very sorry for the crime I have committed and I ask for forgiveness.'
Abrha, who has no previous convictions and spoke only through a Tigrignan interpreter in the dock, was forced to flee his native country after being conscripted to the Eritrean army aged 18.
The court heard he claimed that he had no memory of the attack because he was too inebriated. He held his hand to his eyes as David Aubrey QC sentenced him before he made the sign of the cross as he was led down in to custody.
Following the sentencing, Merseyside Police Detective Inspector Terry Davies, from the specialist Unity rape investigation team, said: 'Rape is a very personal crime, which many victims, understandably, struggle to come to terms with.
'It can have a devastating effect for the rest of their lives and there is no doubt that this had had a significant impact on his young victim, who will now have to live with this for her life.'
Now Swedish police are accused of covering up sex attacks after news blackout on migrant gang surrounding and molesting teenage girls at music festival
Swedish police have been accused of covering a number of sexual assaults on teenage girls at a music festival in Stockholm last summer - because a number of the suspects were underage refugees.
Teenage victims have spoken of being groped between the legs, while boys 'ran their hands' over their bodies in the crowds at the festival in August, but official police reports makes no mention of the assaults.
Police have now admitted to playing down the events at the We Are Sthlm festival last summer, as they feared the information could be used by right-wing campaigners for anti-immigrant propaganda.
'You only had to move a few feet to get grabbed. They pushed you in, and then one hand came out of nowhere and grabbed your breasts - or for some of my friends who wore dresses, between the legs,' Molly, 17, who attended the youth festival with four of her friends, told Expressen.
'You locked eyes with other girls who were standing with a guy behind them, and they looked like they were panicking.'
'If you said no, they were there with the hand again, if you pushed them away it egged them on and they called their mates. It was impossible to get away on your own.'
Roger Ticoalu, who heads Stockholm city government's events department, said Monday that a 'large part' of those detained were from Afghanistan, many carrying temporary ID-cards issued to asylum-seekers.
He said about 20 teenage girls filed complaints of sexual assault and that about 200 suspects were detained and ejected from the festival for sexual assault and other offenses. It wasn't immediately clear whether any of them were arrested and charged.
Ticoalu said organizers received reports already in 2014 of groups of young men and boys groping girls in a systematic manner. Efforts were put in place, including more security guards, to prevent a repeat in 2015 but instead the problem got worse, he said.
'We've always had individual cases' of sexual assault, he said. 'But here we have a larger group doing it almost in an organized way. It's a completely new level of obscenity.'
'You have a large group of boys surrounding the girls,' he said. 'They pretend to dance. They come closer and closer. Then they start touching their breasts and genitals. In some cases in combination with theft.'
However, despite what appears to have been dozens of sexual assaults, local police summarised the 2015 edition of the festival, aimed exclusively at teens from 13 to 19, as a quiet event. 'We had comparatively few crimes and few arrests considering the number of attendants,' a statement on Stockholm Police's website read.
The police have now been accused of 'hushing up' internal reports of sexual assaults filed during the youth festival, attended by some 170,000 teenagers in 2015, because the suspects were refugees.
Quoting sources within the force, Dagens Nyheter says Stockholm Police consciously avoids to report on phenomena which can be tied to perpetrators of a foreign background, because they fear it may be used as propaganda by right-wing politicians.
'This is a sore point. Sometimes we dare not tell how it is because we think it plays into the hands of the [right wing populist party] Sweden Democrats,' Stockholm police chief Peter Ågren, who was in charge of police at the event in 2014, told Dagens Nyheter.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has today expressed his outrage at a potential cover up by police, firing off some stern words in an official statement.
'Police should prosecute crime, and sue guilty people. And should not for any kind of reason try to hide something. This is a problem and we are going to bring it to light.
'I feel a very strong wrath over the fact that you women can't go to a music festival without being violated, sexually harassed and attacked. This is a huge problem for those who are affected and for our entire nation. We will not back down an inch, and we will not turn our gaze.
Today, opposition leader Anna Kindberg-Batra has called interior minister Anders Ygeman to explain the alleged police cover up to the Parliamentary Committee of Justice.
'It is remarkable if police have been sending out an official story that the event was calm, but seeing a different story internally. This has to be investigated and we have to get to the bottom with this,' says Mr Ygeman of the Socialdemocrats Party.
Yes, Muslims Should Be Asked to Condemn Islamic Terror
Last week, an opinion piece appeared in the Washington Post that tells you much of what you need to know about the moral fabric and intellectual depth of the ACLU and much of the Left generally. Written by Rana Elmir, deputy director of the Michigan chapter of the ACLU, the title says it all: “Stop asking me to condemn terrorists just because I’m Muslim.”
Here is how her column begins: "As an American Muslim, I am consistently and aggressively asked — by media figures, religious leaders, politicians, and Internet trolls — to condemn terrorism to prove my patriotism. I emphatically refuse".
Even putting aside her refusal as a Muslim to condemn the greatest organized evil in the world, her misleading rhetoric is revealed by another aspect of the opening sentence. It is not to “prove [her] patriotism” that people ask her to condemn Muslim mass murder, torture, and sexual enslavement. It has nothing to do with patriotism. Decent people (including many decent Muslims) make this request for three other reasons.
The first is to ascertain the moral/religious views of that Muslim. The second is to ascertain how widespread Islamist views are among Muslims. And the third reason is to have as many Muslims as possible condemn Islamist violence in the hope that Muslims considering supporting or engaging in terror will think twice about doing so.
It is the most logical request people of goodwill can make when they ask Muslim spokespeople to react to atrocities committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. How else are non-Muslims to assess Islam and Muslims? If the Spanish Inquisition were taking place today, wouldn’t every Catholic spokesperson be asked if they condemn it?
Of course. But there is a difference. No one would have to ask Christians to condemn mass murder committed by tens of thousands of Christians in the name of Christ. Millions of Christians would have already spoken out and demonstrated against such a thing.
Or take Jews’ reactions to the 1994 murder of 29 Palestinian Arabs by a religious Israeli Jew, Baruch Goldstein. The Israeli prime minister at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, in an address to the Israeli parliament, said to the Knesset: You [Goldstein] are not part of the community of Israel. . . . You are not partners in the Zionist enterprise. You are a foreign implant. You are an errant weed. Sensible Judaism spits you out. You placed yourself outside the wall of Jewish law. . . . We say to this horrible man and those like him: You are a shame on Zionism and an embarrassment to Judaism.
Even the Jewish Settler Council, of which Goldstein was a member, declared that what Goldstein had done was “not Jewish, not humane.”
Israel’s Sephardi chief rabbi said, “I am simply ashamed that a Jew carried out such a villainous and irresponsible act.” And the Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Yisrael Meir Lau, labeled the murders “a desecration of God’s name” — which is the worst sin a Jew can commit. The then–chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, declared: “Such an act is an obscenity and a travesty of Jewish values.”
And all these Jewish condemnations were in reaction to the action of one Jew.
In 1982, rogue Lebanese Christian militiamen killed between 700 and 800 Palestinians in two refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila, in the Beirut area. Though no Israelis participated in the killings, Israel held itself responsible because it was the occupying power in that area at that time. In addition, approximately 400,000 Israelis — about 10 percent of the Israeli population — protested against their own government. It was the largest demonstration in Israel until that time.
That is what civilized and moral people are expected to do — condemn those who murder in their name. But, according to the ACLU official, such civilized, moral behavior is not expected of Muslims. Rather, in the age-old left-wing habit of reducing evil through moral equivalence, Elmir writes:
Just as [an American] I have never been asked to condemn Dylann Storm Roof’s attack on parishioners of a historic black church in South Carolina, Robert Dear’s attack on a Planned Parenthood facility, the murder of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, or the slaughter of moviegoers in Colorado or Louisiana, I will not be bullied into condemning terror perpetrated [by Muslim terrorists].
So there you go. If you ask Muslim spokespeople to condemn women in burqas, Muslim honor killings, Muslim annihilation of Christian communities in the Middle East, the massive support in Muslim countries for killing any Muslim who converts to another religion, or even just the atrocities of Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, or the myriad other Muslim mass-murder organizations, you are a bully. You are the guilty party.
That is one of the more remarkable moral inversions of our time. But such is the moral universe of Ms. Elmir and the ACLU. In fact, just as we ask Muslims to condemn evil done by Muslims in the name of Islam, we should ask supporters and members of the ACLU to condemn this column written in the name of the ACLU. It’s that bad.
Never mind Rhodes – it’s the cult of the victim that must fall
What the rotten anti-Rhodes movement reveals about 2015
Rhodes Must Fall, the gang of spoilt Oxford brats who want a statue of the colonialist Cecil Rhodes removed from Oriel College, is being chalked up as another outburst of campus craziness. The media are having a field day mocking the hypocrisies and idiocies of the Rhodes-fearing students, one of whom is a Rhodes scholar — so he’ll take Rhodes’ cash but doesn’t want to look at his likeness — and all of whom describe walking past the statue as ‘an act of violence’. At the end of a year in which students have complained that doing yoga is ‘cultural appropriation’ and reading The Great Gatsby can trigger PTSD, Rhodes Must Fall is being viewed as the latest loopy pursuit of bookish youth who inhabit a different moral universe to the rest of us.
But to treat Rhodes Must Fall in this way is to miss a trick. For this movement is in fact infused with some very mainstream ways of thinking. The true engine of Rhodes Must Fall is the culture of victimhood, the view of the self as a hapless object to which things happen, upon which wicked words wreak havoc, a creature easily propelled into trauma by ideas or images or experiences. And that’s an idea which exists far beyond the quad of Oriel College, Oxford. Indeed, for all their pretences to radicalism — ironically fuelled by a media that treat them as extreme and exceptional — the Rhodes Must Fall people only express in gruff, Year Zero-style terms what is now one of the key, and most depressing, outlooks of the 21st-century West.
It is of course tempting just to slam the Rhodes Must Fall brigade. They typify today’s super-sensitive students, who fear the content of books and claim to be ‘triggered’ by the arrival on campus of anyone who has a different point of view to theirs. So they describe the statue of Rhodes as ‘aggressive’. They claim this stone representation of a man who plundered Africa harms black students. As I argued in a piece for Newsweek in August, Rhodes Must Fall is ISIS-like, sharing with those statue-smashing Islamists ‘a Year Zero attitude, a desire to rewrite history… to cleanse all remnants of a “problematic” past from the present’. This is the irony of today’s students who pose as caring: their flipside is a desire to destroy with extreme prejudice any idea or icon that offends them. They’re soft and tyrannical at the same time.
Yet Rhodes Must Fall is not some out-there group, as demonstrated by the fact that Oxford itself is kowtowing to it. It is better seen as a rougher expression of an everyday culture: the cult of the victim. The most striking thing about the Rhodes Must Fall activists is their self-negation of their moral autonomy, their reduction of themselves to mere products of history, created and damaged by historical circumstance and their cultural surroundings as surely as cells in a petri dish are rearranged by a scientist. They claim the statue of Rhodes does ‘violence’ to them. They say they are victims of ‘the colonial wound’. They argue that ‘the festering, rotting wound that is the ideology of white supremacy’ continues to do damage to ‘our black and brown bodies’.
Here, black students — intelligent, autonomous people — are reduced to mere ‘bodies’, shoved and shaped by the inanimate representations of history that surround them. One supporter of Rhodes Must Fall says it is unacceptable to have such ‘cultural detritus of empire’ on campus, as it can be ‘stifling for non-white students’, speaking to how history ‘continues to harm black and minority ethnic people living in Britain today’. The irony of a supposedly anti-racist movement treating black students effectively as bovine, as less capable than whites of negotiating public or controversial spaces, as acted upon by long-gone events, is as profound as it is dispiriting: in seeking to speak up for blacks, it actually diminishes their autonomy, their humanity.
What is most notable about Rhodes Must Fall is its treatment of history as a source of psychological trauma. Its supporters refer to the ‘invisible violence’ that is done to them — invisible because it isn’t actually happening — and talk about the ‘wound’ of history. Dr Omar Khan, director of the race think-tank the Runnymede Trust, argues that ‘seeing Rhodes so recognised [causes] a deep wound that isn’t merely in people’s heads nor in any way irrational’. That is, it literally wounds them, as a knife might.
This depiction of history as a wounding thing speaks to today’s cult of self-victimisation, the deep 21st-century urge to define oneself as a victim of circumstance rather than a shaper of destiny. Because the students who make up Rhodes Must Fall are among the most comfortable, cosseted young people in Western Europe, enjoying the extraordinary privilege of reading and thinking in one of the world’s oldest, most prestigious universities, they must trawl the past in search of victim status. Unable to find anything unpleasant in their cushioned lives, they instead plunder the suffering of earlier black generations in order to discover some hurt they might claim as their own. These are the very students most likely to complain about ‘cultural appropriation’, yet they engage in a most foul form of what we might call historical appropriation: they claim to feel the pain of the enslaved and the colonised as they sip tea in the swooning towers of Oxford. It would be like me demanding a ban on images of potatoes on the basis that they make me feel the stabbing hunger pains of my ancestors who perished in the Irish Famine.
What we’re witnessing is the rise of the transcendental victim, the victim who steals the long-passed pain of his ancestors or even of the dead with whom he has no connection whatsoever. Rhodes Must Fall isn’t alone in this. There’s now such a thing as second- and third-generation Holocaust survivors, the children and grandchildren of those who survived the Nazi death camps, who claim to experience Nazi-related ‘trauma’. Supporters of the slavery reparations movement claim it’s really hard for black people today to ‘endure this historical inhumanity’. This cynical use of history to construct a victim identity can also be seen in radical Islamism: Western Muslim youth claim to be motivated by anger over the Crusades, while al-Qaeda, ISIS and others talk endlessly about events of a thousand or more years ago. What ultimately binds the supposed leftists of Rhodes Must Fall with extremist Islamist youth is a cloying self-pity, an invented victim identity, a belief that society and history have conspired to insult them.
At a time of great misanthropy, when individuals’ capacity for autonomy is called into question and the idea of free will is ridiculed, Western society has come to value the easily harmed individual who demands therapy and recognition of his suffering over the self-motored, morally independent individual who believes that he can cut it by himself, with a little help from his friends, comrades, community. And in such a climate, those who lack victim status, who aren’t actually suffering, must hunt down insults, exaggerate slights, and build a case for their being wounded creatures equally deserving of social sympathy and state resources. We are incited to play the victim. This explains everything from the obsession with microaggressions to feminists’ obsessive logging of normal behaviour as ‘everyday sexism’ to Oxford students’ depiction of a statue as violence: it’s all an attempt to construct victimhood and thus win respect.
Strikingly, Rhodes Must Fall says it is engaged in the ‘politics of recognition’, demanding that Oxford and others ‘recognise’ the ‘effacement and violence’ historically faced by blacks. This isn’t an anti-establishment movement; on the contrary, it is a craven, knee-bent plea for the new establishment — the victim-therapeutic complex — to confer victim-legitimacy on middle-class black students who lack it. In an earlier era when the ideal of autonomy was more respected, individuals demonstrated their mettle by taking responsibility for their lives and being driven; in today’s climate of victim sacralisation, individuals are encouraged to play down their own moral resources, to disavow their own humanity, in essence.
So, yes, we can laugh at Rhodes Must Fall. We should, in fact. But to do only that would be to overlook the powerful anti-human trends infusing such a movement. As we head into 2016, let’s stop treating campus crazies who want to censor or smash things as alien creatures or ‘lefty nutters’, and recognise that in fact they speak to the diminished autonomy of our times. More importantly, let’s all refuse to play the victim game, to strip ourselves of moral independence in the hope of gaining recognition from a victim-obsessed state and society, and instead insist that we are not ‘bodies’ hurt by history, but rather are minds and hands that make history. History doesn’t simply happen to us; we happen to history.
Row over new mosque in Sydney
Australia's right-wing anti-Muslim groups have surfed in on the debate about a new mosque planned for South Hurstville, encouraging people who live outside the area to oppose the $3 million development.
Organisations in Queensland and Victoria have been posting on social media against the development dubbed the "mega mosque" proposed for King Georges Road, south of Sydney.
And public supporters of the mosque have reported receiving "text messages of hate campaigns" from people opposed to the development.
Reclaim Australia, Stop the Mosque in Bendigo, Aussie Angels Against Sharia and other group sites have been pushing an online petition opposing the plans.
On another site named Stop the Mosque, which has more than 9000 followers, there are comments such as "A Mosque is a place that serves as a meeting place for people who are obligated to bring down Australian Democracy, A planning place for those committed to replace the Australian Constitution with Sharia Law, acting on instruction to implement Jihard [sic] to achieve this goal as soon as possible".
On the online petition,Say No to 849 King Georges Road, South Hurstville Mosque, is this comment "the mosque will change our lives and our children's lives. We worked hard to live in this area and now people want to destroy this,"
Kogarah City Council has received more than 900 submissions and spokeswoman said the number is still growing. It is not yet known how many support the mosque.
The public exhibition period for comment on the plans has been extended to the end of February, but lawyers for the applicant have already taken it to the Land and Environment Court because it was not dealt with by council within the required 40 days.
The applicant for the mosque is Nasser Hussein from architectural firm Ghazi Al Ali on behalf of the company MSAR Holdings Pty Ltd, which has authority from the land owners to lodge the application.
The company lists Mohammad Safwan Abdul-Rahman as the sole director and secretary, but he could not be contacted for comment.
Trouble erupted last year when the plans were submitted for the development showing the mosque would have three levels of underground parking and two levels above ground, including two prayer rooms for a total of 78 worshippers and two classrooms to accommodate 45 people.
Worshippers have been gathering at another private home in South Hurstville for Friday prayers, but that property too has had troubled history with the council temporarily closing it in 2012 because of complaints about parking and noise.
At the time Anthony Mundine, the former footballer and world boxing champion who used the prayer room, believed the problem was prejudice, not parking.
He told Fairfax Media his mother lived next door in the big wide street where every house had off-street parking, so was "baffled" by the objections. He believed it was just an excuse to shut down the mosque.
But online community opinion is evenly split with petitions opposing and as well as in favour of the mosque attracting almost 5000 supporters each.
The "Kogarah Council: Yes to the South Hurstville Mosque" petition on Change.org includes comments from Leila Khaled, who says she is a local resident, arguing it is important for the mosque to go ahead so local Muslim residents have the freedom to practice their religion in their own neighbourhood.
"It will reach out to youth and teach them how Islam is a religion of peace. This needs to be done before the current political radicalisation narrative negatively affects them. It will have open days to reach out and welcome the wider community. This is an opportunity to build bridges, ease concerns, and address misconceptions."
Another comment posted by from Tarik Hussein noted the double standards regarding other developments such as a church built in a residential street with no car park with no objections. He also multiple pubs clubs in the area offering topless waitresses and attracted police attention because of fights, intoxication, drugs, and gambling – "Yet this behaviour seems to be more socially acceptable & encouraged than a place of worship for Muslims".
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.