Every so often a person turns up in our inbox who is so totally amazing and who has such an incredible story to tell. This is one such EBF supporter. She bravely shared her story with us, and wanted us to share it with you.
We sincerely hope that it helps her continue to make good progress in her recovery and we share her hope that someone will read this touching history and learn from her. Our heartfelt thanks and very best wishes – you know who you are. (EBFBlogger)
Just over six years ago I was raped by a man whom I described to police as Asian, who spoke clear English but had a foreign accent. After a huge effort by the police the man was caught, questioned and charged within a month of the attack, he claimed he hadn’t attacked me and had been at prayer in his local mosque at the time of the attack so the case was sent to the CPS and eventually to court.
In the year between the attack and going to court I found out the man’s name and that he was an Iraqi refugee with a wife and three children who was also a supposed devout Muslim (this was used in his defence in court but dismissed). In that year I suffered from a lot of issues and had a lot of hatred for the world and especially for the man who hurt me.
I was 20 at the time and I was extremely vulnerable, the hate I had for this man festered in me. I had a vague idea of Islam at the time so I decided to do some very rudimentary research and found a lot of hate speech that so called “patriots” had written about how Islam treats women and other people who aren’t Islamic. After reading a lot of this I thought that maybe I had been raped because I was Kufar in the eyes of the Muslim man who had attacked me. That bothered me for a while and by the time the case actually came to court this idea had manifested itself in my mind.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. My questioning by the defence went on for three days, however, on the last day I was due to give evidence I went outside for a cigarette with my chaperone. As we walked outside she warned me that there were members of the community the man was from also outside (I had been made aware there were a large crowd of them in the gallery during the proceedings).
I went outside ready to be shouted and screamed at although that never happened, what did happen was one of the gentlemen from my attackers community (who I later found out was the Imam who had given evidence in my defence) asked my chaperone if he may speak to me. I said yes as I didn’t feel threatened – at this point the gent began to well up. He said he wanted to apologise to me for what I had been through and wanted to make sure that I knew the man that had attacked me was a despicable human being who would be forsaken for using his religion as a pardon for his actions and that he would never be welcomed into the community again for the sin he had committed. He said he could not imagine the pain I had suffered and said my attacker could not be a Muslim as a true Muslim would never hurt a fellow man if he genuinely believed in the ideals of Islam.
I thanked the man for his kind words and I now attribute the way I think to him as he helped me understand the man who had attacked me was an evil human being but not a Muslim. The man who attacked me was found guilty and sentenced to 8 years in prison for his actions.
After the court case I was allowed to be informed about a lot of things that were kept from me during the investigation and court proceedings (this is standard procedure so I couldn’t be influenced by any additional information prior to the court case). I found out that during the investigation police officers went to the man’s local mosque to check his alibi. There were 24 men that immediately came forward to say that the man in question had not been in prayer at the time he had claimed. They all made statements and agreed to give evidence in court if required. Only the Imam had been called to give evidence but he confirmed that the man had not been in the mosque on the day of the attack.
I had no idea how to explain what had happened to my family at the time of the attack so I just didn’t tell the majority of them as it was the easy (or so I thought) option. This is why I have never posted about my ordeal online although at times I have been desperate to post it on the Biffers page just in case it may change just one person’s mindset about Muslims.
Any how about two months after the sentencing I began to re-do my research on Islam. I came to the conclusion that the reason I had only found negative information about Islam was because that is exactly what I was looking for at the time. As time went on I realised that Islam is a peaceful religion, there are fundamentalists as there are in every religion but aside from that Islam is just a religion.
I am very ashamed to say that I ever thought being a Muslim made somebody a bad person but I am also relieved to say that I now understand that Muslims aren’t terrible human beings, that their ideals aren’t to kill all non-believers and that 99% of Muslims are genuinely good people who want to live a fulfilling life and help others wherever possible and that the only difference between us is that they believe in a higher power and I don’t.
When I came across your page that was only reinforced and I was glad to see that there are thousands of other people who agree, I just wanted to thank you for helping me to restore my faith in humanity by proving that Islam is a religion of peace and by proving the Biffers wrong!