Norway: Christian convert attacked in asylum center

Norway: Christian convert attacked in asylum center

Via Dagen (h/t Jihad Watch):

"Ali" had boiling water poured on him at the Hå asylum center in Jæren, after he converted to Christianity and did not fast on the Ramadan. Now he and other converts fear for their lives.

'If you don't return to Islam, we'll kill you' "Ali" was told by fellow residents at the center. He doesn't want his name or picture published for fear of the other residents. If the Afghan authorities hear of his conversion, he risks being sentenced to death by stoning he he'll be deported back home.

The Afghan convert was lucky this time. He got away with a disfigured back covered with flaking skin under bandages. His Christian roommate, Reza, dries the oozing wounds and lays a supporting blanket under his head. Ali's face distorts in pain but his voice is calm and firm when he tells his story:

"Two of the Muslim residents asked why I didn't fast on Ramadan. When I didn't want to answer they started discussing. One said that he knew I had been Muslim and converted to Christianity, and that they had to do Jihad."

One resident held Ali while another hit him on the back of the head with a pot of boiling water until Ali collapsed. Several other Muslim residents came in. A third man went to Alis room and opened all the drawers and cabinets. The police came only after an hour.

"I was still on the floor when the police came. I answered them a little, but the pains were too strong to tell much, so I was taken to hospital."

After a night at the hospital, Ali returned to the asylum center - knowing full well the danger wasn't over. When he checked the door handle to his room, he found it was covered with a burning substance. He called the staff who washed it away, but the Christian Afghan doesn't feel safe.

"They are really trying to kill me, and they will not rest till they've succeeded."

He wants to bring the guilty parties to justice in Norway, but as an asylum seeker he has no formal rights. Ali's only hope is to get in touch with an attorney who will take the case pro bono.

He's not the only one at the asylum center who feels unsafe. There are five Christians, a few of them converts, among 150 Muslims.

"We speak with them, but we don't have friends among them. Muslim Arabs, Somalis and Afghans stand together against us. After this, we don't dare sleep at night. Imagine if somebody breaks in."

Despite the insecurities, Ali says he feels safer than before. "Jesus saved me that night in the kitchen. Life here is very dangerous, but I feel very strong when I have Jesus. I am ready to die for Him. If I have to."

The head of the asylum center, Laila Bjorland Barrett, says the situation today is unacceptable. The center is currently having talks with all the involved parties.

"It's very serious if the rights of the residents aren't safeguarded. We're cooperating with the police to follow up on those involved," says Bjorland Barret.

She says this is the first time anybody has been harassed at the center because of their religion, and that the matter will be handled in the best way possible.

Asked about the fear of residents to sleep at night, Bjorland Barret says that she hadn't heard of it, but that they make sure that it would be safe to be at the center.

She stressed that they're taking the case very seriously, but wants to show that the center isn't a violent place. "In Norway we have freedom of religion. Therefore we have zero tolerance if somebody is harassed because of religious convictions."

The police in Hå have several suspects in the case, and are investigating it as an attack. Jan Olav Våge of the local police says one resident at the center is suspect, but he did not want to add anything else except for the fact that he was aware of the religiously motivated harassment.

"We have regular meetings with the residents about the laws and regulations in Norway and what is expected, so we are aware of the problem."

However, he doesn't have any concrete solution. "I don't have an answer as to how we can deal with it, but the police is doing what we can so that nobody will feel unsafe."