A MAN who raped a Muslim woman because she showed an interest in Christianity has been jailed for at least five years by a Sydney court.
As Abdul Reda Al-Shawany was sentenced today, the Downing Centre District Court heard a harrowing statement from the victim, revealing that her shame and fear had been compounded by her cultural background.
The woman, who cannot be named, arrived in Australia as a refugee from Iraq.
But she said that even when she was jailed by dictator Saddam Hussein, she never feared for her life the way she did after the rape.
“It is better if I’m dead,” she told the court.
Al-Shawany’s trial was told that he visited the woman, an acquaintance, at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre with another man.
The woman had been reading the Bible and Al-Shawany noted her contact with Christians.
The men told her they were “infidel people” and if she went with them, her killing “would be halal” – meaning her killer would go to heaven.
In September 2002, Al-Shawany lured the woman to a unit at Warwick Farm, claiming to have news about her family in Iraq.
She was hit on the head and had her hijab tied around her face before Al-Shawany raped her twice in what Judge Brian Knox described as a degrading, humiliating and brutal attack.
Afterwards Al-Shawany told her: “Let your Christ benefit you now”.
It took the jury less than half an hour to convict him of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.