Mona Walter, age 45, is a Swedish activist from Mogadishu, Somalia. In the early 1990s, she fled as a refugee to Sweden. There, she abandoned Islam and converted to Christianity. The act resulted in criticism and death threats. The mainstream media consider her a person working for religious freedom. Other organizations accuse her of fueling anti-Islamic movements.
Mona Walter. (Image source: AlfaTV video screenshot)
Natalia Osten-Sacken: I have heard your statements stigmatizing Islam as an intolerant and hateful culture. If it is so, why did you not notice it in Somalia?
Mona Walter: In my country, we had our own African culture. People did not deal with religion so much. There was no Sharia, we had our own secular law. We came here as young, secular people. It is worth mentioning, that we belonged to the Sufi Sunni faction.
When I came from Somalia to Sweden, I experienced a huge clash of cultures, because Islam here is more extreme and fanatical than in my country. What is very important – we were Islamized after 1991, here in Sweden. In these closed areas, immigrant ghettos are deprived of democracy.
Islamized? By whom?
By imams. Some came from Somalia, but there are others who do the same in their own immigrant communities. They traveled to Saudi Arabia, they studied there and after they return, they became the heads of these areas. They control everything, and above all, women.
They preach Sharia in mosques and tell everyone that they must believe in this system and Islamic values. If you do not do it, if you try to integrate into the Western society, in their eyes you become an infidel.
They force women to cover their bodies. If you do not, you are regarded as a whore. When I first arrived in Sweden in 1994, we were forbidden to wear our African clothes, traditional Somali dresses. They forced it on us. They said that we were not real Muslims, that we were an infidel country because we had secular law.