Rifqa Madness

The Rifqa Bary bandwagon shows no sign of losing steam, with various conservative groups and outfits using the opportunity to issue statements. Americans for a Safe Israel thunders:

Rifqa Bary is a seventeen year old girl who faces danger, abuse and possibly death if she is forced to return to her parents. Her crime under American standards of law? None. Her disrespect for American law? None. Anti-social behavior as dictated by the mores of our society? None.

Why then does Rifqa Bary fear her parents so that on Thursday September 3rd, a Florida Circuit Judge will decide whether to send her home to her family or be given a haven and freedom?

What do her parents and her mosque and Islam see as her crime and violation of law and social behavior and honor? Her conversion to Christianity four years ago. While her conversion remained secret her parents thrived economically in Columbus, Ohio where they worshipped in a local mosque where sermons offered the strictest interpretation of the Koran.

When the mosque, which has been under suspicion for abetting terrrism deliberately “outed” Rifqa’s conversion to her family she was subjected to bruises and death threats and fled from her home. In Florida, an Evangelical church gave her shelter and guidance in filing for restraint.

While the Institute for Religion and Democracy warns that the girl has

committed a crime against the Ummah, or nation state of Islam.

 …those who have been “quick” to believe Rifqa Bary are not interested in proving a point about Muslims, but in protecting a vulnerable girl, convinced that when it comes to honor killing and apostasy it is better to err on the side of caution than to add another name and face to the list of the dead. The best assessment of most of the American Christian church’s comprehension of life under Islamic law came from Rifqa herself. Trying to explain the danger she faces from her Muslim parents, the Islamic community in the Columbus, Ohio area, and the entire Ummah, she exclaimed despairingly, “I’m fighting for my life, you guys don’t understand. You don’t understand.”

Not to be outdone, Herbert London of the Hudson Institute has composed a pompous and risible “Letter to Judge Dawson”, comparing the girl to Joan of Arc:

…this case involves more than one youthful life; it represents a defense of our Constitution and our way of life. Just as a Christian can covert to Islam, a Muslim should be free to covert to Christianity whatever her parents think and whatever the Koran indicates.

To suggest anything else is to allow Islam to be superordinated over our law and tradition. If there was ever a time to assert our beliefs and customs, this is it. Americans are increasingly unsure about what this nation stands for. But there really isn’t ambiguity about this matter. Sharia is not our custom or our law, and you, sir, should not recognize it as dispositive in your legal judgment.

Rifqa’s cause should prevail because this recent immigrant is fighting for the most basic of American principles. She is our Joan of Arc, and I ardently hope you will recognize the need to assert traditional jurisprudential precedent in this case.

Meanwhile, journalists who remain unconvinced get short shrift. Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinal raised some reasonable doubts and suggested that the custody case ought to be held in the girl’s home state of Ohio. For Pamela Geller, this means that the Sentinel is actually advocating murder, and that Thomas “ought to be charged with incitement to violent honor killing” – a clear sign that we’re dealing with someone drunk on the power of incendiary rhetoric to rabble-rouse rather than a person with any interest in considering the truth of a situation. Geller has also rooted around the internet to find evidence that Bary’s father has wound up his jewellery business as part of plan to “flee” to Sri Lanka, either before or after bumping off his daughter, and to get tax-payer funds to fight his case. Meanwhile, the anti-Muslim Jawa Report has found shocking evidence that an article in the Ohio Columbus Dispatch was written by a journalist who wore a headscarf when she visited Bary’s father’s mosque!

The same website also touts an article in the Florida Baptist Witness:

According to Ergun Mehmet Caner, the threat to Rifqa for her rejection of Islam and conversion to Christianity is real. “There’s no question,” Caner said in an Aug. 27 interview with the Witness.

Caner, who converted to Christianity as a 16-year-old in Columbus, Ohio, grew-up in the mosque, the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio, out of which the Bary family mosque, Noor Islamic Cultural Center, was started and remains connected.

Now a Baptist minister and president of Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va., Caner is a well-known apologist for the Christian faith – activity for which a fatwa, an Islamic religious ruling calling for his death, was issued last year “that put us on the road for a while.”

Because of his outspoken repudiation of Islam and defense of Christianity, Caner said he has to take special security precautions.

Caner and his two brothers, who became Christians within 14 months of his conversion, were disowned by their father, who was the architect of their Columbus mosque.

Rather than sending his sons back to their home country of Turkey, the decision of the eldest Caner to disown his children “was an act of mercy,” Caner told the Witness. Caner said his father died in 1999 as a Muslim, while his mother is now a Christian.

“When someone says, ‘Oh, it’s horrible what happened to you.’ No, what my father did was merciful,” Caner explained, noting his fate could have been much worse.

The risk of an “honor killing” – an obligation under Islamic law for those who reject Islam – is routine in Muslim nations.

So, the fact that Caner’s father didn’t kill his sons is simply evidence that he might have done so! (Incidentally, this is the first we’ve heard of a “fatwa” against Caner, although it wouldn’t be surprising if, as an anti-Muslim polemicist, he has received death threats from extremists. Caner’s Swedish mother was born a Christian, and his parents divorced when he was 16)

The Orlando Sentinal has also interviewed Bary’s parents, which will doubtless inspire a further round of frothing. The article includes some input from people who know the family:

“There is no way this man would hurt his daughter,” said Neil Javery, 52, a Hindu and family friend in Westerville, the Columbus suburb where the Barys live.

Mohamed Bary, 47, is a kind, gentle man who loves his daughter, takes great pride in Rifqa’s school accomplishments.

He sells jewelry and Amway products, friends say.

Aysha Bary is a stay-at-home mom who speaks little English but breaks into tears over what has happened.

“My heart goes out to them,” said Holly Easton of Plain City, Ohio, who owns a wedding gown business and pays Rifqa’s mother to stitch beads onto gowns. “It’s horrible. … I hope they’re able to reconcile, and she comes home and they can be a family again.”

By contrast, tales of the father as cruel and abusive being pasted around the internet have come from anonymous sources.

The focus has also been put back Pastor Blake Lorenz, who took her in for several weeks before the authorities became aware of her location; the St. Petersburg Times explains that:

Florida law says you can’t shelter an unmarried minor for more than 24 hours without calling either the authorities or the parents or guardians of the minor.

…”The 21/2 weeks that Rifqa was missing were a living hell for the parents. Was she dead? Was she alive?” said Shayan Elahi, an Orlando lawyer who’s serving as a spokesman for the family. “The Lorenzes, under the statute, had the obligation to go to the authorities and they did not.

“They didn’t follow the law,” Elahi said.

However, Lorenz did use Bary, under an assumed name, as a sermon topic on 9 August, as WDBO Radio notes:

“The persecution is here already. Anna’s been living this out. Anna is a wonderful young woman of God. 17-years-old tomorrow,” Lorenz told his followers. “She is a dynamo, where the spirit loves Jesus. She was a Muslim. Gave her life to Christ, fell in love with Jesus. She fled for her life, threatened to be killed because she gave her life to Jesus. Renounce Jesus, and we’ll let you live.”

Lorenz told the church Bary had been staying with him and his wife, Beverly, at their home for 2-and-a-half weeks.

“The fear we live with is the police are going to show up, take us off, arrest us,” Lorenz said. “Oh that couldn’t happen? It happened to the man that baptized her!”

Lorenz was referring to a young pastor in Kansas City, Missouri who helped Columbus police track down where Bary had gone, after they threatened to arrest him.

“The police showed up at his apartment in Kansas City to arrest him. Illegally searched his apartment and all the apartments there looking for her, convinced she was there. Don’t say it can’t happen in America!” Lorenz preached.

Before fleeing to Florida, Bary was involved with “Xenos Christian Fellowship, a megachurch that emphasizes small groups meeting at home”, and which has a website here. Back in February, it was in the news when a woman claimed it had “brainwashed” her formerly Roman Catholic son:

Online, she makes allegations of alcohol abuse, vandalism and brainwashing of young children. She calls the church leader and his family “Devil man,” “Devil wife” and “Devil son.”

…The local Xenos leader, Keith McCallum, a bearded former software writer, accuses Smith of a “terror campaign” and threatening to shoot him. He said her allegations have no merit.

In a quarter century of ministry, he said, “we’ve never had any lawsuits, crimes or misdemeanors filed against us.”

This website has further details that rebut the “cult” accuation. There has also been an anonymous attempt to link Xenos with Brian L. Williams, a pastor currently in prison for sexual abuse; this seems to be a deliberate ploy to mislead, as there is no connection.

Just in case anyone is interested in what I think: on the one hand, the case has some obvious problematic aspects. Bary believes her father wants to kill her because it would be “a great honour” for him and would show his love for Allah. But this is a misunderstanding of what honour killing is, and we have to suppose it has been put into her head by one of her Christian associates. “Honour killing” is also being deliberately conflated with the formal traditional punishment of capital punishment for apostasy. The IRD’s claim that they are “not interested in proving a point about Muslims” is an insult to our intelligence – of course this is all about publicising the idea that American Muslims are horrible and brutal people who will scheme at any length in order to kill their own children in circumstances when their religion commands it, and perhaps letting Muslims know that if they live in America they can expect the authorities to remove their children simply because of the nature of Islam. The hucksters and demagogues who are using this case for political ends add nothing to the cause of Bary’s welfare, and Lorenz has behaved like a fool in not going at once to the authorities (his poor judgment is compounded by creepy pictures of her hugging him for protection). But on the other hand, when a minor makes a serious allegation against a parent the authorities have to take it seriously, so it’s difficult to see how she can be returned to her parents against her will while she maintains that her life is in danger – even though the father looks like a very unlikely Islamic extremist, and “honour killing” is rare in Sri Lanka. And at 17 years old, is it really worth the bother of a drawn-out legal process that will be moot in year anyway?

34 Responses

  1. Now a Baptist minister and president of Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va., Caner is a well-known apologist for the Christian faith

    Carrying on the fine traditions establshed by Liberty’s founder, Jerry Falwell.

    Methinks I’ve seen this dog and pony show before.

    In the lead up to “Operation Desert Slaughter,” Part 1, we heard gruesome tales of Saddam’s troops taking Kuwaiti babies out of their beds and killing them.

    Didn’t matter that it was a lie, it served the purpose of getting Americans wound up to support the invasion.

    Ditto for Afghanistan, where we were told lies about helping Afghan kids and women by invading and bringing ‘liberty.’

    The only thing we liberated was hundreds of thousands of Afghans from their bodies.

  2. Ergun Caner is an interesting case and bears watching closely in this Rifqa Bary story, not only because of his prominence in Baptist circles, but also because he was raised in Columbus, OH. But he has a lot of holes in his story.

    There’s some question as to how “Islamic” Ergun’s childhood and youth was. He made the claim that his father “built” the Islamic Center in Columbus, Ohio (which, btw, is where Ms. Bary’s family lives). However, his father couldn’t have built a building that, according to the tax authorities, was constructed in 1903. Then there’s Ergun and his brother Emir’s butchering of basic Islamic concepts. Ergun mixed up the Shahadah with the first surah, Al-Fatihah, while Emir confused an ayah (a verse of a surah) with a entire surah.

    Also, up until very recently, he advertised that his terminal degree was a Ph.D. It wasn’t until I started asking about it that he changed it on his personal website to the Th.D that it is (which is a perfectly good degree from the University of South Africa). He’s also tried to weasel out of the implications of his D.Min degree from a, shall we say, less than reputable religious education institution by claiming it was an honorary degree. It’s really hard to say that when it’s listed next to his name in the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School catalogue.

    I’ve documented these here in three posts and I’ll freely admit they’re probably Too Long; Don’t Read.

    http://mmmirele.blogspot.com/2009/08/ergun-caners-lies-catch-up-to-him-part.html (Documentary evidence re: Ergun’s claim that his father built the Columbus Islamic Center)

    http://mmmirele.blogspot.com/2009/07/ergun-mehmet-caner-ba-ma-mdiv-thm-dmin.html (a long-winded –tl;dr–disquisition on how Ergun got on my radar, examination of his Islamic credentials and finally, his degrees.)

    http://mmmirele.blogspot.com/2009/08/question-what-degrees-do-you-have-and.html (A response to a very recent claim by Ergun about what degrees he has and what they all mean.)

  3. What’s also unfortunate about this Rifqa Bary story is that her parents are at a severe disadvantage and the legal system is stacked against them. That disadvantage is that they’re not wealthy, or even middle-class. Their daughter ran away to Florida and now has private legal help funded by all sorts of anti-Islamic elements who are more than willing to spread lies to further their agenda. The Barys are relying on an appointed attorney to help them, since they don’t have any money.

    One way to level the playing field would be to return Rifqa to Ohio. The family needs a good lawyer to argue that Rifqa has no connections to Florida and should be returned to where she does have connections, school, work, etc. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

    This is a truly tragic situation and one that I have more than a little insight into, since I did just about the same thing to my parents in the mid-70s by joining an obscure Pentecostal sect. (My parents were non-churchgoers and quite boggled.) However, unlike Rifqa, my new church friends were only 15 miles from my house, not hundreds. And I didn’t attempt to go to court to avoid being sent back home. But in pretty much every other way I was a first-class jerk to my mom and dad (because I was *saved* and they were not, and not interested, either). It’s amazing to me that we have such a good relationship over 30 years later.

    I wish I could spend an hour with Rifqa, just to tell her not to do it.

  4. Hi,

    “But this is a misunderstanding….”

    The problem is, it seems to me, that open any newspaper on any given day and these constant ‘misunderstandings’ in the Islamic world have terrible and bloody consequences. Especially for women and girls.

    The poor girl in this case has stated clearly what she wants and why she is afraid. Why not just let her decide where to live. I mean, she is 17 for goodness sakes. Is that too much to ask?

    And then, sure enough, the noise will die down and everyone can get on in peace. Hopefully.

    Marcus

    • In the law, absent special circumstances, a 17 year old is not considered to be a legal adult. And, had it been merely that Rifqa ran away to Florida to be with some guy she’d met on the Internet, well, she’d be returned to Ohio posthaste and the guy would likely be facing some sort of charges. In fact, why isn’t this pastor facing charges for not turning Miss Bary over to the police immediately? Is he being given a pass since he’s a minister of the dominant religion?

      But because Rifqa’s parents belong to a despised religious group, a group which has been regularly (and untruthfully) maligned by conservatives, these same conservatives feel free to move in to destroy family relations. (So much for “thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother,” no?) They have a leg up because they have lots more money than the Barys.

      As for the discussion about so-called “honor killings,” I know I read fairly frequently, about how allegedly good Christian parents who do not believe in medical science condemn their children to death because they don’t take them to the doctor. (Recent example: Kara Neumann).

      At the very least, Miss Bary should be returned to Ohio, where she lived up until five weeks ago and put into foster care there. Ohio is the proper venue for this case, not Florida. I can only hope Mr. and Mrs. Bary can find an attorney who will help them out with this.

  5. “In the law, absent special circumstances, a 17 year old is not considered to be a legal adult.”

    Yes, I guess you must be right. I’m not American and don’t know. I do know that in the UK you are free to leave home at 16, as many of my friends did, and I’d support anyone’s right to leave home at that age if they wanted to…

    …especially if their parents have threatened to kill them!

    Nor would I want to see people who have run away from home, believing theirr life to be in danger, to be sent back to live in the area!

    Don’t you think this girl is mature and old enough to make her own decisions? Does her voice really not count for anything in your opinion?

  6. Thank you for this lengthy and unbias look at the case. As an American Muslim, I’m not the least bit surprised the evangelical, rightwing, Southern Baptist, and pro-Israeli Zionist crowd have found another story to rag on Muslim about.

    Its a shame that these very so called Christians are so ignorant that they believe Muslims believe in Allah who, they are convinced, is the “Moon God.”

    Ah the trivialties and ignorance that is ripe and the foaming at the mouth demagoguery that can be expected of the usual suspects: the WND, JawaReport, Daniel Pipes (pipelinenews ha!).

    All I can say is may Allah ease the pain of the family during the blessed month of Ramadan.

    • Hi Nassir Khalid,

      As an American Muslim, it is good to hear your voice here. Perhaps you can help us out with your perspective?

      I don’t know if you have a daughter, but if you do – how would you feel if she converted to Christianity and put aside the Koran to take up the Bible?

      And what about the fathers in your community? How would they feel? Is it, do you think, possible that any of them would react in the way that this girl said her father reacted?

      All the best,

      Marcus

  7. “Nor would I want to see people who have run away from home, believing theirr life to be in danger, to be sent back to live in the area!”
    So what was the problem with sending her to a womens’ shelter? These places all have great experience in protecting women and children from violent people; their staff also know how to counsel naive vulnerable females who have been brainwashed by their abusers…..
    Oh right, I’ve just answered my own question.

  8. You are incorrigable Mr Batholomew, aren’t you? The Noor centre in Columbus is a hotbed of islamism. The documentation and irrefutable proof of this is available for those who WISH to look at it. Some formerly prominent figures at this centre are behind bar sfor jihadist activity and for conspiring to commit acts of murder.

    Rifka’s father choose to frequent this centre even though there were mosques, more moderate mosques, much closer to home.

    What does that tell you? That Mr Bary likes to drive?

    Do you seriously think that every Muslim who converts to Christianity does so simply out of “islamophobia”? It’s a though you believe that tens of thousands of -Muslims have converted to Christianity not out of the sincerity of their convictions, but only because they are either all liars or bigots. I suggest you talk to ex-Muslims and listen very closely to what they have to say. Many have experienced threats and intimidation, not only from their families, but also from total strangers in the larger Muslim commmunity.

    Your posting is a long, rambling and somewhat incoherent apology for radical islamists, although you obviously don’t see it that way. You seem to think that defending some deceitful islamist thugs is moral, whereas highlighting the plight of a girl whose life may be in danger merely an expression of bigotry. Sure honour killings happen in other religions, but the numbers are nowhere near what we see in Islam. In addition, the few honour killings that are committed in other religious communities run counter to the central tenet of those faiths, whereas in Islam killing for honour is religiously sanctioned. As I mentioned on another thread several days ago, ALL FOUR schools of islamic ‘jurisprudence’ call for the death penalty for apostasy, among other things….

    Criticising Islam is NOT islamophobia. I am not a post 911 islam “expert”, and have been familiarising myself with Islam when you, Mr Bartholomew, were still in grade school. It is Islam’s core texts themselves and not *islamophobes* that incriminate and condemn the ‘faith’ for the violent ideology it is. The koran and hadith are full of exhortations to violence and one cannot read them with any degree of honesty without coming away with the impression that far from being *sacred*, these texts are basically manuals for war, even going to the point of describing in great detail how to divvy up the loot, the slaves and the captured women. Unlike the Old and New Testaments, the Koran and hadith have virtually NO ethical or spiritual dimensions. Islam’s sacred texts, as Michel Houellbecq the French writer-in-exile has pointed out, are very, VERY poorly written and cannot even compare to those of either Judaism and Christiantiy.

    The Barys are relying on an appointed attorney to help them, since they don’t have any money

    Wipes tear.

    Nonsense. Mr Bary and wife ran a very successful and lucrative jewellry store with an inventory of gemstones that ran into the 100s of 1000s of dollars! Their attempts to present themselves as poor and downtrodden are merely a means to obtain the much vaunted mantle of ‘victim status’ and to thereby appropriate public sympathy in an effort to deflect not just from rifka’s plight, but also from Islam’s horrific treatment of women and its penchant for honour killings.

    Rifka has set the cat among the pigeons.

    God bless her!

    • Criticising Islam is NOT islamophobia

      I never said it was. However, you believe that any note of caution in a situation where we don’t know all the facts is an “apology for radical islamists”.

      I also never said anything against Muslims converting to Christianity or to any other non-Muslim perspective. Perhaps my post appears “incoherent” because you have some comprehension issues.

      Sure, sometimes lynch mobs lynch the right people, but they often get it wrong and either way it’s still an ugly and counter-productive way of proceeding.

  9. [...] here. And more on Pastor Steve Hill [...]

  10. However, you believe that any note of caution in a situation where we don’t know all the facts is an “apology for radical islamists”.

    The concern should be about Rifka’s welfare, and so any note of caution should be aimed at keeping her protected.

  11. [...] some have suggested that because of my distaste for the bandwagon of hucksters and demagogues who have attached themselves to this case, and because I have pointed out some problematic aspects [...]

  12. [...] would be, of course, Rifqa Bary) This convergence, I believe, is urgently summoning us in the midst of the rising tide of Islamic [...]

  13. [...] out viciously against anyone who raises any question or urges caution regarding the Bary case, accusing journalists and bloggers of being in league with a Muslim plot to kill the girl. Geller has now turned her attention to the [...]

  14. [...] most outrageous smears and libels”, which is rather shameless coming from the woman who suggested that Orlando Sentinal journalist Michael Thomas “ought to be charged with incitement to [...]

  15. [...] dislike to; unsuprisingly, the word “Nazi” looms large in her polemical vocabulary, and she believes that journalists critical of the role of neo-Pentecostal pastors in the Rifqa Bary case [...]

  16. For anyone interested, here’s the The Columbus Dispatch’s (our local newspaper) complete and ongoing coverage of the Rifqa Bary case. There are usually forum links at the bottom of each article, if you’d like to join in another discussion:

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/01/29/complete-rifqa.html

    FYI, I am a Christian in Columbus, OH that has an interest in this case because of the parental rights issues in regards to unruly children and the safety issues the children all face.

    I think many of the posters have it right here. Rifqa seems to be unruly (at this time in her life) and brainwashed by extremist Christians and bloggers. Here are some links you may find helpful. There is lots of evidence you can examine yourself. I believe the best comes straight from the “horses” mouths (so to speak); Rifqa and her parents…

    Here’s AUDIO & VIDEO OF RIFQA and HER PARENTS telling their own stories:

    1. Rifqa 2 MONTHS BEFORE she ran, May 2009
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne0MdUyJ1GU

    2. Rifqa AFTER she ran away, August 2009
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov6AtTVZ0LY

    3. Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) 2 hour audio interview with Rifqa Bary, taken August 24, 2009
    You can get all 11 videos here:
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=ForRifqaBary#g/u

    4. Rifqa’s Parents, September 2009
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6P9Fzw9arQ

    5. Rifqa September 29th, 2009 from
    “A right-wing anti-Islam conference call…The man introducing her is Lou Engle…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRhCIxiY5OA

    6. Rifqa says Lou Engle is “like, my hero” in the FDLE audio interview, Video #3 at time 06:28
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe7bMpRihug

    7. Where does Rifqa get her info re: Islam, Mulims & the “Law”? [aka Why does Rifqa think her parents are obligated to kill her for converting to Christianity?]

    Rifqa begins to give Florida dectives names as good sources of knowledge on “this law” (*Robert Spencer and *Pamela Gellar are notably in the forefront). Rifqa has CLEARLY gotten her main info on this through internet hate spewing blog sources as named above.]

    FDLE audio interview, Video #7 at time 06:55
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7YVAWwhcGc

    —–
    Other sources…

    -The life Rifqa Bary ran away from
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/the-life-rifqa-bary-ran-away-from/1042759

    -Rifqa Bary: Custody Case Becomes Holy War
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/215100

    -Rifqa’s Mom’s Christian attorney: Why I think Rifqa Bary’s mother is in the right
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/perspective/christian-attorney-why-i-think-rifqa-barys-mother-is-in-the-right/1037250

    -State To Probe Local Pastor’s Role In Runaway Case, Feb 17, 2010

    “ORLANDO, Fla. — The probe centers on whether local pastor, Blake Lorenz, and his wife, Beverly, broke any laws by harboring the teenage runaway.”

    Ref:
    http://www.wesh.com/news/22594166/detail.html

    -Police probe how teenage Ohio convert fled to Fla., Feb 19, 2010 Re: Pastor Brian M. Williams

    “We’re representing Mr. Williams in the event he’s contacted by police authorities.”

    “The Columbus Police Department is investigating “any criminal wrong doing with anyone involved in getting her from one location to another,” Sgt. Rich Weiner said Friday.”

    Ref:
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/02/19/1489609/apnewsbreak-police-probe-how-ohio.html

    -Rifqa is allowed contact with pastors
    Feb 2, 2010

    “Rifqa’s counselor agreed to unsupervised contact, but Magistrate Lorenzo Sanchez said yesterday in Franklin County Juvenile Court that any phone calls must be supervised.

    The Lorenzes are under investigation in Florida regarding the circumstances under which Rifqa came to be living with them after she ran away from her Northeast Side home in July, said Kristen Chernosky, a spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”

    Ref:
    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/02/02/rifqa2.ART_ART_02-02-10_B2_Q2GFO1V.html

    -Just came across this today Re: Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) & Robert Spencer (both bloggers mentioned above). they have been exploiting Rifqa’s ‘s case all along. Apparently they’re now funding anti-Muslim bus ads on the sides of buses in Miami and have a new “Refuge from Islam” site.

    Leave Islam by Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller:
    http://freedomdefense.typepad.com/leave-islam/

    Your own blog entry for readers that happen in here with much more on the story:
    http://barthsnotes.com/2010/04/14/miami-bus-ads-ask-ex-muslims-fatwa-on-your-head/

  17. If I were her parents, it’d be hard for me not to want to ask Rifqa,

    “In what way does getting you medical treatment, providing you a home with food and warmth, clothes, the best schools we could find, a laptop, a cellphone, and the time and freedom to have a job, participate in cheerleading and become involved with extremist Christians who would teach you to fear us, dictate to you that we don’t/didn’t love you?”

    All parties have agreed and understand that Rifqa will not be made to return to her parents before she reaches age 18, and at that time, she’s free to do what she wants to do as an adult.

    **Based on my research of all the evidence, I believe this family deserves to speak with their daughter on an ongoing basis in a counseling setting for the next 4 months, whether against Rifqa’s will or not.** [at this time, she refuses].

    As Judge Gill said back in the March 2010 hearing, “The only individuals that are going to be able to repair it are the three of you, with professional help.”

    This is not simple like many people seem to want it to be. Rifqa is an unruly, but vulnerable_*victim*_of_*spiritual abuse*, and -****the next 4 months might be the *only* chance there is**** for anyone to expose her to THOSE beliefs.

    The court should see to it.
    Like 4 months ago already.

  18. Is there a reason you didn’t publish my other comment (the one full of evidence & links)? It’s not in my “pending” comments lists either. If I did something wrong, as far as why you didn’t post it, could you please email and tell me why? truthseekersrock@gmail.com

    • If a comment has lots of links it gets flagged up as spam by the WordPress software automatically.

  19. cancel that…now that I sent you my last question, it’s showing up on this page saying “awaiting moderation. thanks. :)

  20. [...] movement in Ohio was Rifqa Bary, and after her flight to Florida he played a role in her unfolding saga ; Right Wing Watch notes a recording of a phone conversation between them: At the beginning of [...]

  21. [...] and women have civil rights. There was reason for caution, but Chesler was happy to jump on an increasingly hysterical [...]

  22. [...] And as for the whine about “incitement to violence”, this shows Geller to be someone who can dish out the most inflammatory abusive but not take any of the same treatment. In Geller’s world, critics of Israel are (inevitably) Nazis, and anyone who raises concerns about the Rifqa Bary media circus must be in favour of honour-killings. [...]

  23. [...] Columnist over “Anti-Muslim” Label « Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion on Rifqa MadnessPamela Geller Threatens to Sue Newsweek Columnist over “Anti-Muslim” Label « [...]

  24. [...] Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion: Rifqa Madness; Fathima Rifqa Bary Custody Case Becomes Anti-Muslim Circus; Pastor Blake Lorenz: Former Church [...]

  25. [...] In fact, Muslims make up only 7.6 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population, and the country’s laws favour Buddhism – in 2010 a Sri Lankan convert to Islam was arrested for publishing two books about her conversion. Around that time, Geller’s associate Robert Spencer was among those incorrectly and ignorantly asserting that Sri Lanka is a Muslim country (I blogged previously on Bary here). [...]

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