Rifqa Bary says she ran to Florida to save her life: “I was threatened by my dad.” She says that her father told her, “If you have this Jesus in your heart, you’re dead to me. You’re not my daughter. I will kill you.” But now her father is trying to regain custody of Rifqa, and he and the Islamic Society of Central Florida say she has been “kidnapped” and “brainwashed” by a “cult,” and that she’s a “rebel,” a “troubled teen.”
Well, which is it?
“This is a cult group who kidnapped my daughter and took her away,” claims Mohamed Bary, Rifqa’s father.
She hitchhiked to the bus station and took a Greyhound from Ohio to Florida. How is that a kidnapping?
Brainwashed by a cult? Which is the cult? Is it the group that silently approves of the murder of a daughter who shames her family by not wearing the proper head dress (like Aqsa Parvez), or by wanting live a free life (like Hatin Sürücü), or by dating the wrong boy (like Amina and Sarah Said), or by choosing another religion (like Rifqa Bary)? Or is it the group that offers sanctuary to a poor threatened girl?
Rifqa Bary’s father is also claiming that she was “brainwashed” by the pastor of the Global Revolution church in Orlando. Pastor Blake Lorenz denies that, saying, “she has been a Christian for four years, long before we ever met her.”
Let’s look at the facts.
Rifqa’s MySpace page, to which she last logged in two years ago, shows that she had already converted by then. Rifqa told Lorenz she converted four years ago; her MySpace page is evidence that she was a Christian at least by 2007.
There is more evidence on that same MySpace page. Rifqa chose a “Christian layout” and says that her favorite movie was “A Walk to Remember” — a good Christian flick. The movie is about a pastor’s daughter, a good Christian girl who changes the life of a popular but rebellious teenage boy through her indomitable spirit, purity, and goodness. Reviewer Jeffrey Overstreet said in Christianity Today: “The main character is portrayed as a Christian without being psychopathic or holier-than-thou.”
Further, under Rifqa’s favorite book, there is a small icon of a page from the Bible. The passage highlighted? Love is patient. Notice how it’s all done cryptically, as if she is hiding. “My Savior is JC,” she writes — JC, of course, is Jesus Christ. The movie is a Christian movie. The book is the Bible. And Rifqa wrote all this in 2007.
In contrast, Islamic Society of Central Florida President Imam Muhammad Musri charges that Rifqa is “nothing more than a troubled teen” and a “rebel teenager running away from home.”
The Pakistan Daily carries even worse charges: “The family maintains that the girl was into drugs, promiscuous behaviour and raunchy messages on Facebook. She was discussing sex with multiple older married men. When the parents tried to control her behaviour she refused to do so. On her return to the home she conjured up a story of conversion to Christianity.”
Again, let’s look at the hard facts. When I first ran the story of a missing teen in Ohio at my Atlas Shrugs Web site on Aug. 3, Rifqa was feared dead. One news report said that “according to police, the girl’s friends told detectives that it was possible she ran away because of conflicting religious beliefs in her home.” The gibes with a message that was left on the Counter Jihad blog by someone saying she was a friend of Rifqa: “I know that her dad is a threat to her, because I am friends with her and have heard her talk about it. In addition, when she took off and ran, I was one of the last people to talk to her via cell phone and as a result her dad started obsessively calling me and being very harsh and threatening towards me, while demanding that I tell him where she went to.”
No one who knows Rifqa has come forth with any stories of drug abuse or promiscuity.
That makes it likely that all of this “troubled teen” propaganda is a yarn spun (taqiya) to con the authorities into sending this girl back to a dangerous and deadly situation. Rifqa is not only in jeopardy from her father and other family members but from all devout Muslims, for she committed the worst of all sins, apostasy. And she broke the code of silence.
Musri said, according to WESH, that “he hopes Fathima Bary isn’t hiding behind faith to find freedom.”
“Hiding behind faith to find freedom”? A very telling quote, is it not?
There is another custody hearing for Fathima Bary next Friday. The family that is accusing her of lying and saying “she is free to practice her Christianity” is a devout Muslim family, and Islam calls for death for those who leave Islam. It was the members of the family’s mosque who alerted Rifqa’s father of her conversion to Christianity — the devout family’s mosque ratted Rifqa out. How can this girl be safe if she is forced to return to her family now?
Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs Web site and former associate publisher of the New York Observer. Her Op-Eds have appeared in the Washington Times, Newsmax, Human Events, WorldNetDaily, the American Thinker, Israel National News, and other publications.
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