Re: Court Expected to Send Runaway Teen Home Despite Muslim Honor Killing Fears

stef psi wrote:
On Aug 21, 12:17 pm, Poe <haun...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
stef psi wrote:
On Aug 21, 9:31 am, Poe <haun...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Poe wrote:
I wish I could help her.
Forgot link:,2933,541205,00.html
Court Expected to Send Runaway Teen Home Despite Muslim Honor Killing Fears
Friday, August 21, 2009
By Joshua Rhett Miller
A 17-year-old girl who fled to Florida after converting from Islam to
Christianity will almost certainly be forced to return home to Ohio,
experts say, despite her fears that she will become the victim of an
honor killing for abandoning her parents' faith.
Rifqa Bary, who hitchhiked to an Ohio bus station earlier this month and
took a charter bus to Orlando, remains in protective custody with
Florida's Department of Children and Families. A judge is expected to
rule Friday on the jurisdiction of the case, but several legal experts
contacted by say the girl is bound to be sent back to Ohio.
"She'll be returned to the original jurisdiction," said Katherine Hunt
Federle, professor of law and director of the Justice for Children
Project at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law.
"She probably doesn't have a lot of options other than to return home."
Bary, a native of Sri Lanka who turned 17 earlier this month, is neither
a U.S. citizen nor a resident of Florida, so if her parents want her
returned to their home in New Albany, Ohio, that likely will occur,
experts said.
"She's living and residing in Ohio," Federle said. "Typically, what
happens is, if a child runs away and goes to another jurisdiction,
she'll be returned to the original jurisdiction."
If she is sent back to Ohio, Bary will not be allowed to live on her
own, since the state does not have an emancipation statute.
Florida has such a statute, but it requires parental consent, according
to Fred Silberberg, a family law expert based in California who is
familiar with the case.
Given that legal hurdle, Bary likely will be returned to Ohio, where
authorities could intervene if they believe there is a threat or a basis
to act, Silberberg said.
Rifqa fled to Florida after her parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, learned
that she was baptized earlier this year without their knowledge. The
parents reported her missing to Columbus Police on July 19. Weeks later,
using cell phone and computer records, police tracked the girl to the
Rev. Blake Lorenz, pastor of the Orlando-based Global Revolution Church.'s calls to Lorenz were not returned.
In an emotional six-minute interview with WFTV in Florida, Rifqa, who
met Lorenz through an online Facebook group, said she expects to be
killed if she is forced to return to Ohio.
"If I had stayed in Ohio, I wouldn't be alive," she said. "In 150
generations in family, no one has known Jesus. I am the first — imagine
the honor in killing me.
"There is great honor in that, because if they love Allah more than me,
they have to do it. It's in the Koran," said in the interview, which has
been posted on YouTube.
Rifqa, who is seen wearing a large diamond cross during the interview,
said she had to hide her Bible "for years," and she repeatedly "snuck
out" to attend Christian prayer meetings. She referred to previous
victims of so-called honor killings, in which young Muslim women were
murdered for bringing dishonor to their families.
"They love God more than me, they have to do this," Bary told WFTV. "I'm
fighting for my life. You guys don't understand. … I want to worship
Jesus freely, that's what I want. I don't want to die."
Contacted by, Mohamed Bary said he has no intentions of
harming his daughter.
"I love my daughter and I want her to come back to the family," he said,
declining further comment.
The Barys reportedly emigrated from Sri Lanka in 2000 to seek medical
treatment for Rifqa, who lost the sight in her right eye following an
accident at home.
Barbra Joyner, Mohamed Bary's lawyer, declined to comment on Rifqa's
interview with WFTV but said transferring the case back to Ohio will be
in the "best interest" of the girl.
Craig McCarthy, an attorney for Aysha Bary, agreed that the case should
be moved back to Ohio and added that the girl's mother is afraid for her
"[Aysha Bary] has shifted to downright frightened, scared of what might
confront her publicly on Friday," McCarthy told "She is
scared for her family, of losing her daughter, of never knowing the
truth of what happened and for her own safety."
McCarthy said Rifqa's account of how she traveled to Florida has "holes
in it," but declined to elaborate. He also declined to respond to
allegations that Bary's father abused the girl when he learned of her
conversion to Christianity.
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, an author and professor of psychology at the
Richmond College of the City University of New York, said she believes
Bary will be in danger if she is sent back to her parents.
"Anyone who converts from Islam is considered an apostate, and apostasy
is a capital crime," Chesler wrote "If she is returned to
her family, if she is lucky, they will isolate her, beat her, threaten
her, and if she is not 'persuaded' to return to Islam, they will kill
her. They have no choice."
Chesler, who wrote "Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?" for
Middle East Quarterly, said the tradition of such slayings is not fully
understood by most Americans, including those in law enforcement.
"She escaped from her family's brutal tyranny and shamed her family
further through public exposure," Chesler said. "Muslim girls and women
are killed for far less."
This story sounded extremely fishy to me, so I did about 10 minutes of
research on Google.
As I expected, there is more to this story than the usual slanted
presentation from Fux "news".
The girl is a fanatical little xtian convert who got in trouble at her
school for proselytizing with a Bible. Her parents asked her to stop
because they didn't want her to get in trouble at school. Far from
threatening her about her conversion, they simply told her she had an
obligation to study her original faith before she chose another.
Consequently, she ran away to some weird little holy-roller tongue-
speakin' church in Florida, because she'd met the pastor of the church
online through Facebook. The pastor didn't report that the girl had
been hiding out in his home for over two weeks until he went public
with this "honor killing" story, parading the girl around in front of
tv cameras at a press conference.
The "fair and balanced" opinion from Dr. Phyllis Chesler is also
suspect. Chesler herself is a Jew who married an Afghani, went to
live in Kabul, and claims to have had a horrendous experience as the
wife of an Arab. Check out her Wikipedia page. Hers is hardly an
unbiased viewpoint; as usual, Fux found an "expert" that supported
the spin they wanted to put on this story.
Basically, the girl sounds like a rebellious, unbalanced teen who's
suffering the usual fundie-xtian delusions of persecution by infidels,
encouraged by an attention-seeking fundamentalist who may have
encouraged the girl to run away from home. The girl's parents are
just trying to reclaim their child from a cult.
See the stories on this link:
I don't feel sorry for the girl, she seems like a troublemaker; I
feel sorry for the parents.
All that may be true, but I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. I
wouldn't want to be wrong and place her in danger of being killed, and
there are periodically honor killings for dumb reasons.

Nonsense, the girl isn't in any danger. This is just more right-wing
christian hysteria from Fux "news".

Sources other than Fux state the following:

You should cite your sources. All the below comments are interesting, but it's hard to vouch for their credibility.

The parents knew for months that the girl had converted to xtianity.
They didn't threaten to kill her; they just asked her to learn her
own faith before she converted to another. None of the girl's friends
ever heard her express any fear of her parents' reaction to her
religious conversion.

The parents aren't wild-eyed fanatical burnoose-wearing dervishes; the
father is a well to do jeweler, and they live in New Albany, which is
an upscale suburb of Columbus.

Being well off has nothing to do with it. Muzzammil Hassan, who beheaded his wife recently, was very successful. Here's a link from a source you'll likely prefer:

In it it alludes to the notion it was an honor killing, and NOW, typically fairly liberal AFAIK, says the same (although further down, someone named "Sanders" disagrees).

All of the family members expressed
their love for the girl and their desire to have her back home. They
feel the girl has been "brainwashed" by the fundamentalist church she
fled to. The police in Florida who tracked the girl down are
sympathetic to the parents, not the girl.

The girl herself has been in trouble in the past for her beliefs. She
was disciplined by her school for proselytizing other students during
school hours. She appears to be the only religious fanatic in the

The pastor of the church in Florida may have assisted the minor girl
in running away from home. The girl didn't have money of her own to
travel to Florida.

A bus ticket isn't that expensive. Maybe the pastor supplied the money for it, maybe not.

There are hints in the stories that the pastor may
have sent the girl money and encouraged her to flee to him. She
certainly didn't just turn up randomly on his doorstep, begging for
help. Inciting a minor to run away from home -- that's a crime, isn't

Plus, the pastor did not willingly go to the police or social services
to tell them he was hiding the girl. The girl was traced to his
using forensic evidence gathered from her computer and cell phone.
The pastor and the girl had been communicating secretly over the net
for months. Only when confronted by the police -- over two weeks
after the girl showed up at his home -- did the pastor go public with
the honor
killing story. That's incredibly shady behavior, in my opinion.

Agreed, the pastor will be in trouble for his part. And possibly it's all BS. Still, I'd feel compelled to look into the girl's story to try to ensure her safety.

Here's my prediction:

The girl will be returned to the parents, once they've been forced to
submit to the humiliating and expensive process of proving to the
authorities that they're not crazed religious fanatics. When she's 18
in a few months, she'll go back to Florida to rejoin Pastor Lorenz's

The pastor who lured the girl away from home may find charges filed
against him for enticing a minor girl to run away.

The right-wing christofascists who believe stories like this will
whine about how christians in the USA are persecuted and
against for their beliefs.

Don't believe the crap you hear from Fux.

Actually ABC reported on this same situation on 8/12 - here's a link: I just heard about it today, but it sounds like it's been going on a while.