Last edition, we reported the case of Rifqa Bary, a young Sri Lankan girl living in the United States, who converted from Islam and practiced Christianity in the closet for 4 years before being discovered by his father. When persecution from the dad (spurred by the local mosque) became life-threatening, Rifqa fled home and was hosted temporarily by a Christian couple she had met on Facebook. Rifqa and her Christian friends are now urging the court to allow her (being still a minor, at 17) stay in a state facility for minors, while the father and the Noor Mosque want her back home.
Ordinarily, in the state of Ohio, a child can become a dependant of the state simply by showing the court that there was a conflict in the home. Although as many as over 50 people who are familiar with Rifqa (including several classmates) could testify to the fact that she greatly feared for her life long before she fled from her parents in Ohio, this case is not the ordinary child-run-from-abusive-home story, in which case it would have been easily long concluded. Here, fully leading the battle for the Islamists is the US Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) , which has virtually limitless financial resources at its disposal as well as strong roots with the notorious Muslim Brotherhood, well-known sponsors of terror (see the previous story on Egypt for example). The resulting legal, social, and spiritual battle is intensive and anything but childplay.
Ahead of the critical next stage, scheduled for Jan 28, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch has published a report by Jamal Jivanjee, (a friend of Rifqa and fellow ex-moslem) to expose the strategy of CAIR and to request for prayers. The case will set precedent, not only legally but also in terms of encouraging individuals to freely choose which religion they wish to practice (Imagine this being an issue – right in the USA itself. What then would Saudi Arabia not do!)
As shown by, Jamal Jivanjee the two-fold strategy of CAIR is first to get and keep Rifqa isolated and discouraged, while at the same time intensify their smear campaign against the key people who LITERALLY saved Rifqa by offering her a temporary home. According to Jamal, since the last hearing on the matter on December 22, “Rifqa has been literally cut off from the outside world. Currently, Rifqa has absolutely no official visitors list ….and has not been allowed to have phone contact with any of her friends!”. On the other hand, three individuals, (Brian Williams of Columbus, and Blake and Beverly Lorenz of Orlando Florida) who LITERALLY saved Rifqa's life by helping her when she fled her home are under serious character assassination and they are being portrayed as predators who lured a very impressionable new convert away from her parents. None of these is of course correct. (see the story and updates at http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/11/new-rights-violations-isolation-rifqa-denied-visitors-those-that-were-allowed-were-fingerprinted.html).
We would like to urge Christians everywhere to join in praying for Rifqa's encouragement, strength, and wisdom as well as for wisdom for her legal team. Readers of CA! who could spare the effort, are also encouraged to send an email to the Director of Children’s services at Franklin County Children’s services (where Rifqa is currently residing while the court case lasts) to politely request a review of the worsening isolation of Rifqa. The address is: edfenner@FCCS.co.franklin.oh.us