If Michael Kruse's relentlessly unfair coverage of the Rifqa Bary case achieves its clear goal, she will be sent back to Ohio, and then probably to Sri Lanka to be killed or institutionalized once the press attention has subsided. Will Michael Kruse be proud of his work in that event?
The St. Petersburg Times apparently turns out these faux-journalist propagandists by the pound; the illustrious S. I. Rosenbaum is or was employed there also.
"No abuse found, says attorney for Muslim family of runaway Christian teen," by Michael Kruse for the St. Petersburg Times, September 4:
ORLANDO -- The attorney for the mother of Ohio religious runaway Rifqa Bary said in court here Thursday that results of a critical investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had come back "very favorable" and "with no evidence whatsoever" of alleged abuse or threats of death made by the girl's parents....
One wonders what evidence they could possibly have found, unless the Barys' house had been wired. If Mohamed Bary bruised his daughter some time ago and the bruises healed, what evidence would there be beyond her word and his? And threats leave no marks. As Pamela notes here, "Rifqa went to school with bruises on her arms and legs. She told at least 20 adults of threats and fears (one cop admitted to that). Yet Sgt. Jerry Cupp of the missing-persons unit of the Columbus police special-victims bureau ignored all that and disputed Rifqa's charge against Mohamed Bary."
The FDLE report finding was revealed, in defiance of a just-imposed gag order, by Rifqa's mother's attorney, Roger Weeden. But what he said is all we know about it. Without access to the actual FDLE report, we cannot know if the facts Pamela mentioned were considered or swept under the rug. But these facts cast doubt upon what we do know about the report.
She was in court Thursday, wearing a brown sweater, a white dress and dark red nail polish. She said nothing, but did blow an occasional kiss to people she knew in the courtroom when she wasn't reading her Bible....
Unfortunately for Kruse, Pamela was in the courtroom, in the front row, just a few feet away from Rifqa. She reports: "Kruse is a liar. I was sitting in the first row. I never took my eyes off her. She never blew a kiss to anyone. Depraved. And what about the 'dark red nail polish'? I didn't see any 'dark red nail polish,' I can't say either way, but what is this perv looking at and looking for? Kruse is depicting this sweet, innocent little girl as some kind of .... trollop."
Indeed, and to what end?
Before the hearing on Thursday, outside in front of the courthouse, Tom Trento held a news conference, as he did before the first hearing. He's from the Florida Security Council, an organization with the slogan of "Securing Florida Against Terror." This time, though, he brought a pastor from Ohio and a pair of anti-Islam bloggers.
Jamal Jivanjee, the Ohio pastor, compared Rifqa Bary to Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who was killed by Nazis in World War II and whose diary became what many consider one of the most important books of the 20th century.
Robert Spencer, who writes on a blog called Jihad Watch, told reporters Islam was here to take over America. Pam Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog dismissed the results of the Franklin County investigation by saying things were "corrupt in Ohio."
"Forget your political correctness!" she said.
Kruse didn't think it necessary to note that when I said that "Islam wasn't here to worship and get along but rather to become the dominant religion in America," I was referring to a statement of Omar Ahmad, cofounder and longtime board chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, of which Mohammad Lutfi called himself an "honor member" (video coming soon). I attributed this statement to Ahmad. But by phrasing his report this way, as I am sure Kruse was aware, he made me sound like a nut, whereas if he had noted that it was a quote from the cofounder of CAIR, indicating that there are Muslims in America who say this sort of thing, his story would have taken on a substantially different cast.
Also, Pamela writes: "Uh, a blogger? Spencer has written nine books, including two bestsellers, and briefed the FBI, JTTF, DHS, Central Command and intelligence community on Islamic jihad." I would not expect Kruse to provide my full bio, but consider again that his story would have had a very different tone had he identified me in any of the ways Pamela notes rather than as a "blogger." His intention was clearly to decrease the stature of those defending Rifqa, while elevating the hysterical and dissembling ranter Mohammad Lutfi as a "Muslim businessman."
Muslim businessman Mohammad Lutfi of Orlando yelled that Trento, Spencer and Geller were "conservative, right-wing militants" and "crusaders."
Lutfi knows that sort of twaddle plays with bemused Leftists like Michael Kruse.