Mom and Dad
Rifqa Bary says: “And I had a laptop and he took that laptop and waved it in the air and he was about to beat me with it, and he said, ‘If you have this Jesus in your heart, you”re dead to me. You”re not my daughter.’ And I refused to speak but he said, ‘I will kill you. Tell me the truth.’ In these words, bad words, cuss words. So I knew that I had to get away.”
Her father says: “Whether she is Christian or whatever religion she adopts, that’s O.K. Basically, we want our daughter back.”
So it’s her word against his. Will Mohamed Bary murder his daughter, or bring about her death? Of course there is no way of knowing. But we do know some things:
1. Mohamed Bary and his wife, pictured above, appear to be devout, observant Muslims — Mrs. Bary, after all, has her head covered, indicating that they respect at least some, if not all, Islamic laws.
2. Apostasy is a capital crime according to all the Islamic schools of jurisprudence, so that it is not unreasonable to believe that devout Muslims would object to the conversion to Christianity of their daughter, and desire her death.
3. Other Muslim fathers, as Pamela points out here, have appeared to be credible, gentle fellows as they lured their wayward daughters back home — after they had run away in fear for their lives. And then once they were back home, they murdered them.
In light of those facts, the court would be foolish in the extreme, when it convenes again on August 21, to expose Rifqa Bary to risk. There is no doubt that this would not be done in other child welfare cases — any reasonable suspicion that the child could be in physical danger is acted upon immediately, and the child removed from the home. For what conceivable reason should this case be different?
And the answer, of course, is Islamophobophobia — the fear of appearing to be “Islamophobic.” For that, Rifqa Bary could be sent to her death.
“Father of Muslim teen who converted and fled to Florida: I did not threaten my daughter,” by Rene Stutzman and Amy L. Edwards for the Orlando Sentinel, August 13 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The father of an Ohio teenager who ran away to Florida, saying she was afraid her father would kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity, on Thursday said he loves his daughter and wants her to come home.
“Whether she is Christian or whatever religion she adopts, that’s O.K,” said Mohamed Bary. “Basically, we want our daughter back.”
Fathima Rifqa Bary, who turned 17 this week, is currently in foster care. An Orlando judge on Monday ordered her placed with the Florida Department of Children & Families until social workers can figure out where she belongs and if her home in Columbus, Ohio, is safe.
Another hearing is set for Aug. 21….
But her father on Thursday said he never threatened to kill his daughter.
She had a falling out with her mother the night before she disappeared, he said. He was out of town.
Rifqa had gone out without permission, was gone more than three hours, and when she came home, her mother scolded her and told her that because of her behavior, the whole family might have to return to their native Sri Lanka, Mohamed Bary said.
His wife was upset and there were no plans to leave the U.S., Mohamed Bary said, but that apparently frightened his daughter.
His family, Mohamed Bary said, was a normal one. They attended mosque as a family from time to time, he said.
His daughter was an excellent student, a cheerleader in a prestigious school in Columbus who got A’s and B’s. She wanted to go to college and become a nurse, he said.
“Basically, the last two months, her behavior has changed a lot,” he said. “She won’t talk to us much.”
She began to study the Bible and Christianity, he said. When he discovered that, he encouraged her to study Islam, he said. After that, he said he told her, “You can study whatever you want and decide what is good for you.”
The Barys’ court-appointed Orlando attorney, Craig McCarthy, Thursday said the girl’s parents “didn’t do or say anything that would give her a reasonable fear that her dad was going to kill her.”
McCarthy also said the girl didn’t tell anyone she was frightened while living at home. They reported her missing immediately and didn’t know her whereabouts for weeks.
That was a terrible stretch of time, her father said.
Sgt. Jerry Cupp, who heads the missing-persons unit at the Columbus Police Department, said he does not think the girl’s father is a threat.
Cupp said the family left Sri Lanka a decade ago so their daughter could be treated for blindness in her right eye.
“All I’m picking up is love for his daughter and he wants her to be safe,” he said….