Surely you have heard the news reports by now, some of them very cynical. Even one on a Christianity Today “Blog for Women” asks if we should believe the story of seventeen year old Rifka Bary. Rifka fled from her home in Ohio by bus to Florida to escape her Muslim parents after her father threatened to kill her for becoming a Christian. She tries to explain to the media and to the authorities what an “honor killing” is, and that it is halal (permissible in Islam) to kill a woman – daughter, sister, cousin, niece, wife, whatever – for bringing shame and dishonor to Islam and to a Muslim family. You can feel her fear and her despair as she tells them, “you don’t understand.” You can read about honor killings, many that are now taking place in the United States, below.
The difference here is that we have an opportunity to prevent an honor killing from taking place! Rather than add Rifka’s killing to the roll of murdered Muslim and former Muslim women, we can make a difference and shine a very, very bright light onto this ugly, evil aspect of Shari’a (Islamic law) once and for all.
A major trial will take place tomorrow, Friday, at 3:00 PM, where the court will decide if she is to be shipped back to Ohio or stays in Florida where she fled to the home of a pastor and his wife. Governor Charles Crist can protect Rifka Bary by instructing the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to file a motion to recommend to the judge that she stay in Florida.
To date, the Governor has taken no action and DCF has not filed the motions to say she is in need of protection by the state and therefore needs to be declared “dependent” by the state of Florida.
If you don’t believe that Rifqa Bary’s life is in danger, read these:
Shafilea Ahmed, aged 17
Sofia Allam, convert to Christianity
Gulsum S., face ‘beaten beyond recognition’
Honor Killing Gallery
Aqsa Parvez, aged 16
Honor killings in Dallas – Amina and Sarah
Contact Governor Crist TODAY and tell him to Protect Rifqa Bary from a Muslim Honor Killing by keeping her in Florida.
Phone Calls to (850) 488-7146 [8am-5pm EST] Fax letters to (850) 487-0801 For individuals with hearing loss or speech disability: (850)922-7795 (TTY) or 711 (Florida Telecommuniation Relay)
The Florida Department of Children and Families, George H. Sheldon, Secretary
Fax: (850) 922-2993 Phone: (850) 487-1111
Verne Melvin, Acting Regional Director / Ninth Judicial Circuit Florida Department of Children and Families
Phone: (407)245-0400 (Maxine McGregor, client relations coordinator)
If you are in Florida, near Orlando, please attend the press conference and demonstration:
COURT HOUSE, Friday August 21
Juvenile Court House
2000 E. Michigan St. Orlando, Fl 32806
11:30am – Press Conference
12:00pm – Demonstration in Support of Rifqa
3:00pm – Rifqa Hearing
For Details Contact: (561) 324-1224, [email protected]
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY ACTION ALERT FOLLOW-UP:
RIFQA SAFE FOR THE MOMENT IN FLORIDA (August 25, 2009)
Last week we sent a special Religious Liberty Action Alert about the hearing taking place in Florida concerning seventeen year old Rifqa Bary who fled from her home in Ohio by bus to Florida after her father threatened to kill her for becoming a Christian.
This week we thank God that on Friday, August 21, 2009, Orlando Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson ruled that Rifqa should stay in Florida in foster care until another hearing, to be held on September 3. Our friend blogger Pamela Geller has covered the ongoing story of Rifqa Bary with love and concern. You can read about the hearing here.
If you emailed Governor Charlie Crist about Rifqa, you may have received the following response from his office:
Thank you for contacting Governor Charlie Crist. The Governor asked that I respond on his behalf.
Governor Crist today expressed his gratefulness to Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson for his decision to grant Fathima Rifqa Bary the right to remain in Florida. In this case, the first and only priority of Governor Crist’s administration is the safety and wellbeing of this child. The Governor also expressed gratitude for the good work of Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon and his General Counsel, Rob Wheeler, for personally advocating the administration’s position by attending today’s hearing.
Please be assured Governor Crist will continue to fight to protect Ms. Rifqa Bary’s safety and wellbeing as this case moves forward. Thank you again for taking the time to contact Governor Crist.
Office of Citizen Services
I sent an email of thanks and appreciation to Governor Crist’s office after receiving that assurance. You may wish to do the same.
Now we must be vigilant on behalf of Rifqa Bary. As ACT! For America founder and president Brigitte Gabriel said today on Fox News, Rifqa’s “offense” has now passed far beyond honor killing. She is publicly known as an apostate, one who has left Islam. This is punishable by death under Shari’a. Dr. Andrew Bostom has written a scathing analysis of Western accommodation of Islamism. This so-called tolerance and unthinking multiculturalism makes possible honor killings and other aspects of Shari’a that undermine the rule of law in the United States.
In addition to emailing Governor Crist to thank him for protecting Rifqa, here are some other things that you can do. Pray for Rifqa and all involved in this case. This young woman’s outspoken testimony for Jesus Christ is being heard all over the world! Urge your church, particularly women’s ministry or national women’s committee of your denomination to speak out for the rights of Muslim women against honor killings, stoning, and charges of apostasy.
Frank Gaffney here compares the “stay of execution” and early pardon of the Libyan terrorist who murdered 270 people in the Lockerbie bombing with the temporary stay of execution that has been given to Rifqa Bary. We need to make sure that it is permanent.