When Rifqa Bary, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was the subject of a contentious child custody case (Included Pam Geller) Fox & Friends became Rifqa's media cheerleader. Six years later, Rifqa is the honored guest of Elisabeth Hasselbeck who is helping to promote Rifqa'a new book along with the same biased anti-Muslim propaganda and lies which made Fox's original coverage so special!
This very special Fox & Friends interview was part of, natch, Fox & Friends patented "Fight for Faith" series. Hasselbeck dramatically cued up the subject matter with her report on how Bary ran away from home "fearing her Muslim father would kill her for becoming a Christian." Hasselbeck added that Rifqa Bary is telling her story in her new book.
As the banner proclaimed "Christian Runaway, Left Home After Alleged Death Threats," the gushing began. Hasselbeck welcomed her "wholeheartedly." Bary: "It's an honor to be here." Rifqa told her story of growing up in a "strict Muslim home." She claimed that her culture has "a lot of oppression" a claim that dovetails nicely with Fox's anti-Islam narrative.
In speaking of "traumatizing events," she claimed to have been sexually violated by an extended family member back in Sri Lanka - a claim that was never made during her involvement with child welfare. (She did tell authorities that she had been physically abused but according to the Columbus, OH Police and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there was no evidence to support the claim.)
Bary also insinuated that having been blinded in her right eye was part of a pattern of physical abuse. She didn't mention that this was caused after her brother threw a toy airplane at her, an injury which prompted her parents to move to the states so she could have medical treatment. She told Hasselbeck that, because of the sexual abuse, her family was shamed.
She spoke of how, when she tried to practice Islam, it was "empty;" but when she was 13, "she sought another way" which, for her parents, was "a despicable thing," a claim that contradicts court testimony which indicates that her father said that he had no problem with her Christianity. Hasselbeck encouraged her to talk about how she had to hide her Christianity from her parents.
Bary informed us about how she was "desperate to be free to worship Jesus." Hasselbeck kept leading her with questions about Bary's "worst fears." The banner reinforced the agitprop: "Religious Fight, Battle Over Daughter's Christian Faith" - (The real, Fox enabled "battle" was about child custody.) Bary said that she "feared being killed" because of - wait for it - Sharia Law. The banner: "Fearing for her Life, Bary Claims Her Father Threatened to Kill Her."
Hasselbeck encouraged her to speak of her "abusive home life" and death threats from her father - again, unfounded claims. But to Hasselbeck's question of what Bary would say to her father, Bary said she loves him, prays for him, and forgives him. Hasselbeck: "You do? The man whom you think wanted to kill you."
Hasselbedck encouraged Bary to talk about her love for Christ. She asked Bary what she would say to other girls who are in the same situation that Bary was. (?!) Bary said that "there is hope" because Jesus. Hasselbeck praised her for her "powerful" and "courageous story."
Rifqa Bary will probably not return to her parent's home. But she sure does have a home at Fox. Wonder if Hasselbeck would be as sympathetic to a kid who ran away from a Christian family...
She said her parents NEVER saw her cheerlead and she would never wear the uniform in front of them.
Absolutely NOTHING has contradicted what she said. The FDLE, however, deliberately withheld fro their report what Rifqa told them and worded their report to make her appear a liar.
And Rifwa did not tell FDLE her parents were radical, she said they were devout. The truth is in the FDLE interview transcript.
I think you are starting to understand by now that the FDLE investigation was a farce, though you will never admit it and will keep insinuating that Rifqa must be a liar if FDLE refused to investigate — or even admit in their report — precisely the concrete allegations that could have been substantiated by a true investigation.
I already told you that neither the media nor FDLE nor Columbus PD ever told the public crucial facts about the case. That holds about the fact that Rifqa would have been detained by the cop who gave her a ride had her parents not delayed reporting her missing for so long, and it also holds about the crucial story Rifqa told FDLE about her classmates alerting a counselor about her bruises.
NEITHER of these crucial facts was ever reported by a single journalist AFAIK, which is why the media coverage — FOX News included — has been just as much a farce as the bogus FDLE investigation.
As far as abuse by her parents is concerned, I would suggest that we do not know, but the quality of her other information suggests it prudent to look for confirming evidence.
Regarding death for apostasy, the reason that it is important to understand that this is something distinct from so-called honor killing, is that it must be adjudicated in a Sharia Court, in a country that recognizes Sharia for that purpose. Hence, not the United States, nor Sri Lanka, nor even England—where so-called Sharia Courts are used by mutual agreement to mediate certain civil (not criminal) matters. The danger to Rifqa of being executed based on her conversion would appear therefore to be zip.
BTW—if you are concerned about the religious subjugation of women, perhaps you might want to take a closer look at some of the fundamentalist Christian groups rallying behind Rifqa.
You always add one preposterous allegations, this time that lack of district official record means that Rifqa was lying about her middle school classmates reporting her bruises from beatings. Of course it does not.
In fact an AP journalist who examined the Columbus investigation files told me that Rifqa’s middle school story was CONFIRMED once it was finally investigated — but neither the CPD not the media ever told the public.
The public was also never told the fact that Rifqa’s parents waited at least a full day before reporting her missing, and that this was the reason she made it all the way to Florida.
You see Rifqa was stopped by a police officer at 11PM in Columbus and given a RIDE by him after he checked if she is on the runaway list. The FDLE itself told Rifqa that had her parents not waited so long to report her missing she would have been detained by the cop (there is a record of him checking Rifqa’s name against the database).
Again, this fascinating fact that Rifqa was literally helped with her escape by a police officer, and that he would have detained her had her parents not waited so long to report her missing, was withheld from the public. Instead, we were fed lies, including by networks like FOX News, that her parents reported her missing right away.
The message you are sending to abused kids it that it is OK to exploit the most ludicrous excuses to label the abused child a liar.
P.S. As to you fantastic notion that any child whose experience does not conform to your shallow contact with liberal Islam must be labeled a foolish liar — that really is not worth further discussion. Vast majorities of Muslims in Asia confirm in polls the death penalty for apostasy as well as the subjugation of women to men, but a child raised in that religious environment must be labeled a liar if she dares to tell the truth about her upbringing? You seem just as obsessed and fanatical about Islam as Pam Geller does. Sadly that leads you into hateful treatment of Rifqa, which is inexcusable.
Again, Rifqa never harmed you. Please stop harming her by spreading libel about her.
Now, frankly, I tend to fall on the side of giving wide latitude to kids who claim abuse—because on the one hand if true, they need protection, on the other hand, if not true, there are some serious family issues that need to be addressed. In this case, owing to their being so many conflicts between Rifqa’s story and what can be substantiated with evidence (such as the claim that a counselor called her parents about abuse—schools keep records, counselors keep records). And while you prefer to believe that Rifqa simply experienced Islam differently than the rest of the Muslim world, the reality is that her knowledge of Islam is either very limited (inconsistent with her accounts of being raised strictly according to Islam and "throwing herself into it)—or she has chosen to pick up the invented version of Islam peddled by some of her supporters.
Were it not for these religio-politico actors making noise and punching political buttons, the routine protocol would have been to return Rifqa to either her parents, or to the county Children’s Services agency in Ohio. You may recall that the ground presented to the court for keeping her in Florida was that the authorities in Ohio could not keep her safe. This claim was ultimately deemed insubstantial and she was returned to Ohio, where authorities made decisions based on Rifqa’s needs and the situation of her family.
Your message to kids that a child reporting being beaten by parents does NOT count as EVIDENCE is extremely dangerous — it tells kids that they will be presumed liars unless someone confirms their allegations of abuse.
That is how so many tragedies occur, frequently UNDER THE DCF WATCH — complaints of abuse are ignored because no bones were broken etc. That’s how kids end up DEAD.
Had you examined the NUMEROUS cases of kids dying in families being “watched” by DCF — hundreds in Florida alone per a recent Miami Herald investigation — you’d have known that.
You want abused children to be treated like runaway dogs: forcibly returned unless it can be proven they were abused.
Should girls reporting being molested be treated the way you propose for kids alleging physical abuse?
That is presumed to be liars unless the abuse is somehow confirmed and in the meantime merely “watched” by DCF while forced to live with their molester?
Rifqa tolf FDLE that her parents never saw her cheering or even in a cheering uniform, nor saw any pictures UNTIL she ran away but left those pictures behind.
She explicitly told FDLE “NOW they have them” (cheering photos).
The FDLE then OMITTED the fact that Rifqa told them she left her cheering photos behind, and made it look like Rifqa was lying.
As to religious strictness, per Rifqa she started to gain more freedom after the call from the middle school counselor regarding her bruises from beatings — clearly the parents feared further violence could lead to being deported due to their illegal status being discovered. The inability to fully control their daughter without risking deportation does not prove they did not detest Rifqa ceasing to wear the hijab etc.
You have absolutely no evidence that Rifqa ever lied about the beatings, but you pretend she did and on top of that you spread vicious sexual rumors about Rifqa.
This is just despicable.
Your complaints about Rifqa amount to insinuating that because YOU DISLIKE the interpretation of Islam she says she was TAUGHT, she must be a liar who made up everything including being abused.
That is insane. A child raised to believe Christianity considers homosexuality a sin is not a liar if he says so simply because there are some Christians who believe otherwise. And Rifqa is not a liar simply because you encountered some Muslims with liberal views.
BTW, you constantly insist on pretending only your version of Islam is the correct one. What arrogance! Rifqa, on the other hand, simply speaks of the Islam she was taught — she never said that anyone with a different interpretation of Islam is an ignorant liar, as you repeatedly insinuate Rifqa must be.
Again, please stop the hate.
Again, please try to stop hating Rifqa so intensely — she does not deserve it.
And no, NOTHING Rifqa told FDLE conflicts with what the FDLE said the teacher told them.
Rifqa never told FDLE she feared for her life until her final conflicts with her parents shortly before she ran away — during the summer. Rifqa also NEVER told FDLE why the teacher offered her a sanctuary — the FDLE simply made up this part.
BTW, the ludicrous bias against Rifqa is illustrated by how no one in the media pointed out the disturbing fact that a teacher invites a 16-year-old girl home overnight when her parents are gone — instead of simply telling the parents or child welfare that the child is (supposedly) being endangered by her own brother and his friends?
Anyone with half a brain would recognize something is not right — either the teacher is creepy or she believed Rifqa’s parents are not trustworthy. And yet FDLE refused to ask the teacher why she kept her “concerns regarding Rifqa’s safety” (her own words per FDLE) secret. This was a farce, not a child abuse investigation.
Rifqa has every right to believe that the Muslim IDEA of god she was taught DIFFERS from the Christian IDEA of god she learned later. You have absolutely NO right telling Rifqa how she should feel about the distinct concepts of god she encounters in life.
MILLIONS of people use the word “god” to mean human concept of god, just as MILLIONS of people use the word “jail” to mean juvenile detention. Your pretense that Rifqa using language the same as millions of others somehow indicates she lied about being abused is utterly outrageous.
Why not stop constantly demeaning the girl, why not rid yourself of the hatred against Rifqa. She never harmed you in any way, so why are you trying so hard to smear her name?
One important factor with regard to “honor killings” is that they are not about religious conversion. I believe it was most likely Gellar who invented that particular conflation. The practice of murdering women by family members (many feminists object to the term “honor killing” as it has nothing to do with honor), has to do with control of sexuality and ownership of wives and daughters as sexual property. It tends to follow the suspicion of a woman playing around (including flirtation) sexually with a man not her husband, or intended. It has also happened in retaliation for a young woman turning down a suitor (along with various disfiguring but not fatal attacks) This is a cultural, rather than religious, practice, and in countries where it is practiced, it tends to cross religious lines. It is not a practice in Sri Lanka. And if Rifqa’s family was of a mind to follow the practice, it would seem as though they would have snuffed her out following her abuse by a family member—rather than leaving the country.
Gellar, however, has chosen to reinterpret the practice through the lens of apostasy. Why she would think that only daughters and wives could be apostates (since men are not murdered for family honor) defies all logic.
First of all, since many of you followed this so closely, I am looking for a fox news clip from this case that features a female comentator, possibly Geller, claiming that there are 5,000 honor killings in the US every YEAR. It is later corrected (500 worldwide), but I want that original segment, if anyone has it. I need it for a media and child abuse dissertation.
As a woman who was sexually abused in home as a child, runaway, in foster care, and who advocates for abused children now, I think the entire way this has been handled is a farce. Sexual abuse for a child is always possible and should never be entirely ruled out, it’s also entirely possible that she didn’t want to tell the story . I think it’s equally likely whether her parents knew or didn’t. In America, the covering up of child sex abuse, especially when it happens in the family, is gut-wrenchingly common. But what happened here, if anything happened, wasn’t in the immediate family, and there is no evidence nor likelihood that she was in danger of abuse in home.
There was a picture that surfaced of her as a cheerleader. To ANYONE who knows a mouse fart about Islam, that picture tells you everything you need to know about how “strict” her parents were. Cheerleading costs more money than a kid could get on their own, and requires parental permission; clearly her parents supported it. Hijab is the most basic of basics in a “strict” muslim family, or even a mildly practicing muslim family. That alone is enough to rule out “honor killing.” That combined with no history of abuse makes it damn near impossible. I don’t doubt that her parents said some harsh things to her when they found out about her running away, as any parent would. I don’t doubt they said that they would send her back to Sri Lanka, among other things, and were very angry and all. But so what? The point is, if she was not in danger of abuse or harm, she should have been sent back to her parents and monitored from there. If she was willing to go this far, it’s clear that it would be impossible to get this girl onto a plane against her will. They may try to convert her back, as any Christian family would also do for a child they loved, but ultimately they would give up and accept her. Instead, this poor girl has been severed from any contact with her family, and robbed and brainwashed out of the chance to reconcile later.
Why would she lie? She was also probably afraid. Not of being killed, but of facing up to the consequences of what she had done. People, especially children, do crazy things to avoid dealing with consequences, the least of which is lying. If she couldn’t face them then, imagine how she feels now? It’s hardly a stretch to say the parents, teachers, and friends accounts of her not being abused, chatting sexually with men on facebook, and running away after a confrontation from her parents seem much more plausible.
In the real world, when a child says “my parents hurt me or may hurt me” there is first and foremost an investigation. If there is no evidence of that being an issue, the child is then sent home and CLOSELY MONITORED by authorities with the understanding that if anything does happen, DCFS will be right there. Support is given to the family to make sure that nothing untoward happens or continues. Emancipation and foster care are absolute last resorts after all reconciliation efforts are exhausted, or, if the child exhibits harmful behavior, juvenile dentition, correction, and girls’ homes are used. In general, no one cares about a child like their parents, and unless there is a clear problem, no one will be able give better support. Rozum, if you are truly into child advocacy, surely you know that children who age out of state care are at all kinds of risk and removing a child from the home should be a last resort. Since she came from a supportive home in the first place, her risk is greatly reduced, and she’s in college, but she is now dependent on the support generated by this “story” to keep her going in the near future, instead of her parents, who, no matter what else, would at least have allowed her more life choices than being an Islamophobia poster child.
I will stop short of suggesting that Rifqa is a liar outright, but I will point out that there are many inconsistencies in her stories, and they have been there since the very beginning. At the very top of the heap is the reality that she knows far less about Islam than someone who was not only raised in a strictly devout household, but also “threw herself into” her religion at the point in her life when she proclaims that she felt herself to be damaged goods rejected by her parents. If there is anything that Muslims are clear about it is that they pray to God of Abraham and Moses, and Jesus. And yet she has referred multiple times to “praying to a different God.”
The most respectful understanding of these inconsistencies is that she herself believes that the things she says are true. Now, since Rifqa’s location is being held secret, we don’t know much about where she is going to school and where she has been worshipping. But we do know that in her initial bolt she was assisted by people with connections to the International House of Prayer—which has frequently been viewed as “cult-like” to say the least. Under the direction of Mike Bickel and lately Lou Engle, this End Times ministry has build upon the Latter Rain movement—which many protestants consider heretical. And if you know anything about American Protestantism, it takes some very extreme behaviors and beliefs to be considered heretical.
We also know that Blake Lorenz left behind a large mainstream congregation to start his own (always raising the question of what led to such separation), and was asked to leave that group as a result of his behavior with regard to Rifqa. In so doing, he overlooked legal advice and the guidance of his Board, engaging in behavior that, even if not specifically illegal under Florida law, was certainly highly unethical. Now, these are the people providing Rifqa’s religious guidance. All in all, still a very sad story.
Priscilla does it to insinuate Rifqa is a liar — and does it with utter contempt for the truth.
(And yes, I have the uncensored transcript as released by FDLE itself — I do not know who censored your copy.)
That is one reason someone like me, who are primarily concerned with child abuse, not religion, recognizes the treatment of Rifqa as a massive setback to child protection and children’s rights in the U.S.
As to religious music, “Most jurists of the classical era of Muslim scholarship opined that music is forbidden both by the Qur’an and by the Hadith.” [Wikipedia]
How often have you seen singing in a Mosque the way it is done in many Christian churches? To sing any verse from the Qur’an is considered equivalent to outright blasphemy in mainstream Islam. So of course hearing church music was a shock to Rifqa.
Obviously Rifqa is speaking of HER EXPERIENCE of Islam — what she learned from her PARENTS and from the Muslims they exposed her to.
Why not show some respect for her instead of constantly insinuating she is a liar or an idiot?
She does not deserve the constant hate.
(And you religious criticism borders on ludicrous — besides being irrelevant, it is trivial to confirm that it is common within Christianity to worship Jesus, e.g. per Wikipedia:
“The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of a Divine Trinity.”
I guess you are a religious fanatic bent on denying billions of people the right to call themselves Christian unless they agree with you on ethereal semantics; as an agnostic I really couldn’t care less about your theological obsessions.)
Frankly, I would love to see Bary sit down with some actual Muslim women of her age who have chosen to be Muslim here in the US. They could point out to her that either she knows next to nothing about Islam, or she is simply making stuff up (a la Ergun Caner) to please her audience. She talks about praying to a different God. ANY practicing Muslim understands that Muslims pray to the God of Abraham and Moses, as do Christians. She also says, “there is a law, called Sharia” that requires converts be killed. Sharia is not a single law—it is a body of law, like Talmudic Law, or Canon Law—that guides many decisions. And most American Muslims would point to there being “no compulsion” to belief, IOW, killing apostates is an extremist view, and while it exists in some very frightening ways in some very troubled parts of the world, nobody is likely to be gunning for Rifqa here. And the notion of “honor killing,” is another custom altogether, a cultural custom in some countries—where it applies across religious lines, primarily to enforce patriarchy. Patriarchy, by the way, is endorsed by a number of her Christian supporters.
The woman is quoted as wanting “to worship Jesus” but no REAL Christian “worships” Jesus. Jesus (according to Christian mythology) was merely the human form of God (even in the New Testament, Jesus never seeks to be worshiped).
But, for you to act like you know the “mission of NewsHounds”—you signed up when exactly?—suggests you’ve got other problems. I’ve been at NewsHounds for years and the site’s only “mission” is to expose the lies and propaganda spread by the kkkrew of FoxNoise. And that includes guests like Rifqa whose sole purpose for the network is to be yet another Islam basher.