Justice in Florida for Rifqa Bary
by Phyllis Chesler
The Case Remains in Orlando
Judge Daniel Dawson has just decided that Rifqa Bary's fate will be decided in his court in Florida. You may read about it here and here. This means that Judge Dawson will hear the case on September 3rd.
It also means that the incredibly brave 17-year-old will remain safe in Florida state custody until that hearing.
I have been doing media interviews all afternoon, from as far away as China. However, this case has not as yet been covered by CNN. As one of my readers has pointed out, Fox has led the national media in their coverage of the case. (Kudos to journalist Joshua Rhett Miller who is always there when it matters).
Hats off to all the warriors who fought in this battle. First, to Rifqa's lawyer, Rosa Gonzalez – and Blake and Beverly Lorenz, the pastors who initially sheltered her; to the on-the-ground team of activists and bloggers (Andy Bostom, Brigitte Gabriel, Pamela Geller, Jeffrey Imm, Robert Spencer, Dr. Rusty Shackleford, and Tom Trento) who got the word out; to all the blog readers who sent letters to the Florida Governor; to the experts, such as Nonie Darwish and Wafa Sultan who issued statements; and to those whose Rifqa's lawyer asked to send letters to the judge (that would be my friend and colleague, Ibn Warraq, and myself).
In addition, my hat's off to Shackleford's My Pet Jawa. This enterprising soul sent a "plant" to a CAIR meeting when they were deciding what their media strategy should be.
"According to my source who attended the strategy session, CAIR officials handed out copies of this Orlando Sentinel article and want supporters to push the meme that Christians have brainwashed and abducted this gullible teenage girl. They have also instructed supporters to circulate rumors that Rifqa had been carousing with infidel boys and engaged in acts of immorality. This CAIR strategy takes the focus off the near-universal Islamic legal precepts and Quranic injunctions that demand death for apostates and impugns the character of the innocent girl at the center of this controversy who appears to be in genuine fear for her life if she is returned to her parents."
As soon as the lawyers allow me to do so, I will publish my letter and that of Ibn Warraq's .
If there are any other thinkers, activists, people of conscience and of faith who were involved in this battle and whom I have failed to mention, please contact me and I will happily add your name.
'Tis a good day.
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