Friday 2 October 2009

Rifqa Bary - Refutation

Altmuslimah picked up on this article from the Examiner which looks at the accusations that have flown back and forth regarding the young Rifqa Bary and the way this case has been used to demonise Islam

"There were immediately two competing narratives. Rifqa's attorney John Stemberger asserts that Rifqa suffered a history of physical and sexual abuse, and she is now fighting for her life. Anti-Muslim bloggers like Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch immediately jumped into the fray. In this narrative, an extremely devout Muslim family from a radical Ohio mosque is trying to fly its apostate daughter back to Sri Lanka for an “honor killing.”

The Bary family insists that they've never made any such threats, that the girl is free to practice any religion, and they just want their family whole again. In this narrative, a cult of Evangelical Christians used the Internet to brainwash her into leaving her religion and her family and move to Florida

The first thing that was clear was that Rifqa learned about "honor killings" from Christians not from Muslims. Periodically in the video, when she's flustered, she looks over to someone off camera. This is a sign when someone has been coached. They seek visual confirmation by making eye contact. At the five minute mark she says, "It's in the Quran." Which it's not, but then she looks off camera and says, "You can, like, give them knowledge about it." She gestures, and a man answers unintelligibly. Then she says to the reporter, "He really will explain it and break it down. They have to do this!" Who ever that man is, he is the coach. And we know it's not the pastor because he's holding her, but I'm certain he had a hand in it. He's quoted as having said, "These are the last days, these are the end times, and this conflict between Islam and Christianity is going to grow greater. This conflict between good and evil is going to grow greater." But if this is her religion, her upbringing, her life, she would be fluent in its details. She wouldn't need someone else to explain it for her.But that's not enough. Blake Lorenz had only had her for a few weeks in Florida. That's time for coaching, but not for brainwashing. So, I looked to her church activity in Ohio. Only a few articles briefly mention that she attended a church called the Xenos Christian Fellowship. A little Googling on this group immediately brings the whole picture into view. Message boards and articles about the Xenos Fellowship are filled with comments about the group's cultish tendencies, specifically its manipulative efforts to isolate people from their friends and family."

You can read the full article here.

image source

Institutional Islamophobia in America - The Rifqa Bary case

Orlando Sentinel - Anti-Muslim bias obvious in Fathima Rifqa Bary case

Fathima Rifqa Bary Update: No Abuse Found

Islamophobia in Perspective: The Curious Case of Fathima Rifqa Bary

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