Pamela Geller's Sept. 14 Newsmax column is one long screed against Newsweek for doing what Geller won't -- tell both sides of the Rifqa Bary story.
Geller complained that the Newsweek article stated that "Muslim scholars say that in Islam, there’s no such thing as an honor killing for apostasy," asserting that "Newsweek was conflating two distinct Islamic practices: honor killing and the killing of apostates." She doesn't mention that it appears that Bary -- who claims her Muslim parants want to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity -- is the one conflating the two, as news reports featuring references to "honor killings" indicate. As Richard Bartholomew notes:
The girl gives a rather strange interpretation of what an “honour killing” is for; rather than being the remedy for a perceived dishonour suffered by a family, she tells the journalist that to kill her would be an especially ”great honour” because she is the the first Christian in her family for “150 generations” and it would show her family’s love for Allah (Lorenz concurs with a “yes” at 5:03). This seems to me to be a garbled “Christianized” understanding of the phenomenon, making it into something like a human sacrifice.
Geller has conflated the two as well.
Geller goes on to complain that Newsweek described a "33-page memorandum that Rifqa’s attorney, John Stemberger, filed about the Noor Islamic Center’s connection with Islamic terrorists and radical elements" as being filled with "innuendo and provocative allegations." In fact, Newsweek supports its claims:
Among them: that the center is connected to an FBI terror probe (which the FBI denies) and that its CEO has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood (which, along with every other allegation, the Noor Center denies). The mosque is actually regarded as mainstream and regularly hosts interfaith events.
Has Geller ever reported that the FBI has discredited this report? We suspect not.
Geller's sole source for contradicting the Newsweek article is "Jamal Jivanjee, Rifqa’s friend and confidante." But Geller offers no independent confirmation of these claims; Jivanjee is clearly too close to the situation to be objective. Indeed, Geller has been a mouthpiece for Rifqa and her supporters, taking all of their claims atfact value while making no apparent effort to independently verify them.
Why is Geller so afraid of the other side being told? That she is so intent on trying to discredit an article that commits the apostasy (as far as Geller is concerned) of telling both sides of the story belies a certain insecurity about the side of the story she's on.
Geller declares of Rifqa: "As a high-profile apostate, she is Islamists’ highest value target right now." If she's "high-profile," it's anti-Muslim activists like Geller that made her one. Which means she's partially culpable for any harm that comes Rifqa's way.