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Thursday, December 3, 2009
Geller Still Fearmongering Over Rifqa Bary Case
Topic: Newsmax

Pamela Geller just can't seem to stop distorting the case of Rifqa Bary, the Ohio teen who converted to Christianity and ran away from home to a creepy pastor in Florida she found on Facebook, claiming that her Islamic parents want to kill her for converting.

Geller's Dec. 2 Newsmax column purports to be outraged that Bary -- who has been returned to Ohio and placed in foster care -- is "in imminent danger of being returned to her family" and is being "deprived of access to the phone and Internet as well as "pastoral guidance," adding, "Convicts, murderers, rapists, and pedophiles all have access to 'pastoral guidance.'"

Given that the pastor to whom Bary fled believes that he receives special personal messages from God about the imminent end of the world, a lack of "pastoral guidance" is probably a good thing. Needless to say, Geller is silenat about the pastor's beliefs.

Geller also repeats unsupported claims of hostile Muslims, alluding to "powerful and influential Islamic supremacists" and "myriad busts for jihad activity in recent weeks." She also again treats "lose friend and fellow ex-Muslim" Jamal Jivanjee as a credible source, even though he's clearly too close to the case to be objective. Indeed, Geller quotes Jivanjee aping her: “If you are incarcerated in an American prison today, you have the right to have a visit from a pastor. Rifqa Bary does not have this most basic right that most criminals have today.”

Geller sums up by claiming that Bary is "isolated, alone, and in danger of being returned to Islamic jihadists who believe apostates from Islam should be killed. What has happened to America?"

The facts, however, are different than what Geller suggests. No credible threats to Bary have been found by authorities in either Florida or Ohio, and Ohio officials are attempting to work out a solution between Bary and her family, as the Columbus Dispatch reports:

Columbus runaway Fathima Rifqa Bary and her parents should talk about their respective religions and work toward living together again, according to a government case plan filed in Franklin County Juvenile Court.


A caseworker developed the plan with Rifqa and her parents, but only Children Services workers signed it. Rifqa and her parents disagree with the plan, and so does the guardian the court appointed for her, according to the paperwork filed with the court on Monday.

The plan reveals that Rifqa does not wish to see her parents, who both want to see her. She also is resisting visiting her brothers. Rifqa's reason for not wanting contact is "healing purposes," it says.

Mohamed Bary and his wife, Aysha, agree with Rifqa's current placement in foster care but would like a relationship with her, the plan says.

They are concerned that Rifqa misunderstands their Islamic faith, and Rifqa feels the same about her parents' understanding of her Christianity.

There are "severe differences between the parents' and Rifqa's perceptions of what has occurred," the caseworker wrote.

The plan lists the strengths of the family as well, saying that Mr. Bary is able to provide for his family and Mrs. Bary appears capable of caring for her children in the home. Rifqa has good communication skills and has been respectful toward adult authority, the plan says. The plan also says that Children Services will assess the homes of relatives and nonrelatives to try to find a suitable place for the teenager.

Geller, meanwhile, seems to think that fearmongering is a suitable substitute for the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EST

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