Rene Stutzman of the Orlando Sentinel Puts Rifqa Bary’s Life in danger again


Atlas readers are long familiar with Rifqa Bary. Rifqa Bary was the Ohio teen whose father threatened to kill after her family had discovered that she had converted to Christianity. Her mosque, the Noor mosque in Columbus, Ohio (with notable terror ties), had spied on Rifqa and told her family that she had left Islam and converted to Christianity. When her devout Muslim father found out she had become a Christian, he said to her, “I will kill you.”

Under the sharia (Islamic law), leaving Islam (converting out of the faith) is punishable by death. And readers familiar with Islam know the countless stories of apostates who have been killed for just that.

Rifqa lived. Rifqa lived because she ran away. She was, literally, scared to death.

She lived because we cared and we fought to keep her free. She was hounded by the media, law enforcement, by her family and by Hamas-CAIR to return her to the danger of the devout household. Muslims called for her death on Facebook.


Photo: Rifqa’s parents being coached by Hamas-CAIR, doing a TV interview conducted in the office of CAIR-Columbus executive director Babak Darvish.

The minister accused of driving Rifqa to the bus station had to retain a lawyer, as police said they investigating whether anyone broke the law in helping the Christian convert leave home for Florida.

Atlas readers were very involved in this story. One of the first to write about her, I followed the case very closely, and urged readers to write then-Governor Christ and Attorney General Bondi. I was at the trial (video here — full coverage here).

We organized rallies for her. And you came from Wisconsin, Toronto, California, Dearbornistan, Michigan, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, South
Carolina, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana …. Simon Deng, Nonie Darwish, Jim Lafferty Robert Spencer, and Pastor Jamal Jivanjee joined me in the fight.

rifqa rally 3Nonie Darwish

Channel 10 TV news reported it this way:

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Activists held a rally Monday across the street from the courthouse where the custody of religious runaway Rifqa Bary was to be decided, but there will be no decision in the case until at least December.

Some of them expressed beliefs condemning Islam, while others criticized the manner in which Bary’s case has been handled.

“We came out today to say they’re in violation of (Bary’s) civil rights,” said protester Pamela Geller.  “We live in a country where you have freedom of religion.  Where is Rifqa Bary’s freedom of religion?  And why aren’t people standing up?  It’s an outrage.”


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And still the persecution continued, but the authorities knew we were watching their every move.

Child services forced Rifqa to live in utter isolation. She was not permitted to see friends (Christians). After  I called for a Christmas card campaign, Rifqa received thousands of Christmas cards and gifts from people all over the world in support of her.

chistmas appeal rifqa xmas

Her parents’ lawyers petitioned the court to stop Rifqa from getting mail. It was a nightmare. It was a triumph when the judge ruled in our favor of the Christmas cards.

rifqa christmas

The persecution of Rifqa was madness. Sharia in America.

The lawyer for Rifqa Bary’s parents filed a $10,000,000 lawsuit against me for standing up for her. Years of litigation, time and expense, but I won.

Rifqa’s is a success story. She lived. Other American Muslim girls were not so lucky. Noor Almaleki, Amina and Sarah Said, Jessica Mokdad … we didn’t get there in time.

The media was vicious. The Orlando Sentinel, Meredith “Hijab” Heagney of the Columbus Dispatch, and Michael Kruse of the St. Petersburg Times, among others, actively attacked Rifqa Bary and worked hard to smear and discredit her, in submission to Hamas-CAIR and the sharia. Freedom be damned.

The Orlando Sentinel did a story on Rifqa Bary. I have known for some time that she is safe, but didn’t write about it in order to keep her safe. It is very disturbing that Rene Stutzman would report her whereabouts, making her an easy target for devout Muslims in a town that covered up the Fatima Abdullah honor killing. There was even a link to the Rifqa Bary case and the honor killing cover-up.

Atlas readers are long familiar with the writer Rene Stutzman. She was one of  the most vicious media jackals who actively sought to garner sympathy for the parents and provoke animus towards Rifqa. Today she has written a piece in the Orlando Sentinel, making Rifqa a clear target in a very hostile town.

“Rifqa Bary, symbol of religious persecution, becomes college student,” By The Orlando Sentinel, July 19, 2014 (thanks to Mike Grambush)

Five years ago Sunday a 16-year-old Ohio girl climbed aboard a Greyhound bus and ran away to the home of an Orlando pastor and his wife, saying her Muslim father had threatened to kill her because she had rifqa trialbecome an evangelical Christian.

In the months that followed, Rifqa Bary became a symbol of religious persecution and a hero to conservative Christians. Thousands of people bombarded then-Gov. Charlie Crist with emails, letters and phone calls, demanding that he intercede and keep a judge from returning her to Columbus.

In the end, she went back, but never reconciled with her parents.

Bary is now 21, a college student majoring in biology and still deeply religious.

She did not agree to an interview with the Orlando Sentinel but through one of her lawyers, John Stemberger, provided a brief update on her life.

She is in good health, despite a battle with uterine cancer in 2010 that required three operations.

She is an evangelist, Stemberger wrote in an email, and traveled to India as part of a mission group.

He did not disclose where she lives or where she goes to school but said she hopes to get a degree in biology and become a physician.

Next May, a small Colorado Springs publisher that specializes in religious books plans to publish her autobiography.

Beverly Rykerd, a publicist for the company, WaterBrook Multnomah, confirmed the book deal Friday.

Its working title: “Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus.”

In 2009, the Columbus, Ohio, police department and Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated her family, trying to determine whether her story about the death threat from her father, Mohamed Bary, was legitimate.

Both cleared him of wrongdoing.

Contacted earlier this week, he would not answer questions about his daughter.

They have not reconciled, according to Stemberger.

“Rifqa has not felt the liberty to have direct contact with her parents but loves them dearly,” he wrote.

Read the rest.


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