Friday, August 21, 2009

Fathima Rifqa Bary Hearing Today

Rifqa Bary's first Court Hearing is today. A radio station is posting live updates, which I will post here. It sounds as if another hearing is scheduled for September 3rd.

Rifqa walked in after her parents sat down with their attorney Craig McCarthy at one table.

She is seated at another, but facing her mother, who is wearing a scarf and wiping her eyes with a tissue.

Rifqa wants to make a statement before the hearing begins.

The attorneys are huddling before the judge for a decision on whether he will allow that.

UPDATE: Judge Dawson has decided to let her speak, saying it his policy to let anyone speak in open court.

This case is about jurisdiction, whether she can stay in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families, or whether she has to be turned over to Ohio authorities.

A representative from DCF has told the court that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has agreed to investigate the matter, because DCF fears she is in danger.

An attorney for Rifqa's parents said Ohio has investigated this matter and if there's any question about her safety, then Ohio is the place for that to be determined.

"There is no basis," the attorney said, for her to stay in Florida since her life is in Ohio.

McCarthy said it would "enormous prejudice" to try this matter in Florida.

A legal representative for Rifqa says since Ohio has no prior legal proceeding in this case, then Florida can claim jurisdiction.

Staying in Florida, her legal team argues, would keep her safe.

Judge Dawson said he has had no contact with Ohio courts, so he doesn't know if Ohio wants jurisdiction in this case.

"Rifqa wants to be here," said one of her lawyers.

He told he court the teen's safety would be compromised back in Ohio, referring to some 'terrorist activity' in the region where she lived. He did not elaborate.

UPDATE: Rifqa is sitting with her attorneys, reading a book that she brought in. She glances at the judge and her legal team, but not her parents.

Judge Dawson says "at first blush" it appears his court has jurisdiction in this custody matter, since no Ohio court has taken up the matter.

Attorneys for the parents are citing a ruling that Judge Dawson could request an Ohio court to initiate a hearing, but Dawson said he didn't feel that was the case, although he appears willing to make contact.

update: A hearing is set for September 3rd at 2:30 p.m.

A dependency petition will be argued at that time.

The judge says he's inclined to refer this matter to mediation and keep this matter in his court.

Update: Rifqa is making her statement to the court. "I've been a christian for 4 years of my life. I love my parents but I am in fear of my life because of the past abuse. I assure your honor Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I am a Christian, a believer."

Her mother cried, "I need my daughter back."

He father said "I love my daighter, I have no problem in her practicing another religion."

She is free to come and practice what she likes in my home," he said.

Rifqa will spend some time with her younger brothers, but does not want to meet with her parents at this time.
The court will allow it.

update: Rifqa is staying in a foster home. Her foster parents are not willing to allow supervised visitation of Rifqa's family or friends right now. The judge is recommending DCF take charge of the issue and hold these meetings in an outside location where it can be videotaped.

Judge Dawson asked if Rifqa is a legal immigrant. She was born in Sri Lanka. Her attorneys say they are trying to determine that and need the parents' cooperation.

Her father, Mohammed, said she arrived in the U.S. on a visa. Since she has turned 17, her legal status is in question.

Rifqa will be home schooled in her foster home. She attended high school back in Ohio where she was a cheerleader.

The hearing ended at 4:07 p.m. SOURCE.


Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Fathima my dear sister, my prayers are with you.

minoria said...

Guys,go to! Rifqa has been spared!PAMELA has written all about it.I am glad I did my small part,and our dear sister Amana Sheikh also.I was really thinking it was a lost cause but things are great now.I feel like celebrating.

minoria said...


I just read this from that utterly astonished me.It comes from NONIE DARWISH,an Egyptian who is now a Christian.Here she tells of a very brave 36 year old woman,NAGLA AL-IMAM,a LAWYER,and woman's rights activist who recently became a Christian publicly and refuses to leave Egypt.She is alot braver than I will ever be.Just read:

" For instance, a prominent Egyptian lawyer and women’s rights activist, Nagla Al Imam, recently announced her conversion to Christianity in Cairo, Egypt. The announcement brought shock waves in and beyond Egypt. This is perhaps the first case ever of its kind, where a Muslim woman, who is also a Sharia expert, has openly challenged Islamic apostasy laws from within the Muslim world.

Ms. Al Imam’s incredible courage was on display in an internet chat room, where she announced that she is not afraid, will stand up for the human rights of apostates and refuses to leave her homeland, Egypt. This was immediately followed by attacks and calls (‘fatwas’) for death of the 36 year-old graduate of Al Azhar Islamic University.

Egyptian media not only reported the threat but also participated in the attacks. Ms. Al Imam was literally entrapped by a TV station ‘Al Mihwar’ with the pretext of inviting her for an interview. Upon arrival to the TV studio she was told the show she was to appear on was cancelled. She was then taken forcibly to a room where she was held against her will for hours inside the studio. She was assaulted, threatened and insulted by several people. She was able to escape, and went to her internet chat room telling the world what happened and said she will demand protection from the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Such action is common not only against apostates but anyone who deviates from the dictates of Islam or demands reform. Many Muslim journalists, intellectuals and feminists who consider themselves Muslims but are critical of Sharia are often intimidated, threatened or even killed for the slightest independent views using the apostasy card to keep them quiet."

mkvine said...

I pray that God will protect Rifqa

Unknown said...

I hold in my hand a book written by Emir Canor called, The Costly Call
Modern - Day Stories of Muslims who found Jesus

The most powerful stories of the twenty-first century are those that we have yet to hear.

They are the untold tales of the heroes of the Christian faith, those rejected, tortured, and killed because of the One they have chosen to follow.

Hassan, Aisha, WanMae, Adahiem. . .

Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt . . .

These are their true stories.

A second book has been released also! You can find out more at the Authors website:

minoria said...

Hello Charles:

Just read your comment.It is among Muslims that you find systematic,consistent,persistent persecutin of those who leave them.No other group does it.It is a real problem and Muslim leaders are in general silent because they agree with it.That is what happens when you are brainwashed as a child.

Just like before many white people were brainwashed as children to hate non-whites.It makes me sick.