JISHOU, HUNAN — The Orlando Sentinel reports that Fathima Rifqa Bary, the Muslim girl turned Christian (pawn), returned to her home state of Ohio, where she is in foster care pending family court proceedings.
Bary, 17, fled her Columbus home last summer with the assistance of conservative Christians, who bought her a bus ticket to Orlando, where she lived for two weeks with Christian crusaders Blake and Beverly Lorenz. Several days later, the Lorenzes reported Bary’s arrival to Florida’s child protection services.
The immigrant girl from Sri Lanka has become a poster child for those Christians who believe the world is heading for a showdown between the forces of good (Christians) and the forces of evil (Muslims). Feeding on apparently false accusations that Bary’s parents will kill her for leaving her faith, rabid Christians have flocked to her cause like bears to honey.
An Ohio judge has wisely restricted the impressionable girl’s access to the Internet and her cell phone, which has led one anti-Islam nutjob to accuse the Ohio judge of enforcing Muslim sharia law.
Last month, while under foster care in Florida, Bary appeared on a telephone conference call prayer meeting, during which she manically prayed to Jesus, then abruptly stopped, leaving her
handlers fellow Christians at a temporary loss for words. The conference call was scheduled to counter the sinister and cosmic influence of the Muslim Prayer Rally in Washington, D.C.
Florida’s child protection service officials have still not explained how Bary was allowed to participate in the event. The Ohio judge seems to have learned something from Florida’s cluelessness.
Bary has fallen in with an extremist set of believers, who even mainstream Christians distrust, according to the website Loonwatch. These folks variously believe that Christians — led by a “Joel’s Army” of young evangelical “soldiers” — are divinely appointed to rule the world, and that Christians must first deal with the Muslim problem. According to these kooks, Islam is a product of the devil, and Bary must be protected from the evil clutches of her parents, who by all rational accounts are loving, Americanized — and very puzzled — parents.
There are a lot of disturbing aspects to the case of Rifqa Bary, but Islam is not one of them. Her fragile understanding of her faiths (old and new), her manipulation at the hands of religious crusaders, and the unwarranted intrusion of Internet demagogues like Pam Geller are a much bigger problem.