Mike Thomas is a journalist with the Orlando Sentinel which has been following and reporting on the Fathima Rifqa Bary case. The case of the young runaway has garnered much attention and many of the Islamophobes and anti-Muslims have much invested in it. Recently, conservative attorney John Stemberger who volunteered to represent Rifqa is now claiming that the real danger to the girl comes from the Mosque that her father attends.
Mike Thomas wanted to check if these sentiments were truly held by the neighbors of the Mosque or those who knew it, in a blog titled This is a Terrorist Mosque?, Thomas writes,
Attorney John Stemberger, who volunteered to represent Rifaq Bary, now claims that the real danger to the girl is her father’s mosque – the Noor Islamic Cultural Center – which he says is radical and has ties to terrorism.
I checked that with Rabbi Misha Zinkow, of Temple Israel, who spoke at the Noor center earlier this year at an inter-faith gathering.
“Their presence in the community is a positive one,” he said. “My interaction with the Muslim community has been very positive.”
I then asked the Rabbi if Columbus was a hotbed of Islamic extremism, another charge I frequently hear.
“I don’t think I would echo those sentiments,” he said.
The Noor Islamic Cultural Center also is a member of B.R.E.A.D., a social justice organization that includes a number of Protestant churches (Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, etc) , Catholic churches, Episcopalian churches, Temples and even the Unitarians.
Earlier this month, the Center had an interfaith session on homeland security.
Here is a promo the Center put out on Youtube. You can see all those middle-aged, crazy terrorists flipping burgers and hot dogs on the grill.
Mike Thomas shows that this Mosque is far from the “terrorist Mosque” that it is being painted as by Rifqa’s attorney, but will it be enough for those who are using the Fathima Rifqa Bary case for their own agenda to stop their crusade to paint the Mosque as a haven for terrorism whose members will kill Rifqa if returned?
LoonWatchers might have noticed that the anti-Muslim blogsphere with the likes of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have been reporting on this case constantly and have invested a lot in it, pushing full throttle to see to it that Fathima R. Bary does not end up with her parents and instead stays in Florida. Just today Robert Spencer posted a blog requesting his supporters to contact (pressure) the Florida court to keep Rifqa there. For them it is a high stakes game in the war against Muslims, so if Fathima is returned to her parents and the courts find that her life is not in threat they will end up with major egg on their faces.