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Fathima Rifqa Bary Update: No Abuse Found

Fathima Rifqa Bary

We have been keeping track of the Fathima Rifqa Bary case which the anti-Muslim blogsphere has invested a lot in;  attempting to further their agenda of demonizing Islam and Muslims. The fact that they don’t care much about this young girl or her family is obvious, they just want to score points in their tireless crusade against Muslims.

It seems slowly but surely the case is being resolved and more and more facts are coming out. The anti-Muslim blogsphere lead by the wacky Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have been casting the family as fanatical, abusive, wanting to kill their daughter. They have cast unsubstantiated allegations on the local Mosque in Columbus, Ohio saying it is a haven for terrorists, even when it has been proved a bastion of moderation.

Now Mike Kruse of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) have reported that there is “no evidence whatsoever of alleged abuse or threats of death made by the girl’s parents.”

ORLANDO — The attorney for the mother of Ohio religious runaway Rifqa Bary said in court here Thursday that results of a critical investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had come back “very favorable” and “with no evidence whatsoever” of alleged abuse or threats of death made by the girl’s parents.

Attorney Roger Weeden’s statement was the most contentious part of a hearing that was tense throughout. It came before the judge imposed gag orders in an attempt to restore some order to this controversial custody case turned culture war.

In addition to the gag order for the attorneys, Judge Daniel P. Dawson gave them 10 days to read the FDLE report — no more talking about that, either — and gave them 30 days to schedule the start of mediation for the Bary family.

“Let’s concentrate on getting this case resolved,” Dawson said. He set a pretrial hearing for Sept. 29.

Bary, 17, ran away last month from her family’s home near Columbus because she believes her Muslim parents have to kill her because of her conversion to Christianity. She traveled to Orlando by bus and stayed in the home of evangelical pastors Blake and Beverly Lorenz of the Global Revolution Church for more than two weeks before authorities knew where she was.

She’s been living with a Christian foster family since Aug. 10. At a hearing Aug. 21, Dawson, the judge, decided to keep her in Florida as custody issues get settled.

She was in court Thursday, wearing a brown sweater, a white dress and dark red nail polish. She said nothing, but did blow an occasional kiss to people she knew in the courtroom when she wasn’t reading her Bible.

The FDLE report was finished late Thursday morning. It includes a two-hour, 45-minute interview with Bary. The results of the report, based on what Weeden said in court, mirror the results of a recently completed abuse investigation done by Franklin County Children Services in Ohio. The conclusion up there: “unsubstantiated.”

Thursday, the state Department of Children Families asked that Bary no longer be allowed to visit with Blake and Beverly Lorenz. The judge agreed, although he let her continue to visit with the Lorenzes’ three children, who are in their 20s, and whom Bary considers “dear friends and spiritual advisers,” according to John Stemberger, her attorney.

In court, Krista Bartholomew, Bary’s guardian ad litem, said this case was “not a holy war,” but that’s what this has become over the last month.

Before the hearing on Thursday, outside in front of the courthouse, Tom Trento held a news conference, as he did before the first hearing. He’s from the Florida Security Council, an organization with the slogan of “Securing Florida Against Terror.” This time, though, he brought a pastor from Ohio and a pair of anti-Islam bloggers.

Jamal Jivanjee, the Ohio pastor, compared Rifqa Bary to Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who was killed by Nazis in World War II and whose diary became what many consider one of the most important books of the 20th century.

Robert Spencer, who writes on a blog called Jihad Watch, told reporters Islam was here to take over America. Pam Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog dismissed the results of the Franklin County investigation by saying things were “corrupt in Ohio.”

“Forget your political correctness!” she said.

Muslim businessman Mohammad Lutfi of Orlando yelled that Trento, Spencer and Geller were “conservative, right-wing militants” and “crusaders.”

Later, after the hearing, the attorneys made hasty exists, citing the new gag order. They hurried past the TV trucks, the reporters, the cameras, the shouting, red-faced, finger-pointing scrum.

Out in the busy, rain-slicked street in front of the courthouse, an appropriate metaphor for the day: a silver sedan screeched, skidded and slammed into the back of a navy blue Jeep.

Michael Kruse can be reached at or (727) 893-8751.,0,4434694.story

One should thank Michael Kruse for his excellent reporting as well as accurately describing just who Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are; true agenda driven fanatics with an immeasurable amount of hate for Islam and Muslims.

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  • Cynic

    like a nuke on Mecca, for instance. “Here, you push this button here and Presto! Partial payback for 9-11″.

    There are so many things wrong with this statement, that I don’t even know where to begin.

  • cheryl

    What a bunch of hogwash. So you cite “the christains did this and that”, the “shintos did that and this”. Why don’t you clean-up your own house before you whine about what others may have done, did do, may think about doing, and certainly would do if given half a chance, like a nuke on Mecca, for instance. “Here, you push this button here and Presto! Partial payback for 9-11”.
    No mention of “honor killings” by “moderate muslims”?
    And as far as anyone having the brains to say “sayranora” to islam, God bless them, one and all.

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  • Sambhunath Tiadi

    Forget about specific religion. Believe in oneness of god. God is almighty. No body has seen him except feelings. Ask yourself several times. Go deeply on a specific issue. All the natural resources are the gift of god. Human resources are made from natural resources. Man & women have made the human resources from natural resources. Every body has got equal rights on natural resources. But what is happening in this ” Quarrel Age”. The people, who have power, are acquiring more natural resource by depriving the other gentle people of the globe. Religions have been created by human beings for their vested interest. But, it is an admitted fact that there are few godly man and women in the world, for which we are able to exist in the society. But the godly men are not rich. They are devotees, dedicated and always work for human society. Now a days all are sinner except few for we are able to exist in the world. All the nations are under the control of capitalists and other rich people. How they became rich & capitalists? By cheating general people of the world.Lord Jesus Christ born in a stable and spoke the truth, and he was crucified and Christ religion was originated. Prophet Mohammad married to a rich women,became rich and than spread the religion of Islam. Lord Buddha born in a royal family,left his palace in search of truth,and finally spread the religion of “Buddhism”. All the religions are man made. At present all the religious people are doing politics. You think about Pope Benedict-XVI, the religious leader of Christian.He is also doing politics and not capable make equality among all. Then what is the value of Pope Benedict-XVI. The true and real Christian religious leaders are not getting chance to get the high dignitary of position of POPE in the Vatican city. Unethical activities of different religious & political leaders are the main cause of terrorism in the world. Within the available natural and human resources, all the nations are capable to generate 100% employment opportunities in agricultural and other sectors subject to proper planning & its implementation. But what is going on at present. Every body wants power,whether in religious or political matter. Hence, think deeply,find the conclusion in the right way and proceed further to receive god.
    Sambhunath Tiadi
    Lord Jesus & Mother Mary Foundation
    HIG-221,Kalinga Vihar BDA Colony,Po-Patrapada,
    +91 9777816178

  • Supersubby

    yes… credible. That explains A LOT!

  • viiit

    To Kaka,
    If I was absolutely sure that there was no force and no threat of any kind and that she was fully informed about what she is getting into, and not being lied to and especially if I knew that she can change her mind any times she wants and come back, I would absolutely respect the 17 years old girls decision.

    In this case, there is no indication that she has been forced.
    It is also clear that she is aware of what she is getting into: She has been Christian for the last 4 years. She is comfortable with the pastor and his family.
    She is free to change her mind any minute if she wishes and go back.

    So how dare you or anyone to impose your ideas on another human being. Anyway, what difference does it make if she is 17 and 2 months or 18?
    It is unbelievable that you view parents as owners of a young adult of 17!

    If kids don’t want to be with their parents there must be a very important reason for that. In most cases they have been abused! This girl testifies that she HAS been abused by her father.
    I simply cannot comprehend how any sane human being could dream of forcing her to go back to a home where she claims she was abused. To a father whom she claims said will kill her.
    Perhaps she lies… I don’t think so, but perhaps. So if she lies, what could be such important reason for a girl to lie about her own father? That is an extremely serious accusation. There must be something very wrong there. How can you risk sending her to a place like this? What is something happens? What if she will be killed? YOU WILL FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE BE AN ACCOMPLICE TO MURDER, this is just as bad as being a murderer. Think again, before saying anything against her.

  • kaka

    To “viiit”

    so if she wanted to join some cult in russia because she wants to you be ok with her “learning from her mistakes and finding out herself”

    I pray you are not a parent

  • viiit

    Who cares if she is Christian or Muslims, or anything else. The girl very clearly does not want to be with her parents.
    How can all you morons miss this simple point??
    Her FREEDOM is sacred. Much more than any Jesus, or Muhammad.
    How does any one dare to impose their will on another human being. Perhaps she is mistaken, perhaps she is misguided, perhaps she listened to some Christian fanatics, perhaps. SO WHAT???
    Let her find out, let her learn from her own mistakes. Her parents don’t own her.
    The way the parents behave, is disgusting! They failed, they did not love her enough, instead they try to get her by force! That’s RAPE!

  • jargo

    You people are quite ignorant. The reason that there was not any evidence of abuse is because she fled before it could be perpetrated. I guess the thing to do is to send her back, let the crime be performed, and then something can be done, huh! If you had any semblance of objectivity, you would at least acknowledge that Honor Killings have been quite common in the Muslim community worldwide. There has been evidence of these killings in the UK and the US. I guarantee you, if the girl came from a Christian family and was claiming that her parents were threatening to kill her, you people would be more indignant about defending the girls right to be protected. Just to give you a little information on Honor Killings, you might want to look at this link:
    And by the way, Christians are not trying to relive the Crusades. They are simply tired of hearing about Islam being a religion of peace and then seeing with their own eyes the fruit of hate and intolerance.

  • James

    The Islamophobes forced to eat crow AGAIN? Color me surprised.

  • Mooneye

    Gavin. L,

    Thank you for your grace and your insight as a Sri Lankan Christian on this whole episode. It is an important perspective that those in the hate blogsphere are trying to drown out with their own agendas.

  • Gavin L.

    I am a Christian from Sri Lanka. Importantly, I am from Galle Fort. The situation on this island is vastly different to the ignorance and extremist views harboured by Christians and Jews in the USA.

    In Sri Lanka Christians and Catholics are close to their Muslim brethren. We consider ourselves the people of the scriptures.

    As a Christian I am appalled and what they have done to this teenage girl. No true Christian must encourage any child, of any faith, to run away from home.

    If she was in danger, then the pastor should have informed the police. Not encouraged her to flee. That my friend is what Christ has taught us. Not to hate and divide.

    Read this:

  • SoobyDOO


    You know what else leaves no evidence of abuse? No abuse.

    As for testimonies, they may or may not be true. There have been countless cases of fake stories by emotional or rebel teens.

    What would I believe? Fair and objective investigations. Certainly not the wild speculation of biased armchair activists who have a vested interest in affirming the results they need for their blogs to prosper.

    So far, every third party voice who knew the family including Hindus, Jews, and police have vouched for the father, not the girl. As has the son.

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  • HGG

    As usual, no proof whatsoever of what she’s claiming. Oh, and she just added “Allegedly”. It wasn’t there.

  • Yahya

    The enemies of Islam and Muslims stooped lower than this at the time of the Prophet (pbuh). Many examples of their lies and deceptions can be found in Quran. There is nothing new under the sun.

  • Ustadh

    This case has all the signs of a train wreck, or as Mike Kruse analogized a “car crash.” Something about this case struck me as odd from the very beginning. How did this girl end up in Florida and when Spencer and Geller and all the other anti Islam writers eagerly jumped on board something smelled fishy. Her video, in which she is clutching the Reverend also seemed a bit contrived, maybe not by her but those manipulating her such as the Evangelical Church she was brainwashed by. It is sad that these right wing nut cases would stoop this low, destroy a family, attack a religion, resort to stereotypes just to further their agenda. Let’s hope the truth keeps coming out and quickly too.

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