Judge Daniel Dawson who has been presiding over the Fathima Rifqa Bary case in Florida has ruled that she should return home to Ohio where she will be staying with a foster family. No doubt the fanatical anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing nuts will be labeling the judge a dhimmi for following the law. They tried their hardest to smear this family and Muslims with everything they could, including lies, today it finally seems that this case which should have been decided from the very beginning is finally drawing to a close.
Fathima Rifqa Bary is likely coming home to Ohio, the state she fled nearly three months ago, saying she feared death for her conversion to Christianity.
But she’ll be staying in a foster home, not her parents’ Northeast Side apartment.
Jurisdiction in the 17-year-old’s case should be transferred from Florida to Ohio, judges in both states decided via conference call yesterday.
Dependency cases were filed in both states to determine whether the girl should be returned to her parents, who she says would harm her for leaving Islam.
“I believe this is the home state and the most convenient forum with respect to the issues as I understand them,” said Franklin County Juvenile Judge Elizabeth Gill.
Judge Daniel P. Dawson of the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida agreed, but he required certain steps be taken before she is returned.
Rifqa ran away in July, saying her father threatened to kill her for becoming a Christian. Mohamed Bary denied her accusations, and a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation found no credible threats to her safety.
She could be back in Ohio by Oct. 27, when a hearing is scheduled in Franklin County Juvenile Court, said Dawson, speaking from Orlando.
But before ordering her into the care of Franklin County Children Services, Dawson wanted two issues settled.
He asked for documented assurance that Rifqa’s online schooling can continue in Ohio. Dawson also asked that Rifqa’s parents provide all paperwork related to her immigration status before she crosses state lines.
The immigration status of Rifqa, a native of Sri Lanka, is unclear. Her guardian ad litem in Florida said she may not be in the United States legally.
It isn’t yet clear exactly when Rifqa will return, or how she will be transported. She will receive a psychological evaluation when she gets here.
Dawson asked whether the Barys could simply dismiss the Ohio dependency case because they filed it themselves in an attempt to transfer jurisdiction.
Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Chris Julian said they would not agree to dismiss the case. A Children Services official added that it would not be in Rifqa’s or her family’s best interest for her to live at home at this time.
In Gill’s courtroom yesterday, Mohamed Bary and his wife, Aysha, sat calmly between their attorneys. They laughed when they heard Rifqa’s Florida attorney, John Stemberger, say that she was in danger of being sent back to Sri Lanka where she could be killed or institutionalized.
Stemberger also said Rifqa wants to stay in Florida.
After the hearing, the Barys and their 18-year-old son, Rilvan, said they were told not to comment. Rifqa’s Ohio attorney, Kort Gatterdam, cited a gag order in declining to comment.
Dawson expressed frustration during the hearing that the Barys had not provided Rifqa’s immigration paperwork after repeated requests.
He gave them 10 business days to comply, under threat of being found in contempt of court.
He also ordered the release of the 110-page transcript of a nearly three-hour interview with Rifqa that was conducted by Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators. But some information must be redacted first, he said, not specifying an exact release date.
Pamela Geller, who has invested so much in this case, even making up lies whole cloth and trying to pass it on as “investigative journalism” is not pleased. In her usual shrill and radically bigoted style she writes that this is a “slow motion execution, shariah style.” Practically that the American system of law is Shariah. The woman is nuts. At the same time Robert Spencer takes his talking points from Pam and writes that “US court capitulates to shariah.” What fantasy land are they living in? My guess is when this case is over, as it soon will be, you will see Spencer distance himself from the case by remaining silent on it, or as per his practice declare victory.