Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Pamela Geller, founder, editor and publisher of the popular and award-winning weblog AtlasShrugs.com. She has won acclaim for her interviews with internationally renowned figures, including John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Bat Ye’or, Natan Sharansky, and many others, and has broken numerous important stories — notably the questionable sources of some of the financing of the Obama campaign. Her op-eds have been published in The Washington Times, The American Thinker, Israel National News, Frontpage Magazine, World Net Daily, and New Media Journal, among other publications.
FP: Pamela Geller, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.
You are organizing a rally for Rifqa Barry. Tell us about it.
Geller: Rifqa, the girl who converted from Islam to Christianity and fled to Florida after saying that her father threatened her life, could now be returned to her devout Muslim family. Last Tuesday, Oct. 27, she was returned to Ohio and placed in foster care in Franklin County.
Eric Fenner, the executive director of Franklin County Children Services, said that he has “no reason to believe Rifqa wouldn’t be safe with her parents” — with the father who according to Rifqa said, “If you have this Jesus in your heart, you’re dead to me. You’re not my daughter . . . I will kill you.”
I am organizing a “Rally for Rifqa” in co-operation with Robert Spencer, bestselling author and director of Jihadwatch, and Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Islamic Jihad. It will be held on November 16th, the day of Rifqa’s dependency hearing in support of the reinstatement of her rights and freedom of religion.
FP: This is, of course, about Rifqa. But it is also about much more right?
Geller: Yes Jamie. It’s not just Rifqa’s battle. She is our proxy in the battle for freedom of religion and individual rights. Rifqa Bary’s case is the landmark case in the civil rights battle of this new century.
FP: So who are some freedom fighters that will be at the rally?
Geller: Some of the warriors who are coming to our rally are:
Simon Deng, an ex-slave from Sudan;
Nonie Darwish, Executive Director of Former Muslims United;
James Lafferty, chairman of the Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force;
Joyce Kaufman, Talk Show Radio Host;
Jamal Jivanjee, apostate, Pastor and Rifqa’s friend;
Honor killing victims’ family members who live under the threat of death.
Wafa Sutlan will make a statement, and many others will join us as well.
FP: How is Rifqa doing?
Gller: Rifqa Bary’s civil rights are being violated. She is being held prisoner: no phone, no internet, no public school. Why? What is her crime? She is being held under house arrest in accord with Sharia law, which stipulates that female apostates are to be imprisoned until they recant. Ohio is effectively practicing Sharia law.
Where are Rifqa’s civil rights? Where is her freedom of religion? Barack Obama said in Cairo in June 2009 that he would fight for the right of Muslim women in the U.S. to wear the hijab. Why isn’t Obama fighting for their right NOT to wear the hijab? Why isn’t he taking a stand for Rifqa’s right not to be a Muslim at all?
Jim Zorn, a children’s services attorney, is the one who asked Franklin County Juvenile Magistrate Mary Goodrich to forbid Rifqa from using the Internet and her cell phone.
Zorn explained: “What we want to restrict is the other people, the other organizations, the other forces, that have interjected themselves into this case inappropriately, and have caused the additional problems that we’ve seen.”
Her father may have threatened to kill her, and Zorn and Goodrich are keeping her away from the people who saved her and took her in.
The isolation of Rifqa is an egregious crime. How will we know if she is not being psychologically or physically abused? How will we know if she is all right?
Rifqa Bary should be posting to a Facebook page every day. The Ohio authorities and the Islamic supremacists who are pulling their strings are not protecting this girl, but rather are endangering her life.
They said that she is under no threat, but then they would not release details about her trip back to Ohio “for safety reasons.” Underneath it all, they have to know that Rifqa is in danger. But they don’t seem to care.
Even worse, Rifqa was returned to Ohio after Rifqa’s parents reneged on a deal and double-crossed Rifqa’s former Florida guardian ad litem, Krista Bartholomew.
After repeatedly being asked to produce their immigration documents and repeatedly failing to do so, and after I proved their illegal status and perjury on immigration forms at my Web site AtlasShrugs.com, Rifqa Bary’s parents risked being held in contempt of court.
So Rifqa’s father’s attorney, David Colley, made a deal with Bartholomew: The contempt of court charge would be dropped, and in exchange, Rifqa would be allowed to stay in foster care until she turned 18 — in other words, until she could be free of her parents.
Rifqa’s friend and fellow Muslim apostate Jamal Jivanjee explained what happened next: “This sounded like it was too good to be true, and it was! As soon as Rifqa was transferred into Ohio custody and the Florida court gave up their emergency jurisdiction over Rifqa and the immigration issue, Rifqa’s parents fired their own attorney that made the deal!” Now all deals are off, and Rifqa could be returned home very soon. “Let this be a lesson,” Jivajee said, “about Mohamed Bary’s real intentions.”
Rifqa’s parents lied to the court in Florida to get Rifqa back into their clutches. They never produced the immigration documents.
They should be on their way back to Sri Lanka and Rifqa should be applying for apostasy asylum. To send her back to Sri Lanka would be a death sentence.
And the rights violations don’t stop there. Rifqa is up against a large array of legal talent: her parents have changed lawyers as frequently as toddlers change diapers. Rifqa was given a new attorney in Ohio. Who chose him is unclear. His qualifications to defend Rifqa are unclear.
Is he well-versed in Shariah and apostasy? Who is choosing her lawyer? Does she have a say? Why can’t she choose her own attorney?
It’s criminal that Rifqa does not pick her own attorney. It’s criminal that the same statists who are enforcing Shariah, the same statists who will send Christian convert Rifqa Bary back to a fundamentalist Islamic home, the same statists who are putting her life in jeopardy, are the same statists who are picking her lawyer.
This is like a Third World country.
Rifqa Bary is getting railroaded.
FP: So where is this rally that people can come and take a stand for Rifqa and for all these issues involved?
Geller: Please join Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch and Dr. Bostom at the rally for Rifqa’s civil rights on the day of her next hearing, November 16. It will be at:
Franklin County Courthouse
Franklin County Juvenile Court
373 S. High street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Time to be determined
Phone: 614.462.4411, Franklin County Juvenile Court clerk
There will be speakers, fellow apostates from Islam, international lawyers fighting blasphemy laws and defending freedom of speech in the age of jihad.
I am imploring all people who can make it to come and stand with this girl on November 16. She represents America in the fight against encroaching Sharia Law.
FP: Pamela Geller, thank you for being here and thank you for your fight for Rifqa and for freedom.