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Dear Pamela, Rifqa has been ill-served by her lawyers, although I'm sure they tried their best. I made a contribution to Rifqa's trust in Florida. Has it been transferred to Ohio? Will she now have lawyers who know what they are up against? I have hypothetical questions for the CAIR lawyers based on an actual experience this year. Last winter I attended a church service at which a young family was baptized, husband, wife, and son about 6. The husband's first name was Mohamed. That's the actual experience. The hypothetical question is: If, when the young son becomes 13 or older, (the age at which Rifqa converted to Christianity), he realizes he does not share his parents faith but is a Muslim, while my Christian brother Mohamed is innocent of abuse or neglect as confirmed by court findings in Canada, would the CAIR lawyers agree that the son must be subject to his parents until the day he turns 19 (the age of majority in his Canadian province)? Suppose the Canadian court rules that he must remain so subject? What should the son do? Marian
This is for Nikolai: One problem with your theory that Rifqa had heard or read of apostates from Islam being persecuted and thereafter wrote herself into such a script is that her account of the confrontation with her father does NOT follow the expected script. In the usual hagiography, when the Christian believer is confronted point blank to confess or deny her faith she makes a bold confession come what may. She does NOT do what Rifqa said she did, which is remain silent and then say "I want to learn about Islam" when her father picked up the laptop. The fact that she did not either omit her less than heroic response at that point nor come up with some other explanation of evading that crisis that would commend her courage and fortitude gives her story the ring of truth. Another observation: ALL the Christians I know or know of who are former Muslims believe her story, while Christians from the West and secular people are more likely to doubt or disbelieve her. By the way, Rifqa was displaying a very biblical trait there, self-criticism is woven through so many of the prophets in the Bible. Marian
Dear Pamela, This decision is very disheartening. However, now Rifqa needs the best lawyers she can get in Ohio once she gets there.I have wondered throughout this terrible sequence of events, what the law is re: age of maturity and religious freedom. Examples: it is not statutory rape to have sex with a 17 year old. In many jurisdictions a minor can have an abortion without parental notification. I'm not saying I agree with that,but those are moral/religous decisions. When the Bill of Rights was created a girl of 17 might already have been married and had a couple of children. I know that Jonathn Edwards, a pillar of Puritan New England, married a girl 17. It is a little surreal to read of Rifqa referred to as a "child". Where is the ACLU when Rifqa needs them? We have to keep trying for Rifqa and brainstorming legally and otherwise on how to protect her now. I hope her Christian fellow-believers in Ohio will be a comfort and support for her. Marian
Dear Pamela, Greatwork on the Barys' immigration status. You are a heroine of Proverbs 24:11. Someone already mentioned to you that Mohamed Bary's lawyer has probably anticipated his illegal immigration status being outed. It has occurred to me that Rifqa has a younger brother 5 or 6 or thereabouts, who was, presumably, born in the United States. Perhaps he will be claimed as a so-called "anchor baby' or "anchor child". I am not a lawyer, but I believe that her younger brother has natural born U.S. citizenship. Can parents of a minor natural born citizen be deported? Sincerely, Marian