The air quality was much clearer last night, and through much of the morning. Around noon, the smoke did build up again, but it is not as bad as the other days.
Some of you asked for updates on Rifqa. She needs all the help we can give her in the next few days – for her court appearance is in on August 21.
Now her high school friends are reaching out to those who are sympathetic to her cause:
“I know that her dad is a threat to her, because I am friends with her and have heard her talk about it. In addition, when she took off and ran, I was one of the last people to talk to her via cell phone and as a result her dad started obsessively calling me and being very harsh and threatening towards me, while demanding that I tell him where she went to.“
America is a wonderful, multicultural experience. And we try to get over our prejudices and see things from other points of view. I know that sounds simplistic. My point is this: in the attempt to be fair and open-minded, some news sources appear to be sympathizing with Rifqa’s father. That is good (being open-minded) – but if a white, Christian girl accused her father of this – or even much less, would she be sent home to the father, based on his word? I don’t think so… There are so many ways to be “politically correct” or incorrect, aren’t there? In such times, to sift it out, it is crucial to protect the one who is most immediately vulnerable, and that would be the life of this young slip of a girl. Once she is safe, other things can be considered. And at least she is temporarily safe, in Florida custody for now. May that protection be extended, for the highest good of all involved.
“…Rifqa Bary is an honor student, a cheerleader – a good girl… Many in her school were shocked to hear that Rifqa, the quintessential good girl, had run away from home; those close to her were not surprised at all.
On several occasions friends of Rifqa would bring her down to the school counselor because of bruises on her legs and her arms, beatings suffered at the hands of her father and brother … The middle school, in a serious dereliction of duty, did not report these beatings to child welfare services. Beatings were random, violent, unprovoked…He would force her to wear the hijab, which she hated. In her discomfort she would slouch down, embarrassed, and her father would haul off and sock her in the face so that she never forgot to sit up straight in her costume…
…It was only when her father was warned by the members of the Muslim community at Noor Islamic Cultural Center that his daughter was an apostate, that Rifqa bolted. She had to run: he vowed to kill her in the time honored Islamic tradition of honor killings. The Noor Islamic Cultural Center has a notorious reputation for extremist ties…”
More can be learned here – but I have posted, above, the essentials needed for prayers. I am trying to keep this as non-political as possible. Let’s just save this girl. May the grace of God, Christ, Guru be with her now.