Pray for the forces of Light to prevail for this girl. I believe this is one of the most important religious freedom cases in our time. This is not only about one girl, Rifqa Bary, but about all Muslim girls, especially those here in the west. It is also about cherishing our most sacred right and freedom: the freedom of each individual soul for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
May God be with her, and may God bless and guide the judge; and may her lawyer be clear and strong in the court room on September 3. May she be allowed to say in Florida, safe and protected.
I love this picture because of the look on her face, and knowing she is doing what she can to keep God’s presence in her heart and mind in the midst of this. Visualize the Light of God, Christ, and the Masters, with her and all around her now, and in the courtroom:
Her lawyer, John Stemburger, said:
“…Rifqa is a remarkable young lady, she is petite in stature, but she is robust and big in heart, and even while she has great moments of fear and apprehension, she also has great hope and trust and joy. Her faith is very, very real, much more than most of ours, and that’s a great source of hope and comfort to her.”
…The United Nations has reported that there are over 5000 honor killings or apostate killings a year… And we believe that it’s in her best interests, clearly to retain her stable placement here in Florida and to not have her return to Ohio…
In praying about this over the last few weeks, I do get the feeling that her parents “love” her – and yet something else can supersede that love. In #19-20, below, we see the pressure that her father was getting from the Noor Center, and pushed him to the tipping point…
Here are details of the case…Excerpt from her affidavit (pdf) submitted for the September 3rd hearing:
…My father was very intent on making sure that his children, and especially me, were raised deeply in the faith of ‘Original Islam’ which was taught at the Noor Center.…
18. In June of 2009 my father confronted me with several questions about whether I had become a Christian, whether I was baptized, if I was going to church. Out of fear I remained silent;
19. Then my father told me that he received numerous emails and phone calls from the leaders of the Noor Center community who informed him that he needed to deal with this matter immediately;
20. In a fit of anger that I had never seen before in my life, he picked up my lap top, waived it over my head as if to strike me with it and said “if you have this Jesus in your heart, you are dead to me! You are no longer my daughter.” I continued to remain silent and then he said to me even more angry then before, I will kill you! Tell me the truth!”
21. On July 17, 2009, my mother confronted me about another Christian book she discovered that I hid in my bedroom. She had just spoken with my father was on the phone who was out of town. She was very upset, in tears, and almost grieving and told me I was going to have to be sent back to Sri Lanka to be dealt with.
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NOT Fathima Rifqa Bary
Her lawyer: John Stemburger – at a press conference on this case:
“…The primary issue in this case, is the clear and present danger that is presented by the Noor Center Mosque, and its ties to terrorist activity (pdf), and…the Bary parents’ devotion to, and relationship with, and regular weekly participation in the Noor Center…
…Let me say in closing, that this is not a case against Islam…The vast majority of Muslims in this country are peaceful, they’re law abiding citizens and they should be protected by the Constitution, embraced and really welcomed as contributors to the great diversity that makes up what America is…
For more general information, read this excerpt of an editorial from Canada, where they have had several honor killings this summer.
By JAMES MORTON
The Toronto Sun
Excerpt: “…An honour killing is part of an organized effort to subjugate women to a specific and oppressive view of society. Although the total number of honour killings in Canada is still relatively small, probably less than 50 in total to date, the impact on the community as a whole is huge. When compared to a worldwide figure of perhaps 5,000 honour killings a year the implied threat is heightened.
But numbers alone do not tell the story. Even at its height, the number of lynchings in the American South was fairly small (probably less than 100 a year) but the intimidation huge. Southern blacks knew the danger of speaking up for their rights; with honour killings, women can see the risk of behaving outside their place…Terrorism is violence designed to intimidate for an ideological purpose. That’s what an honour killing is — violence intended to subjugate and intimidate women…”
Well – there is much more – but I tried to sift it down to the things that I thought would be helpful in prayer. God bless you for all of your prayers! It is a force of Light in this world.
In Divine Joy,
PS – Please forward this to anyone who you believe will be moved to pray for the girl for next couple of days…