This was wonderful news. I read a transcript of what happened in the courtroom and the judge seemed very clear. I was glad to see this. Many issues were considered, and the next hearing is on September 29. Please keep her on your long-term prayer list, if you feel so inspired. Possibly this case will drag on until she is age 18 (next summer) and then she is free.
The judge is pushing for mediation (to be held in Florida):
The parents’ lawyer says that mediation will be useless. “I’m trying to help the court” by saying this, he says. The judge says that he doesn’t see how he is helping the court by complaining that mediation won’t work. They agree to set a date for mediation.
Rifqa stands firmly behind her story, and does not alter it one bit. She says she wants her story known, to help other Muslim girls who may be facing fear and intimidation, saying, “This case is not about me, but about thousands of girls around the world like me.”
At one point she burst into tears when her parent’s lawyer wanted the judge to rule that she could not see her new Christian friends in Florida, especially the 3 young adult children of the family that first took her in when she ran away from Ohio to Florida. The judge overruled that idea, thankfully. (She needs all the friends she can get.)
Anyway – it is a painful story – yet her courage and strong faith make it a very inspiring one. May the Light prevail.