Today at 3:15 p.m. Eastern, a court in Orlando, Florida, will decide whether a 17-year-old runaway in foster care will be returned to her parents. Her reason for running away? She converted to Christianity, and she fears that her Muslim family will carry out a so-called "honor killing."
Fathima Rifqa Bary, 17, an honor student and cheerleader, converted to Christianity four years ago through interactions with classmates at school, and hid her faith from her family until last month. Her family has petitioned to have her returned to Columbus, Ohio, where she faces very real danger.
Atlas Shrugs' Pamela Geller has followed Bary's case closely, reporting that the girl's friends accompanied her to the school counselor after they noticed bruises covering her arms and legs that allegedly resulted from beatings by her father and brother.
"The middle school, in a serious dereliction of duty, did not report these beatings to child welfare services," Geller reported. "Beatings were random, violent, unprovoked. Take, for example, when Rifqa and her father Mohamed were driving in the car. He would force her to wear the hijab (head covering), 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. The beatings were regular and so much a part of the landscape of Rifqa's life, she became inured to them …"
Fathima, who is of Sri Lankan descent, hitchhiked her way to a bus station and ran away from home on July 19 fearing for her life. She was placed in foster care in Florida, and today, a jurisdictional hearing will be held to determine whether the case will be heard in Florida or Ohio. Some legal analysts have said that she will most likely be returned to her family in Ohio as there is no emancipation law there. Such a law exists in Florida, however, but it requires parental consent.
Bary warned that if she is forced to return to her family in Ohio, she will die "within a week."
Click here to read more about this brave young woman who could be a martyr for her faith.
I would hope that the juvenile court in Orlando upholds Fathima's right to LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Should they side with her family, they are just as culpable in her death if her family goes through with carrying out punishment for disgracing Islam under Sharia law.
Please pray that the courts do the right thing in protecting this girl from the horrors of "The Religion of Peace." I know I will be.