The Columbus Dispatch recently published a series of articles on domestic violence in Ohio.

It’s one of the better things to come out of the Dispatch recently. And also one of the most disturbing. The articles deal not only with the horrible stories of domestic violence but also with the unbelievable statistics (e.g. “45 percent of all 75,000 domestic-violence runs by police end without an arrest”) as well as the lapses in legislation and law enforcement that allow serial abusers to avoid punishment.

With all of this real, serious, horrible domestic violence happening in Ohio I find it almost impossible to believe that Pam Geller continues to manufacture fake outrage over Rifqa Bary – a teenage girl who ran away from her home in Ohio and traveled to Florida to live with a guy she met on the internet – by claiming Rifqa was abused by her parents and is being treated improperly by the state, county and city employees who are charged with protecting her.

Geller claims that county officials and employees of Franklin County Children’s Services are holding Rifqa hostage against her will when she’s actually in foster care because she is a minor. Geller also claims that Rifqa is in horrible danger if she is returned to her home even though county officials have investigated Rifqa’s family and have found no evidence of any kind of abuse in the household.

As a matter of fact, Rifqa never actually said she was in any way abused. Just that her father got angry with her and threw her laptop on the floor. I have to admit, if I caught my 17 year old daughter chatting with some old, Jesus-freak from Florida on her laptop I would have skipped the floor entirely and tossed the damn thing in the trash.

There is only one reason Geller is interested in the story and that’s because the girl’s parents are Muslim and she has converted to Christianity. That’s it. Period.

If Geller really cared about helping victims of domestic violence- real victims who the system has failed – she’d be focused on this case out of Knox county that I heard about today.

In this case a woman who had been sexually assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend since the age of 9 delivered evidence of the rape: a series of letters talking about the rape sent to her by her rapist. The man was arrested earlier this year but when the case was presented the grand jury the prosecutor failed to read the man’s letters and the case did not proceed. The accused-rapist was released.

This is a real tragedy. A real failure of the system. Something to really get angry about. And it only gets worse.

This week the woman, with the help of the Justice League of Ohio, filed an affidavit with the Knox County Common Pleas Court to seek criminal charges against her attacker. But the affidavit has yet to be acted on because both the prosecutor (John Thatcher – the guy who screwed up the initial grand jury hearing) AND the judge (who could have already ordered the man arrested) are attending some sort of conference at the Hyatt in downtown Columbus all week.

You want to talk about the system failing a victim? This is a REAL story.

So where’s the outrage?

Nothing but silence from Geller and friends.

If you want to put together a rally for this real victim, Pam, I will be out there tomorrow standing next to you in front of the Knox County courthouse (or the Hyatt on Capital Square).

But if you’re just interested in coming to Ohio to push your anti-Muslim agenda, and you have no interest in helping Ohio’s real victims of domestic violence, then stay the fuck at home.

 
  • Didacticus

    Why do you spread such misinformation? Rifqa said she was beaten frequently, and in fact she said her classmates in middle school reported seeing visible marks to a counselor and her parents were called. FDLE never investigated this.

    It’s clear from her account that being frequently beaten was the main reason she was so despondent and turned to Christianity.

    She also said her uncle molested her while her mom knew of it and ignored it.

    This girl had good reasons to be disturbed long before she met any Christian evangelists.

    There are several other falsehoods and misleading statements in your blog. I guess only politically correct children have the right to be dealt with as human beings rather than property. If all kids were treated as you treat Rifqa, the number of abused kids would skyrocket as they all would be open to ridicule by people like you unless they could conclusively PROVE their abuse.

  • Eric Ottewitte

    You distort. Rifqa went to live with a church Pastor and his wife, who took her in out of compassion. Most committed Christians would do the same. You must know that anyone who questions or slights the Koran arouses deep Muslim emotions. The Koran clearly states that those who leave Islam are to be killed. Most Muslims would not do so, but there are still plenty that do. But no Muslim can speak against the Koran. Islam has been and still is the religion of the sword: forceful conversion. “Honor killings” are prevalent outside USA, but there have been several here also, including the ones in Texas recently, and a pair of teenagers by their father. Local Christian friends of Egyptian origin are afraid to speak out about Islam because of the presence of Muslim cell groups in a nearby university. A local Christian pastor evangelized in Pakistan. When a child was dramatically healed, local Muslims threatened to kill him. He left, and they killed the local Christian pastor instead. Muslims will not deny the Koran and a sizeable minority will act on it, regardless of the consequences.

  • ericottewitte

    You distort. Rifqa went to live with a church Pastor and his wife, who took her in out of compassion. Most committed Christians would do the same. You must know that anyone who questions or slights the Koran arouses deep Muslim emotions. The Koran clearly states that those who leave Islam are to be killed. Most Muslims would not do so, but there are still plenty that do. But no Muslim can speak against the Koran. Islam has been and still is the religion of the sword: forceful conversion. “Honor killings” are prevalent outside USA, but there have been several here also, including the ones in Texas recently, and a pair of teenagers by their father. Local Christian friends of Egyptian origin are afraid to speak out about Islam because of the presence of Muslim cell groups in a nearby university. A local Christian pastor evangelized in Pakistan. When a child was dramatically healed, local Muslims threatened to kill him. He left, and they killed the local Christian pastor instead. Muslims will not deny the Koran and a sizeable minority will act on it, regardless of the consequences.

  • JJ

    How prevalent is domestic violence among Christians? The point of the blog is that DV is everyone, but people like Gellar don’t seem to care about it. If DV involves Muslims, then it is labeled “honor killings.” There is nothing in Islam about “forceful conversions.” You distort.

  • I think you're spending too much time reading Pam Geller, Didacticus. No where in any of the reporting on this case has there been claims of molestation or beatings.

    Not even by Fox news who says only that Rifqa “said she feared her father would harm or kill her for converting from Islam.”

    A statement her father denies and that was investigated by Florida and Ohio authorities.

    I'd love to see your sources. Please post a link.

  • Really? So you're a Koran scholar, Eric?

    I'm guessing not since your 'information' about the Koran is not correct.

    A small number of Muslims may distort and misinterpret their religious text just the same way many Christians do with the bible (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.)

    I'd also like to add that the Bible clearly states people should be stoned to death for pretty minor offenses – like worshiping a different god.

  • Ohioan

    Actually, Rifqa's actual description of “being beaten frequently” was pretty wishy-washy–lacking in details. There was a suggestion (from Rifqa) that a friend saw bruises and reported this to a counselor. The FDLE was unable to confirm this with the school, nor was there a named friend. Nonetheless Geller was reporting on (and embellishing) this long before the FDLE report was made public. In Geller's version (allegedly provided to Geller in an interview with an “anonymous friend” of Rifqa's) there were many trips to the counselor. Geller, who claims to be adept at such technological wonders as finding out where in the world (within a few blocks) emails come from–couldn't even get a name, or provide a phone number to authorities, of this important witness. In fact, the similarities (less Geller's embellishments) track so similarly to the FDLE interview (including a story about slouching down in the car when bound for the Mosque in hijab), one has to wonder if someone were leaking info to Geller that she claimed to have gotten through other independent sources.

    The allegation of molestation by an uncle, with mother's knowledge, has not surfaced anywhere beyond Geller that I can find. She suggested that Stamberger was going to introduce this into evidence–but apparently this never happened.

    The writer has a good point. This case cannot be placed in a context of concern for the abuse of women, because, in Gellers mind and rhetoric, these things simply are not happening outside of Islam. Meanwhile, add to the Dispatch's series on domestic violence, as series just out this morning looking at the increasing incidence of familicide–in the form of murder-suicides carried out by fathers and husbands for a number of reasons.

    To define the issue of family violence as narrowly as belonging to a certain caste or set of believers is a great disservice to all other victims.

  • Ohioan

    No–most committed Christians would not do the same. Under the laws of both Ohio and Florida, members of the clergy are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse. It is sickening to me to see clergy flocking to this case with a claim that they heard Rifqa's cries for help, and rather than informing legally constituted authorities of their information, sought instead to make a hero/martyr in support of their cause. Mainstream protestent denominations support these legal requirements because they have seen the damage done by earlier generations in overlooking potential (and on occasion proven) cases of abuse.

  • Well said, Ohioan.

    If someone can show me some proof that there was even the threat of violence from the family I'll be the first to post it.

    Until then, I will take Pam's 'facts' for what they are: dangerous, anti-Muslim rhetoric intended to spread her message of hate and religious intolerance.

  • Didacticus

    There's been plenty of mainstream media reports on Rifqa alleging serious abuse, e.g.:
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/break
    http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2009/10/22/r
    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/court-decide-custody-

    The last link describes the molestation allegation.

    Joseph, you evidently know nothing about this case but you have no qualms to spread falsehoods about this child before checking the facts. At best you're a fool, at worst a liar.

    You're also wrong about the laptop incident: Rifqa said her dad was about to smash over her head, not that he smashed it on the floor. That's one of the reasons she started to be so afraid.

    You also make Rifqa look like some slut who runs away from home to have a sexual adventure with a much older man. She did not. She was actively seeking an asylum and the pastor's wife agreed. She stayed there with the couple and their three kids.

    You must know your formulation would be insulting to a kid like Rifqa, and evidently that's why you chose those word — to abuse her.

    Either correct all of the above are be a liar and a child abuser.

    Ohioan, FDLE did NOT investigate the middle school story Rifqa told them. Go ahead and prove otherwise or admit you just made that up. Are you a liar or just a careless fool?

    You two abuse a child because her cause happens to be taken up by someone you hate. I couldn't care less about your beef with Geller and I didn't even know about her before Rifqa. If I'll see her spreading heinous falsehoods about any child I will slam as well.

    Don't abuse children because of your silly political wars.

    BTW, I'm from Europe and I see nothing “liberal” about you judging by this page: clearly you do not believe kids should have any guarantees of freedom or well-being and safety, at least not when the kid happens to be politically incorrect (whatever that means to you). In fact you sound just like Craig McCarthy and Mike Huckabee. Liberals my ass.

  • Ohioan

    While I don't believe it is true that if I do not correct all that I said then I am a liar and a child abuser, let me respond. The ABC news story quotes Stamberger as saying that there was sexual abuse. Shortly thereafter the judge provided a gag order (interesting–the gag order was put in place at the strong request of the GAL who noted that Rifqa was frightened, even hysterical, by the release of Stamberger's accusations of the Barys'/Noor's ties to extremist groups (as poorly put together as that piece of non-evidence was), so there was never any follow-up to that remark–and nothing to indicate that this allegation ever made it to court. The FDLE did investigate the information that was provided to them by Rifqa, of her own knowledge–and there was nothing in the interview related to sexual abuse.

    The FDLE contacted the Superintendent of St. Albany school district–who had already checked into all records that would have been maintained in the case of a report of suspected abuse to a counselor. Rifqa did not provide a name for the counselor. They did contact the teacher, whose name Rifqa did provide, who Rifqa believed understood the threat she was under. The teacher reported a very different set of concerns–that Rifqa's brother was having parties involving alcohol while parents were away.

    The testimony regarding the laptop–nearly identical from Rifqa and Mohammed–was that he raised it over his head. Rifqa believed that he meant to hit her, but did not. He reported that he meant to smash it on the floor, but did not. Hard to tell who is right, as he did neither. Certainly it would have been an alarming incident for someone who had been reading online that all Muslims are duty-bound to kill family members who leave Islam.

  • Didacticus

    My request for correction is meant mainly for Joseph, who posted as facts blatant falsehoods and made Rifqa look like a slut.

    Ohioan, the district not having a record of an abuse report does not mean that what Rifqa described never happened. You'd have to have an enormous faith in the district bureaucracy to jump to the conclusion Rifqa must be a liar. She does not even know what the counselor told her parents, only that her parents were angry but that the abuse became infrequent afterwards. Law enforcement would have to try to find the counselor and the kids to get to the bottom of this. Phone records might be helpful as well. But first of all there would have to be a desire to find the truth.

    None of us knows if Rifqa has been abused, none of us knows if her father said he'll kill her (and if he meant it). Children should never be put in a situation where they have to *prove* abuse or *prove* their fears, before they can get help and feel safe. The widespread ridicule and derision against Rifqa in the mainstream media, not to mention the blogosphere, is sending a deadly message to kids.

  • I in no way intended to make “Rifqa look like a slut”. My point was that state and county officials in both states are handling Rifqa’s case like they would any other case in which an underage girl ran away from home. It hardly matters if the guy she met on the internet is a preacher or a pet store owner.

  • Ohioan

    Didactus–I don't see much in Joseph's posts that could be construed as blatant falsehoods–in fact he doesn't assert much of anything, rather questions many of the allegations that have been made. And I certainly don't see that he has accused Rifqa of being a slut.

    But I have a larger problem with the assumption that either Rifqa or her parents must be wholly right or wholly wrong. I am willing to accept that Rifqa believes everything that she has said. I believe that she believes that her father is duty-bout to kill her for converting. I believe that she received some possibly well-intentioned coaching from her attorney, and possibly others, who knew what would hold up in court and what would not. I think that her often repeated line of “you don't understand,” was given to her by others–who assured her that the state of the world and justice in the United States is that Muslims are given tolerance while Christians are persecuted. The is certainly a line that is consistent with the Alliance Defense Fund, the Florida Security Council, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Blake Lorenz spoke along a similar line in a sermon given the day before contacting Florida authorities (after being contacted by Mr. Williams that the jig was up and the police had tracked him down). We know that Rifqa fabricated the story of her trip to Florida to protect these folks.

    Personally I have not see much in the media or blogosphere that I would consider to be anywhere near as derisive of Rifqa as of her parents, the Columbus Muslim community and Muslims in general. No one is accusing Rifqa of being a mindless follower of rules that require murder, or of following a pedophilic religion or of conspiring in secret to overthrow the American justice system. Many, however, recognize that she is, in fact, a minor with months to go before reaching a legal age for independence–and knowing that even at age 18 there is no magic arrival of maturity.

    If your argument is that any child who charges contemplated abuse on the part of their parents should be either emancipated or granted dependency–I think you will find many who will oppose you–including many who are currently demanding that same outcome for Rifqa. If your argument is that all children of Muslims who charge comtemplated abuse be emancipated or granted dependency, I think you will find yourself to be running afoul of Constitutional concerns. These things may not be immediately frightening to children–but I find them to be very frightening.

  • Didacticus

    Joseph wrote “As a matter of fact, Rifqa never actually said she was in any way abused” and that's blatantly false in several ways.

    Joseph continued: “Just that her father got angry with her and threw her laptop on the floor” — he didn't even know Rifqa said her father threatened to KILL her, explicitly so — something nearly anyone who paid even little attention knows.

    And he wrote that Rifqa was “a teenage girl who ran away from her home in Ohio and traveled to Florida to live with a guy she met on the internet” — clearly implying she was willing to cause enormous grief to her parents MERELY to have a sexual adventure with a man she didn't even know well.

    It's insulting and Joseph knows that perfectly well.

    And you know all this perfectly well as well. But I guess the ends justify the means, right? Anything goes in some silly blog war, no matter the victim is some young girl who is not even an adult yet.

    Arguing that some people have been unfair to her parents, or to the pastor's family for that matter, does not make abusing the girl one iota more right. Wrong is wrong, period.

    And your “problem with the assumption that either Rifqa or her parents must be wholly right or wholly wrong” is entirely misplaced here since it's not my assumption.

    And finally: any child who fears her parents so much she's willing to go into foster care must be allowed to do so. Anything less results in needlessly abused and murdered children.

  • Assuming you're the same Canandian Didacticus on twitter, you seem like a reasonable guy.

    Not sure why you can't understand this.

  • Didacticus

    Not sure why you can't understand it's wrong to spread falsehoods and insults about a young girl. Retraction and apology are the only remedy.

    And not sure what's there not to understand about your latest post. You now seem to think you were just like Rifqa when a teenager and that her trouble comes down to an “everyday family argument”. I think that's naive to the point of being downright stupid, but it's your opinion, not a falsehood or an insult. So fine.

    I do wonder, however, what you propose for Ohio to do when its “facilitation” goes nowhere. What then?

  • Didacticus

    Not sure why you can't understand it's wrong to spread falsehoods and insults about a young girl. Retraction and apology are the only remedy.

    And not sure what's there not to understand about your latest post. You now seem to think you were just like Rifqa when a teenager and that her trouble comes down to an “everyday family argument”. I think that's naive to the point of being downright stupid, but it's your opinion, not a falsehood or an insult. So fine.

    I do wonder, however, what you propose for Ohio to do when its “facilitation” goes nowhere. What then?

  • Pingback: Pam Geller Continues Assault on Bary Family, Ignores Real Abuse in Knox County()

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:


Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!