Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Happy Birthday Rifqa
Rifqa is free ............ Christian Convert Rifqa Bary Turns 18, Released From State Custody
College for Rifqa – It Would “Offend Muslims”
The Rifqa Bary affair is a case study in the acquiescence of the American rule of law to Islamic law. The special handling of this teenage apostate from Islam has been unlike that given any other teen runaway. The gag order, the fear of Islam, the restrictions ... all soft Sharia.
Think the Rifqa Bary story couldn’t get any worse? Or that I have been overstating the hostility towards Rifqa by the Hamas-linked
County Child Services? Rifqa Bary was denied a chance to gain a full scholarship to a Christian college, for fear that her doing so would anger Muslims.
A few months back, it came to light that Rifqa, who fled from her devout Muslim parents in fear for her life after converting from Islam to Christianity and is now in foster care in Ohio, is suffering from an aggressive form of uterine cancer. While she was in the hospital, her parents were brought to her bedside, upsetting the girl terribly.
And now it can be revealed that a concerned American who cares for Rifqa’s future tried over the past year to get her admitted to a Christian college. Now she is 18, and Rifqa could begin her freshman year in college this fall. This woman, who has no connection to Rifqa’s case except sympathy for the poor girl, negotiated with the college for a scholarship for Rifqa. In the course of doing so, she was able to interest in Rifqa’s case a lecturer there who is an expert on religious liberty. She was able to convince the college to make Rifqa a genuine scholarship offer and obtained documents pertaining to the college and the scholarship.
It is worth mentioning that this resourceful and generous woman did all this despite being confined to a wheelchair. It wasn’t easy for her to make her way around this college to talk to the many people she had to see in order to make this scholarship offer happen for Rifqa. But that didn’t stop her.
What stopped her, at least for now, are the people around Rifqa. When this courageous lady tried to deliver the scholarship documents to Rifqa’s guardian ad litem, Bonnie Vangeloff, she found it extremely hard to get Vangeloff's attention. Now from one angle that that’s understandable, since there must be a great many people sending Bonnie material about Rifqa – most of it of little value.
But this was a genuine scholarship offer, and finally Bonnie Vangeloff was convinced of that. However, the gag order that has been placed on so many people involved with this case has prevented Bonnie from discussing the college and the scholarship in any depth with the woman who made it all happen in the first place, and she wasn’t allowed to discuss the college or the offer with Rifqa until she got permission from Rifqa’s court-appointed psychologist, Jennifer Dorn. She got that permission and gave Rifqa the material, encouraging her to apply. Unfortunately, Bonnie Vangeloff did not have the last word in this matter.
Vangeloff delivered the documents to Franklin County Children’s Services, which is currently responsible for Rifqa. But she didn’t hear back promptly at all. Bonnie and the woman responsible for obtaining the scholarship tried to get hold of the executive director of Franklin County Children’s Services, Eric Fenner, and Rifqa’s Franklin County Children's Services Case worker, Margaret Shirk, numerous times. They left multiple messages. They heard nothing.
The deadline for the scholarship started to get close. It came and went. Nothing. They got an extension. Still nothing.
It wasn’t until several weeks after the final, final, final extended deadline for the scholarship that the message came that Shirk wasn’t going to sign the necessary forms. Rifqa wouldn’t be going to this Christian college.
Why not? Because of the gag order, we don’t know for sure. But the woman who arranged for the scholarship has pieced together some clues. She believes that Margaret Shirk, rather than Rifqa’s lawyers, had the legal responsibility to sign off on Rifqa’s hospital treatment. That would mean that it was Shirk who called Rifqa’s parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, to Rifqa’s hospital bedside for their tactless visit that so upset Rifqa.
In line with her solicitude for Rifqa’s parents, it also seems that Margaret Shirk didn’t like the idea of Rifqa going to this college in the first place. The Franklin County Children’s Services intends to send Rifqa to college, but not to a Christian college. Why not? Shirk apparently is worried that if Rifqa goes to a Christian college, it “might upset the Muslim community.”
It might upset the Muslim community.
Here is a girl whose life has been threatened not just by her father but by other Muslims on Facebook, and Children’s Services is more worried about offending Muslims than they are about her.
This is criminal. Utterly depraved. Rifqa deserves better. Apostates deserve better.