As we have mentioned several times before, John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council, was an early and central player in the Rifqa Bary saga when she turned up in Florida in 2009. His actions during that case have now resulted in misconduct complaint being filed against him by the Florida Bar as well as a $10 million defamation lawsuit from the attorney who represented Bary’s parents.
As such, Stemberger has set up a legal defense fund to cover his mounting legal expenses that has the support of Jerry Bokin, Newt Gingrich, Tony Perkins, Lou Engle and David Barton.
And today, Barton had Stemberger on his “Wallbuilders Live” radio program where they, along with Rick Green, alleged that the lawsuit and misconduct complaint are an attempt by radical Muslims to destroy anyone who dares to criticize them. [I would like to point out that none of the claims made by Bary about her parents or the claims Stemberger asserts in this interview were ever substantiated by state investigators who examined them]:
Barton: The message is don’t talk about us or we’ll come after you the same way.
Green: It’s an intimidation factor.
Barton: We’re showing you what happens to people who talk about us or people who come after us in court – we will make you pay. And they may eventually lose, but that’s only if you have enough money to outlast them. And so it really is a bad thing and we’ve got a good friend of ours on today that’s in the middle of one of these things were Islamic groups have come after him because he stood and actually won a court for justice. And because he won, now they are going to make him pay a price.
Stemberger: Well, as your listeners may remember the name Rifqa Bary was a former Muslim teenager who made international headlines in about the summer and fall of 2009 when she ran away from her parents in Ohio to Florida, to a Methodist pastor and his wife after her parents threatened her life for not renouncing her Christian faith.
You know, she knew the repercussions of this so she was very, very careful to be discreet with it. But then when the parents, when the [leaders] of the mosque confronted the parents, that’s when they began to blow up and the father specifically threatened her, demanded she denounce her faith, said that “you’ll be dead to me” and that, according to her affidavit which is public knowledge, made some really specific threats … But when they found a book on Esther in her bedroom, that’s when they just said “we’re going to send you back to Sri Lanka” and she knew she would just be a walking dead girl at that point.
Just weeks after [Rifqa turned 18] the lawyer who opposed Rifqa in court and who represented Rifqa’s parents, Mr. Omar Tarazi, whose family has deep ties with CAIR, which is the Council on American Islamic Relations, he filed a grievance against me.
Green: This is their typical game plan. You mentioned CAIR, this is how they strike back, they trump up these kind of things and just give you a barrage of quote “ethical complains” so that you have to spend your time, energy, and money defending those instead of fighting the real fight, right?
Stemberger: Well, there is a clear growing trend of malicious lawsuits and other legal actions which are filed by adherents of radical strains of Islam and they’re designed to punish, silence, and to chill legitimate speech and public discourse about Islam.
Barton: That’s Islamic lawfare. I mean, they’re coming after you to make him an example and say “don’t anybody else every try to intervene …”
Green: Whether they win or lose, they example is made that we’re going to cost you money …
Barton: And if there is every a time to step up and help a brother, this is it. We’re not going to bring a BB gun to a tank fight. We’re going to show up and we’re going to take you toe-to-toe on this thing.