Rifqa Bary and the Right Wing Holy War

Back on September 3, the judge overseeing the case involving Rifqa Bary sealed the findings from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s investigation into the wild allegations made by right-wing activists who have been claiming that she’d be she’d be murdered if she were sent back to her parents in Ohio, alleging that the mosque her parents attend is a terrorist hotbed, and even throwing around allegations of sexual and physical abuse.

The report was to be sealed for ten days to give all parties a chance to read it over. Well, the ten days are up and early reports on its contents say the report has not substantiated any of the right-wing claims:

The FDLE report on the case of a teenage girl who ran away from home fearing an honor killing for converting to Christianity shows local church officials likely had a role in getting her to Orlando.

The report, which was under a 10-day seal that expired Monday, alleges 17-year-old Rifqa Bary misled investigators about most of the details about how she arrived in Florida.

Bary initially claimed she hitchhiked her way to the Greyhound bus station in Columbus, Ohio and used money she had saved up from her job to buy the ticket to Orlando. Instead, investigators say she was driven to the bus station by a young pastor named Brian Williams. He baptized Bary in Columbus but has since moved to Kansas City. And the ticket, they say, was purchased under a fake name by someone in Orlando.

Once here, authorities say she was met by the Law family, apparently leading members of the Global Revolution Church, and taken to the home of the church’s Pastor Blake Lorenz. She stayed there for 2-and-a-half weeks before her first hearing in juvenile court that placed her in foster care. The report does not say that the Lorenz family, or the church as a whole, had an explicit role in getting Bary to Orlando.

The Global Revolution Church is now “restructuring,” according to reports.

The report also found no evidence to back up claims of abuse or serious threats to Bary.

Bary told investigators her father had punched her while they rode in a car because she had shown embarrassment about wearing an Islamic headscarf. Her father denied that allegation. However, FDLE says it did not investigate that specific incident, or other claims of physical or sexual abuse, because they would have occurred outside Florida’s jurisdiction. Ohio authorities told them they had no reports of the abuse.

The teen also told authorities her teacher had offered to let Bary stay at her house if she needed to get away from repercussions from her family because of her Christian faith. But when the FDLE interviewed that teacher, she told them she offered up her house because Bary’s brother was having parties with alcohol at the Bary home when their parents were out of town, and she had never been told about threats of danger to Bary because of her Christian faith.

Of course, the findings in this report probably won’t dissuade right-wing activists like Pamella Geller of Atlas Shrugs from their crusade to save Bary from the horrors of Islam or stop her from penning diatribes like this piece entitled “Is Newsweek Trying to Kill Rifqa Bary?” any time anyone writes an article that doesn’t re-confirm her biases.

In her piece, Geller attacks this recent Newsweek article as being riddled with errors and misrepresentations, such as this: 

Finally, [author Arian] Campo-Flores asked of Rifqa’s family: “if they were indeed such fanatics, why would they have let their daughter prance around as a cheerleader?” But according to [Rifqa’s friend Jamal] Jivanjee, Rifqa’s parents never saw her in her cheerleader’s uniform. The cheerleaders had a warm-up suit; when Rifqa dressed to go to games, she had the warm-up suit on, never the cheerleading skirt. But Campo-Flores never bothered to discover that.

Really?  Because if you scroll ahead about 2 minutes into this recent video from ABC News, you can see Bary’s father showing ABC’s Dan Harris photos of Rifqa in her cheerleading outfit:

And if there are any doubts that the right-wing activists who have rallied around Riifqa are doing so as part of their perceived battle between Christianity and Islam, this ought to dispel it:

At the Orlando prayer meeting on Sept. 2, believers talked about how God is using Rifqa as a catalyst to bring more people to Christ.

They asked God to heal her right eye, blinded in a childhood accident, as a divine sign. “It would show the world there is one true living God,”[Blake] Lorenz said. “We do believe, oh God, Jesus is preparing the world for his return.”

As should this article from Charisma:

U.S., author Joel C. Rosenberg and Oklahoma pastor Reza Safa hope to educate Christians about the ongoing danger of Muslim extremism through events being broadcast tonight online.

“The leaders of racial Islam no longer simply want to terrorize us, they want to annihilate us, and they’re trying to obtain the weapons to do it,” said Rosenberg, author of the New York Times best-seller Inside the Islamic Revolution, which was adapted into a documentary that released today.

Rosenberg will lead a webcast town hall tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern that is to be broadcast into more than 600 churches from Calvary Chapel Philadelphia. Speakers include retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and Christian revivalist Hormoz Shariat, a former radical Shia Muslim.

Meanwhile, Safa is hosting a free conference at River of Life Assembly of God in Estero, Fla., that is aimed at reversing the ideology that birthed 9/11, which Safa says is still alive and well. The Reversing Jihad Conference begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast live online at Lifestream.tv.

The event, which runs through Saturday afternoon, features such speakers as evangelist Sam Shamoun; Tom Trento, president of the Florida Security Council, a terrorist watchdog group; and pastor Jeremiah Cummings, a former member of the Nation of Islam.

Trento’s Florida Security Council just so happens to be the group behind the website “The Rifqa Bary Story

In fact, this spiritual battle against Islam seems to be a driving force behind a lot of right-wing activism, like the “Cry Out America” 9/11 prayer rally we mentioned last week:

[Billy Wilson] said 9/11 also illuminated the spiritual battle the nation is in to maintain its Judeo-Christian identity.

“There is an encroachment of Islamic thought in America, and the Islamic agenda is growing in the United States,” Wilson said. “We see that the real spiritual battle in America is going to be around this particular front, the pluralism of the nation. Cry Out America is really about lifting the name of Jesus in the public square again and that wherever else we look, the real answer for us is in God and in Christ in the nation.”