The central issue throughout the entire Rifqa Bary saga was Bary’s contention that her Muslim parents were going to kill her for converting to Christianity and that, for her own safety, she had to flee to Florida and continues to refuse to have anything to do with her parents.
So I can’t even being to imagine how the news that Bary has uterine cancer is going to impact this case:
Fathima Rifqa Bary, the Muslim teenager from Columbus who converted to Christianity and ran away to Florida, is being treated for uterine cancer.
Rifqa, now 17, has already undergone two operations and will have a third one Thursday, according to a close friend and her former Orlando lawyer.
“The only reason she wants this to be known is she wants people to pray for her,” said John Stemberger, who represented Rifqa in her 2009 fight to stay in Florida.
She lost that battle and was returned in October to Columbus, where she lives with a foster family.
She has been in and out of the hospital but remains under the care of the foster family, said Stemberger, who said he spoke to her last week.
Jamal Jivanjee, an ordained pastor who directs an Orlando-based ministry, also confirmed that Rifqa has cancer.
In an email to her friends and supporters, he wrote, “Her situation is very serious, and she will need the help of many people in the weeks and months ahead. … As soon as Rifqa heals from the major surgery that she will undergo this Thursday, it is expected that she will need to undergo several rounds of chemotherapy. …
“Rifqa is in desperate need of an army of supporters to know about what is occurring regarding her situation, and to pray for her healing,” Jivanjee wrote.
Reached by telephone, Rifqa’s father, Mohamed Bary, would not discuss his daughter’s health.
But I certainly can imagine how Bary’s anti-Islam, right-wing defenders like Pamela Geller will seek to exploit this. Here is Geller’s first post on the news and you can already see that she is laying the groundwork to accuse Bary’s parents and their lawyers of working to undermine Bary’s medical care and trying to take advantage of her condition … and it is only a matter of time before Geller and her ilk start accusing Bary’s parents of trying to use Bary’s cancer to do what they have been prevented from doing:
While this is a tragedy, how Rifqa is being victimized by her lawyers and her parents is nothing less than an atrocity. Her lawyers kept her in the dark about her condition — despite the seriousness of her cancer — for well over a week while they conferred with her parents and their CAIR-appointed lawyers about her treatment. While most cases like this result in a hysterectomy, Rifqa is only having the advanced malignancy removed. From what I understand, the survival rate in cases like these is only five percent.
Was she allowed to get a second opinion? No.
While she was lying ill, her lawyers brought her parents to her hospital bed. She was awaiting treatment and when she saw them, whereupon she became very agitated and upset. Her parents had to be removed.