Phyllis Chesler on Rifqa Bary

News regarding Rifqa Bary has been scant these days. For those who do not remember, Rifqa is the young woman who moved to Ohio with her Muslim family from Sri Lanka. When her parents discovered her conversion to Christianity, they allegedly threatened her, whereupon she sought shelter and protection in Florida. But since she was still considered a minor, she was returned to Ohio and has been living in foster care. She fears her family will kill her to cleanse the family honor if she is returned to them.

Phyllis Chesler has an updated report and opinion piece today on Fox News, reposted here. Like Chesler, I too have studied Islam in depth and also teach it at the college level. I have read the various schools of Islamic law (Hanbali, Hanafi,Maliki, Shafi’i) and can confirm that Islamic law specifies the penalty for apostasy as death. Bary’s fears are all too real. Now, she may finally get a chance to be heard.

What Rifqa Bary’s Case Tells Us

By Phyllis Chesler

America prides itself on religious tolerance. We welcome all houses of worship.

Increasingly, however, Islamist leaders are demanding even more religious tolerance, more mosques.

However, there is absolutely no reciprocity in the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, do not allow Christians, Jews, or other “infidels” to pray openly or to build any or new houses of worship.

Currently, the Arab Muslim Middle East is almost completely “Judenrein,” (free of Jews) since more than 800,000 Arab Jews were exiled or forced to flee their countries between 1948-1968.

Currently, Christians are being savagely persecuted in Egypt, the disputed Palestinian territories, Somalia, Algeria, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia.

Christians have literally been crucified, teenaged Christian girls have been kidnapped, raped, then forced to marry their rapists and convert to Islam.

In 2007, an Egyptian, Mohammed Hegazy, converted to Christianity and tried to legally register his conversion. He received so many death threats that he was forced into hiding; his own father threatened to “kill him with my own hands if he does not return to Islam.”

Mina Nevisa is an Iranian convert to Christianity who fled Iran; her cousin was not so lucky. “She was arrested on charges of apostasy and taken to Evin prison, where she was raped, tortured, and then killed by firing squad. The pastor was also killed.”

In 2010, in Pakistan, a Muslim mob attacked a Christian man and slaughtered him with pick-axes for refusing to convert to Islam.

America does not persecute converts. Indeed, about 50,000 Americans each year convert to Islam. It is estimated that 20,000 American Muslims convert to Christianity. Their fates are very different.

Converts to Islam are not harassed, intimidated, shunned by their families, relatives, and neighbors, or forced into hiding by murderously angry former co-religionists.

Muslim converts to Christianity are subjected to online death threats and can never see their families again. The pastors and priests who convert them remain at risk.

The very young and fragile Rifqa Bary, on trial now in Columbus, Ohio, is a symbol of all these issues.

Rifqa is the seventeen-year-old teenager who secretly converted to Christianity and who, in August of 2009, bravely fled her family’s home in Ohio. Not only did she claim serious childhood abuse, she also insisted that her family would honor murder her now that her conversion was known.

At the time, as a psychologist and the author of studies about honor killings in the West, I was asked by Florida’s Attorney General to submit an Affadavit on Rifqa’s behalf. I did so, as did my friend and colleague, Ibn Warraq, the author of “Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out.”

We both explained that Rifqa’s fears were utterly realistic; that apostasy is considered a capital crime in Islam; and that Muslim women had already been honor murdered in the West for this alleged “crime” and for refusing to convert to Islam. Some had been forced into hiding to save their lives.

In addition, I focused on the fact that Muslim girls and women have been honor murdered in the West for having Christian or non-Muslim friends, including boyfriends; for wanting to marry Christian men. Imagine how much more of a sin it is for a Muslim to choose a Christian God!

Rifqa did not get her day in court in Florida. She was returned to state custody in Ohio where she has been living with a foster family.

Now, Rifqa might finally be heard. Although she has been suffering from cancer, she has steadfastly refused to meet with her family—all of whom are here illegally from Sri Lanka and all of whom may be deported.

I am in awe of this young girl’s strength and desire to save her own life. The company she keeps include very many high profile Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents, feminists, and converts who live with round-the-clock police protection or in hiding.

In Western Europe, Muslims who become secular, if not Christian, or who openly criticize Islam are themselves treated as if they are “apostates.”

Such heroes include politicians in Holland, philosophers in France, feminist activists in Belgium, Germany, and England.

Egyptian-Italian journalist, Magdi Allam, was converted to Catholicism by the pope. He requires six police officers at any given time.

I can only hope and pray that the magistrate who is hearing Rifqa Bary’s case is brave enough to educate herself about the realities of apostasy, the unsettling, unpleasant truth about Islamic religious apartheid and allow Rifqa to remain in state custody, apply for American citizenship or perhaps for political asylum.

Like Magdi Allam, Rifqa might require many police officers or even a federal witness protection program.

But in America, where she lives, we take religious freedom seriously. It is why our ancestors came here.

Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D. is a frequent contributor to Fox News and blogs regularly at Pajamas Media and NewsReal Blog. She is the author of thirteen books, including “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman” and “The New Anti-Semitism,” and may be reached at her website

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • LinkedIn
  • PDF
  • MySpace
  • RSS
  • Tumblr


One response to “Phyllis Chesler on Rifqa Bary”

Leave your response
  1. Carlos says:

    Dymphna: As long as the NYTimes lets the prize to Walter Duranty stand rather than doing pnrmaeent penetential exercises for their role in helping kill so many people, justice will never be served.This should come as no surprise considering how the New York Times is assisting in a homegrown purge of America’s middle class. Obama’s undeclared war against White America is proceeding apace. This nation’s economy is more and more resembling the shape of an hourglass. With a wide base of minimum wage service economy jobs at the bottom that necks down in the middle management and engineering earnings range of $60K-$100K only to expand wildly again for the millionaire scale of wealth at the top. Should anyone think that Obama stands for actual change, they had best watch “”. This deeply disturbing documentary of America’s first openly Liberal president shows just how much of a puppet the man really is. His strings are being yanked by a transnationalist, globalist, multinational corporate and diplomatic elite who could give a fig for America’s socioeconomic backbone, its middle class.As for Islam, the VLWH celebrates them because the Communists taught them well: sing kumbiyah and tolerate everyone who doesn’t oppose the program.Liberalism’s shortsighted tolerance of Islam’s role in deconstructing Western civilization reveals a pathological obsession with annihilating European and American White Culture . So thoroughly fixated are they on this objective that not even the existential threat which Islam poses to Liberals everywhere can possibly deter their kamikaze mission to bring down The System .That they will bring crashing down the very walls which shelter them from this world’s harshest and most barbaric realities is of little consequence. With grim determination they intend to complete the assigned mission of their Communist taskmasters even though Soviet Socialism was thoroughly discredited more than a decade ago.4Symbols: We have not yet witnessed all the atrocities that this Potemkin horrorshow will spue upon us.Any sane person would think that the 9-11 atrocity was sufficient in its demonstration of what awaits all further toleration of Islamic barbarity and those who facilitate it. Instead, it is as if this carnage is a mere precursor to some far more dire humanitarian cataclysm.One can only speculate as to whether Liberals have moved beyond Communism’s destructive middle game and into an end game of self-annihilation that is being prescribed by those who insist that only a massive reduction in the human population can adequately atone for mankind’s environmental transgressions. It is self-loathing writ large in a script that promises disaster on a heretofore unheard of scale. Dissatisfied with simple omlettes, these hateful anti-humans seek to broil the entire henhouse and forever truncate all further egg production.Left unchecked, either Islam or some other form of mass slaughter will be brought to bear against mankind. Few understand the apocalyptic convergence of Liberalism’s suicidal self-hatred and Islam’s intent to erase a millennia’s worth of human progress.Islam and Liberalism share a common effect upon the body of mankind. They are gangrenous limbs that are releasing a toxic poison into the bloodstream of humanity. At present, Islam’s amputation is the most pressing need but the deep seated rot of Liberalism will have to be addressed at some future time as well.Only one thing is assured. What awaits will be horrific and on a scale not seen in modern history.