Florida judge to order runaway convert Rifqa Bary to return home

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida judge says he plans to order the teenager who ran away from Ohio to Florida because she feared physical harm for converting from Islam to Christianity sent back to Ohio.

The Orlando judge said Tuesday that he will sign the order when he gets the documents on 17-year-old Rifqa Bary‘s immigration status.

Bary has been in foster care in Orlando while her case was being reviewed. The judge says he will likely turn over the case to an Ohio court in the next few weeks.
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- Source / Full Story: Fla. judge to order runaway convert to return home, AP, Oct. 14, 2009– Summarized by Religion News Blog

Under Sharia, Islamic law, the punishment for apostasy is death — and throughout the world, many apostates from Islam are indeed murdered by Islamic extremists.

The application of Sharia leads to many human rights violations, and in our view Islamic law has no place in modern, civilized society.

Fathima Rifqa Bary is likely coming home to Ohio, the state she fled nearly three months ago, saying she feared death for her conversion to Christianity.

But she’ll be staying in a foster home, not her parents’ Northeast Side apartment.
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Rifqa, a native of Sri Lanka, is not a U.S. citizen.

It isn’t yet clear exactly when Rifqa will return, or how she will be transported. She will receive a psychological evaluation when she gets here.

Dawson asked whether the Barys could simply dismiss the Ohio dependency case because they filed it themselves in an attempt to transfer jurisdiction.

Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Chris Julian said they would not agree to dismiss the case. A Children Services official added that it would not be in Rifqa’s or her family’s best interest for her to live at home at this time.
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- Source / Full Story: Runaway who converted from Islam likely to return to Ohio, Meredith Heagney, The Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 14, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Orlando Pastor Blake Lorenz tells FOX 35’s Tracy Jacim, “We expected Ohio would get jurisdiction, uh…that’s just the legal way it is. But we are excited there is still a possibility she could stay in Florida, if the legal documents are not presented with her immigration. So you never know…maybe they don’t have them!”

Pastor Lorenz claims he and his pastor wife have been operating based on that belief since they first helped Rifqa Bary runaway here to Florida.

Lorenz claims Rifqa told them her parents wouldn’t look for her because they would fear being found out. “She didn’t think she’d be reported, so we had time to get her the help she needed.”
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The judge set a hearing for October 23 in case the two conditions he set are not met. The judge says Rifqa’s family must product legal documentation of their U.S. citizenship and proof she can continue her education in Ohio.

If those conditions are met sooner, it’s very possible Rifqa Bary will go back to Ohio sooner.
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- Source / Full Story: Pastor Lorenz speaks on Rifqa ruling, Tracy Jacim, FOX 35 Orlando, Oct. 14, 2009– Summarized by Religion News Blog

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