Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Pamela Geller, founder, editor and publisher of the popular and award-winning weblog AtlasShrugs.com. She has won acclaim for her interviews with internationally renowned figures, including John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Bat Ye'or, Natan Sharansky, and many others, and has broken numerous important stories -- notably the questionable sources of some of the financing of the Obama campaign. Her op-eds have been published in The Washington Times, The American Thinker, Israel National News, Frontpage Magazine, World Net Daily, and New Media Journal, among other publications.
FP: Pamela Geller, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.
Geller: Thank you, Jamie.
FP: Tell us about the case of Rifqa Bary and where the situation stands at present.
Geller: Rifqa Bary, who recently turned seventeen, converted to Christianity from Islam – bringing upon herself Islam’s death sentence for those who leave Islam. When she was questioned by a news reporter, she spoke with the voice of every girl murdered in the name of Islamic "honor". You could hear Amina and Sarah, Aqsa and Rand. The bitter cries that no one heard. Rifqa pleads for herself but she cries for all Muslim girls who are oppressed and subjugated. “I was threatened by my dad,” Rifqa cried. “When my dad found out” about her conversion to Christianity, “phone calls from the Muslim community started coming in with emails that confronted me. And I had a laptop and he took that laptop and waved it in the air and he was about to beat me with it, and he said, ‘If you have this Jesus in your heart, you’re dead to me. You’re not my daughter.’ And I refused to speak but he said, ‘I will kill you. Tell me the truth.’ In these words, bad words, cuss words. So I knew that I had to get away.”
She ran away to Florida and escaped the fate her father had in mind for her. But now Rifqa is in the middle of a custody battle that could send her to her death. “They want me back home,” she says. “I can’t go back to Ohio, you guys don’t understand. That community, they’re like – I will die within a week. My life is at stake.”
“You guys don’t understand,” Rifqa said. “Islam is very different than you guys think. They have to kill me. My blood is now halal, which means that because I am now a Christian, I’m from a Muslim background, it’s an honor. If they love God more than me, they have to do this."
Now her father is trying to regain custody of Rifqa, and he and the Islamic Society of Central Florida say she has been “kidnapped” and “brainwashed” by a “cult,” and that she’s a “rebel,” a “troubled teen.” “This is a cult group who kidnapped my daughter and took her away,” claims Mohamed Bary, Rifqa’s father.
She hitchhiked to the bus station and took a Greyhound from Ohio to Florida. How is that a kidnapping? Rifqa Bary’s father is also claiming that she was “brainwashed” by the Pastor of the Global Revolution church in Orlando. But Rifqa’s Myspace page, to which she last logged in two years ago, shows that she had already converted by 2007.
The family that is accusing her of lying and saying “she is free to practice her Christianity” is a devout Muslim family, and Islam calls for death for those who leave Islam. It was the members of the family’s mosque who alerted Rifqa’s father of her conversion to Christianity -- the devout family’s mosque ratted Rifqa out. How can this girl be safe if she is forced to return to her family now?
FP: And our law came to her defense just recently right?
Geller. Yes. Rifqa triumphed in her jurisdiction hearing last Friday. The ruling was unexpected. The Islamists did not see that coming. They never expected Rifqa and the forces of good to prevail upon the powers that be in Florida. So now they are in overdrive. Just watch. They will try to tear this young girl to shreds and rip Christianity along with it. It was reported that CAIR officials has been handing out copies of the leftist, taqiya spouting Orlando Sentinel and instructing their "supporters" to push the meme that Christians have brainwashed and abducted this gullible teenage girl.
FP: How’s the media covering it?
Geller: The media, at least those willing to report on this story, are only to happy to shill. They are vilifying the good Christians that provided sanctuary to Rifqa who sought only to escape a promised violent end. They have been reporting only the parents/Islamist narrative - giving Rifqa's story no air time or ink. They repeat the lies over and over again. Folks have to go to you tube to hear Rifqa in her own words. Why hasn't one media outlet had an expert/scholar on apostasy in Islam on? Why hasn't Ibn Warraq or Wafa Sultan or Robert Spencer been called? The only responsible expert that weighed in was Frank Gaffney.
This is the front line – right in Florida. While our finest young Americans engage in hard fought battles on the front lines of the global jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel is on the front lines of the global jihad in the Middle East, Muslim women all over the world are on the front lines in the war against Islamic jihad. The battlefield is their homes. They live their lives in abject terror in homemade concentration camps.
Rifqa Bary’s life hangs in the balance. The West should do everything in its power to save her.
FP: The liberal and feminist Left is once again shamelessly silent, not coming to the defense of Fathima Bary. Give us some of your thoughts on this silence.
Geller: I am profoundly anti-feminist because it is a phony movement. It is rooted in Marxism-Leninism, and does not genuinely represent women. It clings to its dogma of multiculturalism, and embraces the leftist ideology du jour, which in our own day is Islam.
They are frauds and liars. High minded leftopathic feminists cloak themselves in self- righteousness and scorn genuine feminists like Sarah Palin. These women call themselves feminists and stand on the mall in DC, righteous in their indignation in defense of late term abortion and the right to kill viable babies (btw, I am pro-choice -- early that is), while turning the other cheek in the face of Islam's misogyny. Rifqa Bary's case is just the latest example of this myopia.
But other people are taking up the slack. Thank goodness for brave, courageous leaders like Florida House majority leader Adam Hasner. Hasner issued a statement in defense of Rifqa Bary. No feminist did.
FP: How can we better help Muslim women in our own society who face this oppression?
Geller: By standing up to honor killers, by calling an honor killing an honor killing, and ending the mainstream media's covering up for the Islamic roots of the practice.
When Muslim girls like Rifqa Bary, the most courageous girl in America, see what happened to Amina and Sarah Said, Aqsa Parvez, and so many others, they're forced to live out their sentence in their homemade concentration camps, because they see that there is no escape. If the West will not stand up for its values, its own unalienable rights, then these girls have no chance.
Do you have any idea how many Muslim girls are watching, and watching very closely, the case of Rifqa Bary? She represents their hope of freedom. That's why the Islamists want to kill her. If she succeeds, she will give other Muslim girls hope. That is why we must do everything we can to support her and other Muslim girls in danger of honor killing, by building shelters, creating an underground railroad, and supporting their attempts to be free.
FP: Pamela Geller, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.