I have not been keeping my W4 readers as updated as my Extra Thoughts readers on Rifqa Bary's situation. Hopefully no one of good will who wants to stay informed about her has missed out--perhaps that just means you have to read both blogs.
But just in case, here, here, and here are my updates on her situation since she was moved back to Ohio. As far as we know, she is still in foster care and has not been returned to her parents. However, she is being held essentially incommunicado, being denied Internet and phone contact as well as visits from her Christian friend, Pastor Jamal Jivanjee, who was our previous best source of information for her. This post at Atlas Shrugged contains a letter by Pastor Jivanjee detailing the runaround he got when he tried to schedule a pastoral visit with her.
This all looks very bad. Court hearing dates are being hidden from the public, apparently to prevent Rifqa from having supporters attend hearings. One public hearing date for which her supporters had planned a rally across the street was canceled, and it has been impossible so far to find out the continuation date. There is a hearing now scheduled for December 22 (and Pamela Geller has scheduled another rally); this is technically the hearing on the "incorrigible child" claim made by her parents, not the continuation of the canceled hearing on her "dependency" status (at which one would be more likely to have a ruling on her continuing in foster care).
This isolation from Christian friends appears to be an attempt to weaken her Christian commitment. Readers at Atlas have found guidelines for the Ohio Franklin County Children's Services that state that FCCS considers children "safest" in their "family's culture." It is not implausible that it is this guideline that is occasioning the attempt to isolate this 17-year-old girl from contact with Christians. It will be quite some months--eight months, I believe--before she turns eighteen, and she could easily be returned forcibly to her parents and, by them, to Sri Lanka long before her summer birthday.
Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugged has started a campaign to send Rifqa Christmas cards via her Ohio guardian ad litem. As far as I know, we have no commitment from the GAL to deliver the cards, nor is the GAL legally required to do so. But as T.S. Eliot says, "For us, there is only the trying..." so, I suggest that if you support Rifqa in her Christian faith, you try sending her a card. The address is
c/o Angela Lloyd
255C Drinko Hall
55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
Jamal Jivanjee also requests that people make contact with Rifqa's lawyer and with her guardian ad litem to ask them to make an "approved visitors list" for her which the FCCS will have to approve or reject. Part of the runaround he got was the claim by FCCS that the lawyers had made no approved visitors list and the claim by the lawyers that the FCCS had to schedule a visit. In the above-linked entry, Jamal gives e-mail addresses for Rifqa's lawyer and her GAL (both are attorneys).
Comments here are closed. Feel free to comment at Extra Thoughts, where I will be linking this post, or on any of the others, Please understand that I am draconian in moderating comments at my own blog and will not tolerate trolls, secular or Muslim, commenting on Rifqa's case. But as she needs all possible support from the Body of Christ, I ask my Christian readers to pray for her and to consider trying to send her a card.