Written by Jamie Glazov
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.
Tell us about how the The Rifqa Rally went and where the case stands now.
Geller: The Rifqa Rally on November 16 in Columbus, Ohio, was an enormous success. Freedom lovers traveled from far and wide to stand up for Rifqa's religious freedom and human rights - from Wisconsin, Toronto, California, Dearbornistan (so they said), Michigan, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana and it was good.
Police said about 250 people were there. The Sudanese ex-slave Simon Deng spoke out powerfully about Sharia law, showing how what he suffered under Islamic law (as he was taken into slavery in the Sudan) was the same force that threatens Rifqa's life and religious freedom in Ohio today. Nonie Darwish, the courageous ex-Muslim and expert on Sharia, spoke about how Islamic law does call for the death of the apostate, and how Ohio authorities should be protecting Rifqa, not throwing her to the Islamic wolves. James Lafferty of the Anti-Sharia Coalition gave the crowd some tips on what we can do to fight for Rifqa and for freedom. Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, who helped me organize the Rally, also spoke, along with Rifqa's friend Jamal Jivanjee, a Christian pastor in Columbus and himself also an ex-Muslim.
The crowd came away energized and excited, determined not to let Sharia prevail in the U.S., and to stand up against the Islamic machine that is compelling Ohio authorities to implement (unwittingly) Sharia laws about isolating the female apostate.
FP: What is happening to Rifqa right now?
Geller: The vise is tightening further on her. The authorities, at the command of the Barys' lawyer Omar, continue to isolate her. She has been in Ohio for well over a month and still there is no "approved visitation" list. How can this be? How can it be that friends who request a visit, and whom Rifqa requests to visit, are repeatedly told "there is no approved visitation list"? Is it not the very mission by objective of children's services to protect the health and welfare of a child? Why has Rifqa been denied "pastoral guidance"? Convicts, murderers, rapists, and pedophiles have access to "pastoral guidance". Is that how powerful and influential Islamic jihad has become in the state of Ohio - that one young girl is starved of spiritual nourishment so as not to insult Islam? Has everyone gone mad?
No phone. No net. No religious succor.
This is why I so fiercely fought her return to Ohio. Columbus is home to one of the largest Somali Muslim populations in the United States, 70,000 and growing. This is the group, Somali Muslims, that has been at the epicenter of myriad busts for jihad in recent weeks (and one coming soon). Is she safe in a devout Muslim community?
The office of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (recipient of boucoup Islamo-bucks) issued a statement back on September 14th, on why Rifqa Bary should be returned to Ohio.
"Child welfare agencies and authorities in Ohio and Franklin County are fully capable of providing for the security and well-being of Ohio's children," the statement said. "The governor believes this is a family matter and therefore would most appropriately be handled here in Ohio with the assistance of the child welfare and foster care system."
"We have no reason to believe that she would be unsafe in Ohio," his statement said.
FP: It appears that the authorities are actually forcing Rifqa to live under Sharia law right now. Yes?
Geller: Yes. One can see the stark difference in how Florida and Ohio are handling Rifqa. This speaks to my fear of Rifqa's being returned to Ohio. There is a level of corruption and Islamic influence all the way up to Governor Strickland's office that is deeply troubling. Strickland is on their payroll. And so now Rifqa Bary's civil rights are being violated by the state of Ohio. She is being for all intents and purposes held prisoner, deprived of access to a phone, to the Internet, and to public school. And why is all this being done? What crime has she committed? The Ohio authorities may not realize what they are doing, but they are holding Rifqa under house arrest in accord with Sharia law, which stipulates that female apostates are to be imprisoned until they recant. Ohio is effectively practicing Sharia law.
FP: Where are all the feminists in America coming to the defense of this young Muslim girl?
Geller: Where indeed? Whenever feminist groups are asked to comment on an honor killing or gender apartheid, they always defer and suggest that the media speak to the Muslim groups. How courageous. It is despicable that feminist groups and child welfare groups are nowhere to be seen. Feminist groups are either afraid of the Islamic supremacists who are trying to deny Rifqa her religious freedom and human rights, hate Christianity for its position on abortion, or they hate America so much that they will be silent when women are being oppressed by a force that also hates America.
The barbaric oppression of women under Sharia has never mattered to American feminists. Hillary Clinton has never said a word about it. Gloria Steinem hasn't touched the subject. Code Pink has never come out against the barbarians. But they will go to Israel and protest freely their against the Jewish people right to self defense. Morally ill.
If she was a pregnant girl who had run away from a devout Christian home because she wanted an abortion, she would never be returned to home. The left would make her iconic like Roe in Rove v Wade.
FP: What is the meaning of all these events?
Geller: Everyone is watching to see what happens to Rifqa. She has become a test case for everyone. The Muslims, the Islamic supremacists, want to prove that a young girl cannot break free, cannot break out of their web, even in America. More importantly, it is a case being watched by every subjugated Muslim dying to break free of the shackles of Islam. If Rifqa can do it and is protected, so can they. This is why it is so critical that she be broken by the Islamic machine.
It's a test case for free people, and for America also. Will American courts knuckle under to Islamic intimidation and implement Sharia provisions for the isolation of female apostates? Will we stand up and defend religious freedom? Do Muslim girls in the same situation as Rifqa have any hope? Rifqa's case will show the answer.
FP: So what's coming up and what can we do?
Geller: Well, first Jamie, I'm asking everyone at Frontpage and all of Frontpage readers to please send Rifqa a Christmas card. Let her know you stand with her. Send it to:
c/o Angela Lloyd
255C Drinko Hall
55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
There is a dependency hearing on December 22 in Columbus. I know it's awfully close to Christmas. I know people will be busy. My kids are in from school too. But we are going to hold another rally.
So join me and other freedom fighters at the Christmas rally for Rifqa the day of her dependency hearing December 22 in Columbus Ohio. Be there. She could be sent back to her devout Muslim home on the 22nd and that extremist Noor Mosque.
How frightening it all must be for her.
FP: Thank you Pamela Geller.
[To get the whole story on why leftist feminists won't lift a finger to defend Rifqa Bary and why Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland would impose Sharia law on her, read Jamie Glazov's new book, United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror.]