CULTIVATING LIBERALISM
FOR ALL CLIMATES
SINCE 1759
 
Google
 

Free alert to Candide's Notebooks
Your email:

JOIN ME AT MY BULLSHIT SITES

First Reads
Orlando's Most Famous Runaway Teen

But is she really in danger?

Thousands of adolescents run away from home every day. Overwhelmingly, they return as quickly as they left. The case of Rifqa Bary needs to be different to have credibility. At heart, it isn’t. It’s just another runaway case.

Rifqa Bary is the 17-year-old girl from Ohio who boarded a Greyhound bus in July 2009 and headed for Orlando—not to meet up for sex with a slimy old man she’d met on the Internet, but to meet up for some old time religion with an older Christian couple she’d met on the Internet.

Rifqa is originally from Sri Lanka. Her parents are Muslims. She claims they want to kill her because she converted to Christianity. It sounds outrageous, though Rifka has this much evidence on her side: in the most fundamentalist interpretations of Islam—and also its most erroneous—converting to Christianity is a capital offense. Don’t laugh: American soldiers are defending an Afghan political system that implements just such a law. It was in effect when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan. It’s in effect still, under American sponsorship. So Rifqa may not have been making things up about her fate.

But an investigation by child services authorities in Ohio turned up no evidence that her parents meant her harm. Rifqa claims that their threat to send her back to Sri Lanka amounts to a death sentence. It’s not clear whether anyone from Florida or Ohio child services has bothered traveling to Sri Lanka to investigate the family’s background there. What’s clearer is that Rifqa’s days in Orlando are numbered. A judge has ordered her returned to Ohio, where she can live with a foster family (having been willing to take up with a pair of strangers in Florida, she should not have trouble adjusting to a new pair).

One twist: the legal status of Rifqa Bary and her family is now in question. Orange County Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson won’t let Rifqa go just yet because he wants to see her family’s immigration papers. The family allegedly moved to the United States in 2000. But it has twice refused the judge’s order to produce immigration papers. Three times, counting the latest order on Oct. 14.

Meanwhile, Rifqa, who says nothing and pretends to read a Bible when she makes court appearances, remains in Orlando.

 
Bookmark and Share

| Back to the Front Page  
THE DAILY JOURNAL
Read Pierre’s Latest at


 
The Latest Comments
 
GOOGLE GOOGLE NEW YORK TIMES NEWSPAPERS NETFLIX UK INDEPENDENT NETFLIX
 
  
RECENTLY IN THE DAILY JOURNAL: NOTEBOOKS ORIGINALS
RECENTLY IN THE DAILY JOURNAL: CRUMBS & CRIBS

   
 
Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe in Rojo   Add to My AOL Subscribe in FeedLounge Add to netvibes Subscribe in Bloglines Add to The Free Dictionary