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The Rift Of Rifqa Bary! Or Is It Elian Gonzales? Or Terry Schiavo? Or Carrie Prejean?

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What is it about Christofascists attaching themselves to cause celebres? Is it some form of rare addiction, leading Christian Right zealots to mainline celebrities du jour? A long time ago (or so it seems) it was Terry Schiavo. Then it was Elian Gonzales. Then it was stem cells, those tiny beings nobody knew about until Christofascists said they were the very origins of life. Recently, (or so it seems) it was Carrie Prejean.

Now it's Fathima Rifqa Bary. This may seem like harping on old news, but to Christian Right proselytes across the country, their newly-persecuted Fathima is still a star to hitch their futures and fortunes on.

"..use Rifqa to be an Esther."

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On September 24th, the Christian Right bellowed a battle cry against America's perceived "Islamization." The National Day of Prayer Task Force headed by Lou Engle (The Call), Shirley Dobson (wife of Focus on the Family's James Dobson), Tony Perkins, (Family Research Council) gathered for a prayer rally and conference call to counteract a Muslim pray-in at the nation's capitol. Their big and wondrous "surprise guest" was Rifqa Bary, who, bouncing back and forth from humility to hysterics, told them about her love for Jesus and the intent of Muslims to put her to death as an "honor killing." (listen to it below).

On Sept. 4th, From Atlas Shrugs:

It's official: The Fathima Rifqa Bary Trust has been established.

From The New American:
Honor killing is that Muslim practice of killing women because they misbehave. They might not want to wear the hijab, or Muslim headscarf. Perhaps they are "too" Western. Maybe a woman is dating the wrong boy. She could be a rape victim. Whatever the case, husbands, fathers, and brothers, sometimes assisted by women in the family, routinely kill wives, daughters, and sisters.

(ed. note: The New American is the magazine of the John Birch Society)

Sept. 25th - From The Washington Times

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Five ex-Muslims who founded a group called Former Muslims United put out a public appeal Thursday to the U.S. government for protection, saying the lives of thousands of "apostates from Islam" are in peril.

Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference, the Granada Hills, Calif., group cited the case of Fathima Rifqa Bary, a 17-year-old from Ohio who converted to Christianity four years ago. She fled to Florida this past summer in fears that her parents would murder her for "honor" reasons. Her father, the girl said in a court filing, had already threatened to kill her.

So much for futures hanging on Rifqa's star, so how about fortunes?

Enter the couple who "lured" her away to Orlando, FL (as Rifqa's father, Mohamed Bary states): Pastor Blake Lorenz and his wife Beverly. They corresponded with Rifqa on Facebook for weeks before she took flight from home. Their church was called Global Revolution Church. They have since dismantled the old church name and direction, but you can still view their website HERE. (With its broken links and meatless prose, it looks to be a ministry that needs a little more attention, publicity, and donation$). Florida juvenile and court authorities have since then placed Rifqa in foster care, until a custody ruling in October. The Lorenzes have not yet explained why they have chosen to reorganize.

Blake Lorenz:
"These are the last days; these are the end times," he said, "and this conflict between Islam and Christianity is going to grow greater. This conflict between good and evil is going to grow greater."
From Right Wing Watch (Sept. 1)

If Rifqa's claims are indeed false, that raises the question of whether she may have been prodded by her new friends at Global Revolution Church to make the death-threat accusations, and whether she was somehow lured to Orlando by the Lorenzes via the Internet.

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books €" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)

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