UPDATE: AUDIO OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE: Download 070115 RIFQA BARY PRESS CONFERENCE 000.mp3 (22769.5K). (The audio buzz is intermittent.)
Finally, Rifqa gets a chance to tell her story - PDF here. As Modernist pointed out in the comment section, Rifqa has never changed her story, while her father has changed his story continually.
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE NINTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA
State of Florida
County of Orange
1. My name is Fathima Rifqa Bary. I am seventeen years of age having been born on August 10, 1992 and I am of sound mind and personal knowledge of the facts herein;
2. My family and I moved from Sri Lanka to the Hollis/ Queens are in New York in 2000;
3. When I was twelve, in 2004, our family moved from Hollis/Queens, New York to Gahanna, Ohio;
4. Upon arriving in the new area, my father began to research Mosques in the region;
5. After visiting a couple of other Mosques in the area, including the "Islamic Center" in Columbus, my father decided that our family would join and become active in the "Noor Islamic Culture Center" (Noor Center) located in Dublin, Ohio;
6. The Noor Center was a twenty five minute drive from our house and there were eight other Mosques that were closer to out home in the Columbus area;
7. My father was very intent on making sure that his children, and especially me, were raised deeply in the faith of "Original Islam" which was taught at the Noor Center;
8. Our family attended the Noor Center gatherings as much our schedules would allow;
9. Every Saturday my father required me to attend the "Halaqah" Noor Center youth gatherings which lasted about five hours. My father and mother would often attend these meetings with me as all Noor Center parents were encouraged to attend youth meetings,
10. On three separate occasions, the regular official Saturday Noor Center youth gatherings were held in our home with other members of the Noor Center present;
11. In the summers, my Father required our whole family to also attend the Noor Center major gatherings held every Friday afternoon. This was the main meeting of the week which members were required to attend which lasted about three hours;
12. My father also required us to attend the major Islamic holidays such as Ramadan at the Noor Center;
13. Our family regularly socialized with other members of the Noor Center community;
14. My father was a committed member of the Noor Center and required our family to attend as much as possible;
15. I became a Christian on Friday, November 18, 2005 at the Korean United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio;
16. I hid my Christian faith from my parents as best as I could and had to sneak around to attend Christian campus meetings, I also hid my Bible at home in various locations;
17. In about 2007 my father discovered a copy of a book entitled the "
The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren that I hid in my bedroom. My father had a serious talk with me about the importance of retaining the Islamic blood line in my family but I did not tell him about my conversion;
18. In June of 2009 my father confronted me with several questions about whether I had become a Christian, whether I was baptized, if I was going to church. Out of fear I remained silent;
19. Then my father told me that he received numerous emails and phone calls from the leaders of the Noor Center community who informed him that he needed to deal with this matter immediately;
20. In a fit of anger that I had never seen before in my life, he picked up my lap top, waived it over my head as if to strike me with it and said "if you have this Jesus in your heart, you are dead to me! You are no longer my daughter." I continued to remain silent and then he said to me even more angry then before, I will kill you! Tell me the truth!"
21. On July 17, 2009, my mother confronted me about another Christian book she discovered that I hid in my bedroom. She had just spoken with my father was on the phone who was out of town. She was very upset, in tears, and almost grieving and told me I was going to have to be sent back to Sri Lanka to be dealt with.
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NOT Fathima Rifqa Bary
The primary concern for Rifqa's wellbeing deals with the terror tied NOOR Islamic Center: the fact that her parents joined the most radical mosque (the furthest away from her home). Meetings for the NOOR were held at Rifqa's home.
I am listening to John Stemberger make a major announcement that relates to the Rifqa Bary case. Please see the text below for more information. I am recording so you can hear the whole thing.
"Part of the reason for doing this announcement today is because some of the media coverage has been at best, inaccurate, in parts and at worst, just completely missing the point and the real issues in this case."
2:20 pm: Renee the rube (Orlando Sentinel) wants the names of those at the NOOR mosque who "want Rifqa dead". John Stemberger declines to name names and urges Renee to read the investigative document.
The Orlando Sentinel plans on running a shill piece on the parents everyday until the hearing Thursday. Here's today's dhimmi piece, and they are not ashamed(!)
Nidra Poller (we love huh!) asks about the connection between the Orlando Sentinel and CAIR.
UPDATE: KGS transcribes John Stemburger's remarks: (KGS is da best!)
Thank you for attending this press event over the phone, we believe this matter is of significant public interest. we appreciate your covering this story.
I am also a leading advocate in Florida for issues relating to family, parents and children as well. I am here though however in my representation of a private personal lawyer on the behalf of my firm, in representing Rifqa Bary and not with any group that I might be affiliated with. We are announcing today the filing of two documents which most of you have been provided......
But we are announcing the filing over an hour ago, two documents were filed. First one was a special investigative, an intelligence memorandum, which is supportive of the petition for dependency which is currently before the court, and then secondly there is an accompanying affidavit, which the very first sworn statement that's been filed in this case on the behalf of our client Rifqa Bary.
Part of the reason for doing this announcement today is because some of the media coverage in this matter has been at best, inaccurate in parts, and at worst, just completely missing the point in the real issues in this case. They have focused on a young pastor and his wife, Beverly and Blake Moran, who have been pastors of a Methodist Church in this community for over 25 years. I don't personally know them, I know of them, and they did probably what any of would do in taking someone in who has indicated that their life was in danger. And we also have had one-sided soft stories on just the parents point of view that didn't ask any of the hard questions, or report on any of the allegations made in our original petition.
The primary issue in this case, is the clear and present danger that is presented by the Noor Center Mosque, and its ties to terrorist activity, and the parents, that is the Bary parents' devotion to, and relationship with, and regular weekly participation in the Noor Center. The memorandum we submitted in support of the petition of dependency that is before the court, just to give you some legal jargon, dependency actions are when the state is declaring whether or not the state is to declare a minor child dependent because of its need for protection. ...because of abuse, abandonment or neglect. And so when that happens, it doesn't mean paternal rights are terminated, it just means that the state takes custody of the child for the protecting them from the parents and the home environment.
Our office and legal staff have been working around the clock to document the materials we have provided, so first I'm going to draw your attention to the investigation and intelligence memorandum we filed. Together with Rifqa's affidavit, the documents we've presented demonstrate the parties to this cause, namely Rifqa's parents, along with the family's physical relatives are directly connected to the Noor Islamic Center, and that the Bary family has been and will continue to be devoted members and follow leaders of the Noor Center.
IN SUPPORT OF PETITION FOR DEPENDENCY
COMES NOW the minor child Fathima Rifqa Bary by and through her undersigned counsel and files this “Investigation and Intelligence Memorandum” in support of the Petition for Dependency before this court. Together with Rifqa Bary’s Affidavit attached as “Exhibit A” the documents demonstrate that that parties to this cause, namely Rifqa’s parents, along with the family’s physical residence are directly connected to the Noor Islamic Center and that the Bary family has been and will continue to be devoted members and followers of the leaders and teachings of the Noor Center. The following memorandum presents extensive documentation establishing ties to the Noor Center has with terrorist groups and the extreme danger this presents to the minor.
The Noor Islamic Cultural Center (hereinafter the Noor Center) in the Columbus, Ohio area is wholly owned by the American Islamic Waqf, an Ohio corporation. It is controlled by a self-appointed board and operates an extensive facility in the Columbus suburbs. The mosque LAW OFFICES OF JOHN STEMBERGER, P.A. 4853 S. Orange Avenue, Suite C Orlando, Florida 32806 Telephone (407) 251-1957 2
membership is quite diverse in ethnicity and background; however, it has been identified as one of the primary sources of Islamic extremism in Central Ohio. As this facility is the spiritual home and directly connected to the Bary family’s daily and weekly life as set forth in Rifqa Bary’s Affidavit, (Exhibit A) concerns about the mosque’s leadership and ideology are critical to understanding the potential threat to Rifqa Bary and this Honorable Court’s decision about whether she should be declared a dependent of the state and or whether or not she should she be returned to her family.
I. THE NOOR CENTER CEO AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
The leader of the mosque, Dr. Hany Saqr, was previously an imam for another area mosque at the same time the largest known Al-Qaeda cell in the U.S. since 9/11 was operating out of the mosque. Additionally, Dr. Saqr was identified in exhibits submitted by the Department of Justice in a recent terrorism finance trial in Texas as being one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America – an international organization responsible for birthing virtually every Islamic terrorist organization in the world, including Al-Qaeda. One of his subordinates identified in those trial exhibits was identified in a FBI memorandum as providing $735,000 to Hamas while under Dr. Saqr’s direction.
II. THE NOOR CENTER SCHOLAR AND TERRORIST LEADERS
A former Islamic scholar associated with The Noor Center is Dr. Salah Sultan, a cleric that has been photographed with terrorist leaders designated as such by the U.S. government. Dr. Sultan has recently appeared on television inciting violence against Jews, and he has previously appeared at events in support of designated terrorist organizations while an active part of the Noor Center community. Following his departure to Bahrain, unconfirmed reports indicate that his US citizenship application has been denied and that he has been banned from reentering the US.
III. THE NOOR CENTER AND EXTREMIST SPEAKERS
A number of extremist speakers have been featured at recent Noor Center events who are on record making statements in support of violence, terrorism and extremism. Evidence also indicates that some of these speakers have been LAW OFFICES OF JOHN STEMBERGER, P.A. 4853 S. Orange Avenue, Suite C Orlando, Florida 32806 Telephone (407) 2...
3 directly involved in fundraising and supporting the mosque since its inception. One regular speaker and fundraiser for the Noor Center was listed by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial.
IV. THE NOOR CENTER TIED TO NATIONWIDE FBI TERROR INVESTIGATION
The Noor Center has also been directly tied to the ongoing nationwide investigation into Somali-American youths who have left the U.S. to train in terror camps operated by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab terror organization. CNN has identified Columbus as one of the main centers of the FBI’s investigation. This story was recently the subject of a lengthy front-page New York Times story. One Minneapolis mosque leader who has been named by others in the Somali community as allowing Al-Shabaab recruiters to operate in his mosque was a featured speaker at a Noor Center Somali youth conference just last November. And a Noor Center Somali youth has appeared repeatedly with another Minneapolis imam who has been questioned by the FBI regarding more than a dozen of mosque attendees who have left under such circumstances and been placed by the Department of Homeland Security on the no-fly list. Additionally, there are also other extremist elements in the Central Ohio Muslim community that raise concerns about Rifqa’s potential safety in light of the national media attention to this case. One example already mentioned is the Al-Qaeda cell that had been operating in the area. The nationwide FBI investigation into the missing Somali youths has focused on Columbus as one possible hotspot for terrorist recruitment, as the city with the second largest Somali population in the country.
Full document here.
Read Robert Spencer's post on death for apostasy here.
UPDATE: ACTION ALERT ACTION ALERT ACTION ALERT
Contact Gov. Crist and the FL DCF for them to ask the court to keep her in Florida state custody. Here's the contact info:
Governor Charlie Crist's office:
Phone: (850) 488-4441, (850) 488-7146
Fax: (850) 487-0801
Florida Department of Children and Family:
George H. Sheldon, Secretary
1317 Winewood Blvd.
Building 1, Room 202
Phone: (850) 487-1111
Fax: (850) 922-2993