September 16, 2009

Where Rusty Stands on Rifqa Bary

I haven't really chimed in on the Rifqa Bary case yet because, to be honest, I'm not sure there is a "side" I want to take.

Unless the truth is a "side"?

I noticed that Charles Johnson -- one of the people responsible for inspiring me to launch this blog because he wouldn't cave to political correctness -- chimed in on it yesterday. In his post he accuses Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer of imagining a twisted and paranoid world in which, "all Muslims are honor killers, and that’s all there is to it. Evidence be damned."

Charles then cites a CNN article about the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement (FDLE) report about the Barys which found that they were no danger to their daughters welfare. Case closed.

What CNN does not tell you is that the local leader of CAIR and a lawyer hired by CAIR were present during the interview by the FDLE in which they decided that the Barys posed no threat to their daughter. And that they their liaison in Ohio was not from their peers in child welfare services, but rather was from the Office of Multicultural Affairs. A Muslim officer who had hosted multicultural summits in which CAIR had been invited to participate.

That would be the same CAIR that Charles -- at least, the Charles Johnson that I thought I knew -- who was always so willing to remind his readers was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case.

What CNN also doesn't tell you is that while the FDLE allowed CAIR's attorney to be present during the interview of the parents, Rifqa was not allowed to have her attorneys with her during the same process.

Do I think that Rifqa Bary's parents want to harm her physically for converting to Christianity? I don't know.

It's possible that Rifqa is like the thousands of other runaway teenagers who leave home every year and she's lying. That's believable.

But what is also believable is that Rifqa Bary's father intended to do her harm for shaming the family and for shunning her faith. Something which is far less likely now, thanks to all of the publicity surrounding the case.

Charles is right to say that if you think all Muslims are guilty of some crime then you are probably a bigot espousing hatred. A charge he levels at both Robert Spencer and at Pamela Geller. A serious charge which is not true in this case.

But what is also true is that if you think all Muslims are innocent simply because they are declared innocent by CAIR and the MSM which is always willing to forward the narrative that all religions promote equal amounts of intolerance and violence -- then you are not interested in the truth. It doesn't make you a bigot, but it does make you a dupe for those with an agenda.

And, sure Robert Spencer has an agenda. His website is called "Jihad Watch" for chrissake. He's not an uninterested observer. He never claimed to be one. But so what? Just as NFL websites report on the NFL, it would surprise no one that Spencer reports on .... drumroll please ... jihad.

And although I've disagreed with Pamela -- sometimes serious disagreement -- on a number of occasions, I think it would be fair to call her an activist with an agenda: to stop honor killings! It would not be fair to say that her fear for Rifqa's life or welfare was based in paranoia.

They both believe Rifqa's version of the story. A story I find plausible. This does not make them bigots.

So, again, would Rifqa Bary have been subjected to honor killings or banishment back to Sri Lanka had she not run away? I don't know. Like I said, it's definitely plausible. So is the she-just-ran-away (maybe for a boy?) and is now lying narrative.

The she-was-brainwashed-by-evil-Christianists-into-believing-her-parents-are-out-to-get-her as plausible? Not so much.

What I do know is that the mainstream media has done it's best to bend over backward in bolstering the narrative that there is no such thing as an honor killing, that any one who thinks Muslims are in danger for apostasy are likely bigots, and that between an explanation of "brainwashing" and "run away from abusive parents" that the media and the Left has chosen the former over the latter.

Because, you know, "brainwashing" is based on hard science and stuff.

Running away from abusive parents? That's just crazy talk!

Knowing the capital "T" Truth is always a difficult proposition. In this case, I'm happy to plead my ignorance and claim that I don't know it for sure. I agree with Charles that there are bigots out there. But what he fails to see is that there are also useful idiots who are so willing to believe that Islam is pretty much akin to Tibetan Buddhism that any facts to the contrary must be ignored.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:27 PM | Comments |