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JISHOU, HUNAN — The Rifqa Bary saga just gets weirder and weirder. Rifqa BaryNow that the 17-year-old is back in her home state, her “benefactors” and “supporters” plan to hold a rally during the hearing that will decide whether she will return to her parents’ home.

In the reality-based world, a runaway child returning home would be a good thing, if the parents are decent, upstanding members of society, which the Barys appear to be.

In the apocalyptic world of the far-far-rightwing, however, Rifqa’s Muslim parents are sure to kill their Christian convert daughter, because, you know, all Muslims do that sort of thing, every day. Pamela Geller and her fellow Muslim-haters have themselves worked up into a froth, accusing the Bary family of every crime known to humanity, merely because the Barys are Muslim …

… and because Rifqa, whose own grip on reality seems kind of tenuous, has people convinced that her family will either kill her or arrange for her sudden demise once she returns to that lawless hotbed of Islamic terrorism, Columbus, Ohio.

Law enforcement officers and child welfare officials say the likelihood of Rifqa being killed is nil. Her parents are pretty normal sounding, middle-class Americans who have the “misfortune” of being dark-skinned Muslim immigrants with exotic names.

The parallels to the “birther” crusade are obvious. A lot of folks also cannot accept that a dark-skinned son of a foreign-born Muslim with an exotic name became president of the USA.

Meanwhile, Rifqa’s rightwing Christian supporters are now claiming that the child protection services of both Florida and Ohio (two hotbeds of flaming liberalism and soon-to-be Islamic republics) are violating the girl’s freedom of religion by restricting her access to the Internet, email and her cellphone. You know, Pontius Pilate did the same thing to Jesus, just before his execution.

Rifqa Bary became a Christian about four years ago. Her parents knew about it. She got on Facebook, found some friends there of the born-again, Christian warrior variety, and got really close to said Christians. These people then helped Rifqa leave home, take a Greyhound bus to Orlando, Florida, where she stayed with another Christian warrior pastor and his wife for almost two weeks before they handed her over to child protection services.

Then, while she was in foster care, Rifqa ended up speaking on a national conference prayer call with some movers and shakers of the Christian warrior cult movement.

Duh. Ohio wants to make sure she doesn’t take off again, or unwittingly fan the flames of anti-Islamic hysteria. So, sorry, kid, no phone or computer privileges. It makes sense to me. Rifqa has become a pawn in someone’s bigger game, so the Ohio judge who put the restrictions in place is doing the right thing, protecting a child.

(Yeah, yeah, I know, 17 is too old to be called a child, but in the eyes of the law, she’s a minor until she turns 18 next summer.)

Right Wing Watch has more details on this circus sideshow.

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