Runaway Muslim Girl Sparks Furor

Girl converted to Christianity, sought protection from parents
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2009 5:40 AM CDT
Mohamed Bary, right, his wife, Aysha, and their son Rilvan answer questions about their daughter Rifqa during an interview in Columbus, Ohio.    (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
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(Newser) – An Ohio teen has found herself straddling the fault line between the world's two biggest religions after converting to Christianity and running away from her Muslim parents. A judge in Florida, where 17-year-old Rifqa Bary was being sheltered by pastors she met on a Facebook group, has ruled that she be returned to Ohio, but placed with a foster family.

Muslim and Christian groups demonstrated outside the courthouse during the hearing. Bary told authorities that her father had threatened her with death if she converted to Christianity, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Authorities decided that the teen's claims were unfounded. But analysts say the case underlines the need for the American legal system to work on ways to prevent potential honor killings.