A 17-year-old girl who fled from her home, fearing her Muslim parents would kill her for converting to Christianity, must go back to Ohio, a Florida judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge Daniel Dawson ruled Ohio has jurisdiction over the case involving the teen, Rifqa Bary.
The teen is expected to be placed in foster care when she returns and will also be provided with psychiatric evaluations. Her parents will also receive psychiatric evaluations.
Rifqa can be back in Ohio as early as this week.
In an emotional interview with WFTV in Florida, Rifqa said she expects to be killed if she is forced to return to Ohio. "If I had stayed in Ohio, I wouldn't be alive," she said. "In 150 generations in my family, no one has known Jesus. I am the first. Imagine the honor in killing me."
A Florida investigation found no credible threats to Bary, and her farther, Mohamed Bary, said he has no intentions of harming his daughter.
This case is a tough one. The girl, who is nearly 18, is certainly old enough to decide her own fate. It's not like she was a 10-year-old child. Even though no "credible evidence" exists that she would be harmed, if her father or other relatives intended to kill her, I doubt any credible evidence of their plans would exist. What are they going to do, make a video saying "I'm going to kill Rifqa the next time I see her"? Of course not.
On the other hand, I know that people, especially teens can exaggerate.
Still, I don't think I would have sided with the parents on this one. She's old enough to make her own decision in this case.