News briefs for week of August 10, 2009

This week, a converted teen fears her Muslim parents will kill her. Also, burqinis banned in French swimming pools, a Muslim Power List forms for 2009, and props for our own Fatemeh Fakhraie in USA Today.
Teenager Rifqa Bary, who converted to Christianity and fled from her Ohio home out of fear that her father will kill her for her conversion, is fighting for her right to stay in Florida – where she fled. The 17-year-old girl has stated that, because her blood is now “halal” she is sure that she will be murdered if she returns back home.

Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission concluded its campaign to compile a Muslim Women Power List for 2009. The Commission reached out to 100,000 Muslim women and in compiling the list received over 250 nominations.

A piece published on Altmuslimah Associate Editor Fatemeh Fakhraie’s site Muslimah Media Watch was featured in a story published by USA Today. The featured piece critiqued journalists’ efforts to understand Muslim women by wearing burqas or hijab.

In France, a 35-year-old Muslim woman was banned from a public swimming pool for wearing the burqini – a swimming outfit that covers all of a woman’s body and hair. Officials defend the decision, saying it was in accordance with France’s strict swimming pool hygiene regulations.
Rabea Chaudhry is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah


  • mohammed husain says:

    Rabea, did you watch the video clip?  It seems just a little bit fishy. 

    And the article that follows is hardly objective news.  Did you read the article?  I can understand the concern we should have if this turns out to be a real case, but the source you’ve provided is hardly credible.

  • Mohammed –

    Thank you for your comment.  I chose to include the story about Rifqa Barry because it had something to do with gender in our communities.  I think that even if Rifqa is being influenced by third parties or the piece is negative propaganda, the published story contributes to the larger narrative of today’s Muslim women.  You are right that most of the media coverage of Rifqa’s story has come from right-winged blogs, but I included her story to acknowledge what she was saying, not as verification that what she was saying was true.  I apologize for any confusion that my summary may have caused. 

    Thanks for reading and engaging the posts!


  • mohammed husain says:


    Thank you for your response.

    A more balanced and objective and real-life news-report might be found here:

  • OmarG says:

    Meh, I saw the video where “Pastor” Lorenz is holding her. There’s something more going on there: an older man holding a teenage girl tightly…? Come on. This guy is disgusting.

  • asmauddin says:

    I agree it looks kinda shady. Her American accent and inability to even properly pronounce ‘islam’ and ‘muslim’ makes it hard to believe that she’s from some hardcore traditional family.

    Also, the statement purportedly uttered by her father, “If you have this Jesus in your heart, you???re dead to me” is weird, given the fact that ‘this Jesus’ is a revered prophet in Islam.

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