Meredith Heagney reports:
Fathima Rifqa Bary and her parents sat in the same courtroom yesterday, about 25 feet apart.
Despite the physical proximity, a reunion between the 17-year-old Christian convert and her Muslim parents seemed miles away.
At the hearing yesterday morning in Franklin County Juvenile Court, Magistrate Mary Goodrich denied the request of parents Mohamed and Aysha Bary to undergo mediation with the girl who goes by Rifqa.
Another issue at hand was whether Rifqa can receive cards, letters and other messages. Bloggers, Christian activists and friends have launched a campaign to send Rifqa Christmas cards.
The family’s attorney, Omar Tarazi, had filed a motion asking that all third-party communication go first to Franklin County Children Services, which has custody of the teen.
But Tarazi, who has said Web sites encouraging the cards spread anti-Muslim rhetoric, withdrew that motion yesterday. He did not say why. All parties are under a gag order.
Read more on The Columbus Dispatch.