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“Thou shalt have no other god before me.”  (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

Rifqa Bary

October 17, 2009

Here’s a story that’s been in the news for a while – a teenage girl who converted to Christianity from Islam – and is now afraid to go home for fear of an “honor killing”. The link to the story is here.

Here is an excerpt:

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.

Before the girl gets sent back, the judge says he needs immigration papers proving her status in the U.S. and proof from the state of Florida that she can continue her virtual schooling and receive credit in Ohio.

She 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, or by an Oct. 23 follow-up hearing.

Rifqa fled to Florida after her parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, learned that she was baptized earlier this year without their knowledge. The parents reported her missing to Columbus, Ohio, Police on July 19. Weeks later, using cell phone and computer records, police tracked the girl to the Rev. Blake Lorenz, pastor of the Orlando-based Global Revolution Church.


I’m not writing about whether Islam actually supports so called honor killings. Nor am I writing about whether or not this particular case is indicative of a larger problem, or if it was handled correctly. No – none of that. This is about the response to the “honor killing” questions that have arisen. A typical response seems to be along the lines of one taken from www.islamonline.net on the subject. The full story is here. An excerpt follows:

In the Glorious Qur’an, Allah, Most High, says, “Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.” (An-Nisa’: 93) (4:93)

“There is no such concept in Islam that is called “honor killing”. Islam holds every soul in high esteem and does not allow any transgression upon it. It does not allow people to take the law in their own hands and administer justice, because doing so will be leading to chaos and lawlessness. Therefore, based on this, Islam does not permit such killings.

There is an interesting use of words here, if you look carefully. The words in the explanation of 4:93 say that Islam holds every soul in high esteem and does not allow any transgression against it – therefore, Islam does not permit such killings. OK – but, the actual words of 4:93 say something quite different. They say that this is true for believers. One who is not a Muslim is not a believer. One who is no longer a Muslim is no longer a believer. It would have been better to have used a reference that wasn’t just related to other Muslims.

OK – maybe that was a bad choice – a better reference could have been used. Let’s look at a more direct reference. It is from 6:151, which refers to some of the commandments, as stated in Islam. Just to keep things complete, here are the commandments as given to Moses in Exodus:

Ex 20:1 And God spoke all these words:

Ex 20:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Ex 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
Ex 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
Ex 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
Ex 20:6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Ex 20:7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Ex 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Ex 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Ex 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
Ex 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Ex 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Ex 20:13 “You shall not murder.
Ex 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.
Ex 20:15 “You shall not steal.
Ex 20:16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Ex 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”


First – know that Islam does talk about Moses in the Qu'ran. For example, in 4:164 it says “And God spoke to Moses directly.” And so, Muslims can truthfully tell you that they believe in Moses. However, a little later in 6:151, the Qu'ran goes on to say:

Say, "Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty - we provide for you and for them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill - GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand."

“Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you”. Uh-Oh. The same Moses – but different words? And what a difference! One of these relates to life being sacred. Notice - “God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice.” We’ve gone from “you shall not murder” to “life is sacred” – but with some exceptions. And who are the unbelievers? That would be anyone who isn’t a Muslim, but especially (from 9:30)

The Jews said, "Ezra is the son of GOD," while the Christians said, "Jesus is the son of GOD!" These are blasphemies uttered by their mouths. They thus match the blasphemies of those who have disbelieved in the past. GOD condemns them. They have surely deviated.


Or, from 74:31

We appointed angels to be guardians of Hell, and we assigned their number (19) (1) to disturb the disbelievers, (2) to convince the Christians and Jews (that this is a divine scripture), (3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful, (4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of Christians, Jews, as well as the believers, and (5) to expose those who harbor doubt in their hearts, and the disbelievers; they will say, "What did GOD mean by this allegory?" GOD thus sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is a reminder for the people.

OK – so as Christians, we are considered by Islam to be nonbelievers. How bad can that be? Well – how about this bad:

[8:55] The worst creatures in the sight of GOD are those who disbelieved; they cannot believe.
[8:56] You reach agreements with them, but they violate their agreements every time; they are not righteous.
[8:57] Therefore, if you encounter them in war, you shall set them up as a deterrent example for those who come after them, that they may take heed.
[8:58] When you are betrayed by a group of people, you shall mobilize against them in the same manner. GOD does not love the betrayers.
[8:59] Let not those who disbelieve think that they can get away with it; they can never escape.
[8:60] You shall prepare for them all the power you can muster, and all the equipment you can mobilize, that you may frighten the enemies of GOD, your enemies, as well as others who are not known to you; GOD knows them. Whatever you spend in the cause of GOD will be repaid to you generously, without the least injustice.


That’s pretty bad.

So – the conclusion is pretty obvious – not by my words, not by the words posted on islamonline.net, but by the words of the book of Islam itself.

“Life is sacred, except in the course of justice.”
”God condemns them” (Christians) for saying “Jesus is the Son of God”.
"They thus match the blasphemies of those who have disbelieved in the past.”
“The worst creatures in the sight of GOD are those who disbelieved”

and 8:55-60 goes on to give the consequences of being Christian or Jewish.


Is this the same “god” that you and I believe in? It certainly isn’t the one I believe in.

If Jesus isn’t the Son of God – where is our hope? How can our forgiveness and salvation ever come about? It cannot. Do not let it be taken from you. Know the God you believe in. Remember John 3:16 – it is our hope. It is our Life and our Light.

And, remember the commandments from Moses, including “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. In order to do this, we must know about the God of Heaven. That’s what this is all about – to bring into the light what’s behind the scenes, to bring out real references that support the spoken words in the media sound bites and the spin put on them. To take out the hyper-emotional parts of the story and to bring out the simple, basic truth about what’s really at stake. Which “god” do you believe in? You can have only one. As a Christian – it’s absolutely important to have Him as the one and only God, with no others before Him.