-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
The Florida Bar has filed a complaint with the Florida Supreme Court against attorney John Stemberger, accusing him of violating legal rules of conduct regarding his handling of the Rifqa Bary case. Rifqa Bary was the Muslim girl who converted to Christianity and then ran away from her Ohio home claiming that she was an intended victim of an honor killing. She was returned to Ohio and placed into the custody of Franklin County Children Services, until her 18th birthday on 10 August 2010.
She became a cause célèbre for right wing evangelicals.
The lawyer for Rifqa’s parents, Omar Tarazi, has filed a $10 million lawsuit in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, against anti-Muslim zealot Pamela Geller, blogger for Atlas Shrugs, and John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council.
Now the Florida Bar has added to Stemberger’s woes alleging:
- He went on Fox News four times and wrongly stated or implied in interviews that he was Rifqa Bary’s attorney in the girl’s Ohio custody case.
- In national television interviews, accused Omar Tarazi, the attorney for Bary’s parents, of being paid by organizations associated with terrorists based solely on a Facebook article and a blog posting.
- Posted on his law firm’s website a letter to the editor wrongly indicating that he was Bary’s attorney.
- Posted on his firm’s website unredacted versions of documents in the confidential Florida custody case involving Bary.
On his website, Stemberger touts his high ethical rating from Martindale-Hubble.
The religious right is spinning this as an attempt to silence criticism of Islam. The delusional criticizing the delusional.