Last year Pamela Geller injected herself into the case of Rifqa Bary, a teenage runaway and Christian convert who claimed her Muslim parents were planning to kill her. (The Florida Department of Law Enforcement subsequently investigated these claims and found “no evidence whatsoever of alleged abuse or threats of death made by the girl’s parents.”)
As part of her usual hateful rabble-rousing, Geller repeatedly labeled the attorney for Bary’s parents as a terrorist sympathizer who was “appointed by CAIR.”
Now attorney Omar Tarazi is suing Geller and an activist Christian attorney in federal court for $10 million.
A Muslim attorney on one side of the Rifqa Bary dispute has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Orlando attorney John Stemberger, an activist Christian attorney who worked for the other side.
The suit was filed by Omar Tarazi in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, Friday. It names John Stemberger of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council.
Also being sued is a blogger from elsewhere, Pamela Oshry, who writes under the name Pamela Geller at the website atlasshrugged2000 and penned scathing anti-Muslim posts after Rifqa ran away from home in July 2009, saying she was afraid her Muslim parents would kill her for converting to Christianity. …
In the suit, Tarazi accuses Stemberger of falsely claiming on Fox News that Tarazi was associated with a Columbus-area mosque that had ties to terrorists. It also says Stemberger defamed Tarazi by saying Rifqa’s parents fired qualified court-appointed Ohio attorneys to use only one – Tarazi – who was paid by a pro-Muslim group in Ohio, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.
Tarazi was paid by no one, according to the suit. …
Oshry [Geller] published web posts that falsely said Tarazi had joined Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization, and received payments from ” ‘criminal’ organizations with ‘ties’ to terrorists,” according to the suit.
The attorney being sued, John Stemberger, is apparently also under investigation by the Florida Bar for possible ethics violations in the case:
Stemberger on Tuesday called the suit “ridiculous and frivolous.”
“This is just an attempt at grandstanding after a loss,” he said.
Stemberger acknowledged but would not discuss an investigation by the Florida Bar into possible ethics violations by him for statements he made about the case.