Ohio lawyer drops $10M lawsuit in convert case

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer

September 21, 2011

A former lawyer for the Muslim parents of a runaway Ohio Christian convert and a blogger often critical of Islam have settled a defamation lawsuit filed by the attorney.

Columbus lawyer Omar Tarazi had argued that New York-based blogger Pamela Geller defamed him by alleging he has terrorist ties.

Under the settlement agreed to late Wednesday Geller will remove five posts about Tarazi from her “Atlas Shrugs” blog.

Both sides are claiming victory, with Tarazi telling The Associated Press that Geller caved in by agreeing to drop the posts, and Geller calling the settlement a First Amendment victory.

Tarazi represented the parents of Rifqa Bary (RIHF’-kuh BAYR’-ee), who fled to Florida, saying she feared they would harm her.

Bary didn’t reconcile with her family before turning 18 last year.

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