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Apostasy death sentence in Sudan: who’s speaking out?

Apostasy death sentence in Sudan: who’s speaking out?

Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, under sentence of death for apostasy, has given birth in a Sudanese prison to a daughter.

In reaction to her imprisonment and death sentence, the US Embassy in Sudan has released a statement protesting her incarceration, and a few US Senators have also supported her.

Others, including Kelly Ayotte of NH (Ibrahim’s wheelchair-bound husband, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, is from Sudan but is a US citizen and a resident of New Hampshire), have gone further and written a letter:

…asking John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, to offer political asylum to Ibrahim.

“We also urge you and President Obama to reappoint an Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, whose primary purpose is to monitor, prevent, and respond to this exact type of incident,” the letter stated.

Some groups such as Amnesty International are on the case as well.

And what of President Barack Obama? The guy who spoke up readily in the Henry Louis Gates arrest and the Zimmerman case?

The answer appears to be silence—at least so far—as well as silence from Secretary of State John Kerry.

Obama is in the same position vis a vis Islam as Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag herself, by the way, although of course he’s not in prison for apostasy. Here are the facts of her life as reported:

Mariam was born to a Muslim father, who left her mother to bring her up alone from when she was very young, and an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother. She was raised in her mother’s faith and married a Christian man.

That’s her defense to the charge of apostasy: she was never a Muslim in the first place, so there was no conversion. The parallels are that Obama was also born to a Muslim father who then departed from his life and a Christian mother (I’m not talking about beliefs, I’m talking about nominal religion of birth). He was raised mostly by his Christian grandparents, although his mother was also involved off and on.

All of this would make Obama an apostate under the same reasoning that the court applied to Ibrahim Ishag. But whatever Obama’s religion (and my gut feeling is that he has none but leftism), he certainly seems reluctant so far to say much to defend this woman from the barbarism of Islamic law.

There’s a lot more background information about the couple’s story and background in this Telegraph article. It reads partly as a history of Africa’s troubles, reflected in the lives of these two people [emphasis mine]:

Like many in Sudan, both Daniel and his wife’s childhood were blighted by civil war.

Daniel managed to escape the brutal conflict in 1998 when he travelled to America with his brother Gabriel.

The biochemist returned to Sudan to marry Meriam at a Christian service in a chapel which was attended by around 500 people in December 2011.

Most who were at the wedding ceremony could vouch for the pair being committed Christians, defence lawyers say.

But witnesses who were willing to give evidence on her behalf were barred from testifying because they were Christian.

She even produced a marriage certificate identifying herself as a Christian.

Despite this, the judge determined that because her father was a Muslim, even though he abandoned the family while they were living in a refugee camp in the South East of Sudan when she was six, she too was a Muslim who had broken the law by leaving Islam.

But her mother, who is now dead, brought her up as Christian. Her mother was born in Ethiopia to Christian parents, but fled to Sudan because of famine, and chose to raise her daughter in the same religion.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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Captain Keogh | May 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

The guys from Powerline have this to say:

“If Barry Obama were not the limpest, most pathetic excuse for a president in American history, he would come down on the two-bit government of Sudan like a ton of bricks. Remember when Michelle Obama posed with a #BringBackOurGirls sign? While I sympathize with the 200-300 young women threatened with slavery in Nigeria as much as anyone, they are not in fact “our girls.” They are Nigerians. Meriam Ibrahim and her husband and children are actually our people. Their persecution, pursuant to Islamic law, is not just an outrage, but an insult to all Americans. So, President Obama: it is time to man up. Put aside your weird relationship with Islam, and do what it takes to bring these Americans home.”

Isn’t the half-brother of Barackah (the N. Africans say it way) a Sudanese big noise of some kind.

Seems like Barackah could get on the phone and have this lady and her AMERICAN children on a plane chop-chop.

I have wondered about that for a couple of weeks now, and…


    Juba Doobai! in reply to Ragspierre. | May 29, 2014 at 2:56 am

    She’s a Christian who rejects Islam even upon pain of death. Obama and his Islamic terrorist supporting brother will do nothing for her. A few drones in Sudan would have her out chop chop.

The Islamists understand where the future comes from.

The chances of me ever encountering a past, present, or future official of the Sudanese government is exceedingly small, but in such an event I will not forget.

this is sad. been reading about it for some time and am just at a loss od what we can do to help 🙁

and is it just me or are her eyes absolutely mesmerizing?

If Obama was registered as a Muslim when he lived in Indonesia, then the “crime” of apostasy from Islam would also apply in his case. There is a parallelism here, a Muslim farther who abandons the family, leaving a child who becomes a Christian. Perhaps Obama does not want to draw attention to these similarities and that is the reason for not speaking out. I’m speculating here as I can’t understand what the problem would be with offering the family asylum.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to RuthC. | May 29, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Obama’s family were committed leftists. He had no acquaintance with Christianity as a child and only went near the church when he was told, in Chicago, that if he wanted political office he had to belong to a church. It is unlikely he was even baptized; he himself said he became Christian by walking the aisle at Wright’s church. The only way to become Christian s via baptism.

      RuthC in reply to Juba Doobai!. | May 29, 2014 at 9:46 am

      But the point really is not how Obama’s family raised him. It is that the Muslim world considers him Muslim and so that now he is a Christian, he is by definition an apostate in this world. Unless one is saying that the Muslim world doesn’t believe Obama really is a Christian and just dissembled being a committed Christian for political power. I guess the question might be: does the Muslim world consider Obama to be a Muslim or a Christian?

While I feel sorry for this woman, she is one of tens of thousands who are killed for their faith in Sudan. For example, consider the American long distance runner who witnessed 9,000 boys killed by being gunned down. In a desperate attempt to escape, the rest tried to swim a river where many drowned or were eaten. All of this because they were Christian. It is an everyday occurrence.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to InEssence. | May 29, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Islam is the polar opposite of Judeo-Christian religion.

    Its fruit is the opposite of the Holy Spirit.

    Islam mistreats God’s first gift to humanity – woman.

    God’s Commandment to honor father AND mother, gives dignity, rights and honor to women – equality. Moses gave the right of inheritance to women.

    We need to rid the earth of despicable Islam.

The reasons he won’t speak out are simple:
1. It shows Muslims oppressing Christians just for being Christian — the opposite of what Obama wants us to believe is the norm.
2. It would shine a light on the evil heart of Islam, as applied by an Islamic government, not just some “extremist” fringe. People would take note that this “punishment” accords with orthodox Islamic law.

Whatever Obama’s personal beliefs might be, he harbors a naive childhood fondness for Islam, in combination with the leftist partiality toward Islam on “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” grounds.

Obama and Kerry don’t do anything unless they perceive that something is in it for them.

Just in case you missed this is her picture with her children in hospital !!

Obama’s religion is Obamaism.

But his apostasy is far worse, as for a time he was raised in Indonesia by his mother and her second husband, who was also Muslim. So, until the age of 10 or 11, he lived in a Muslim household and STILL turned his back on God.

Pretty sure that replacing submission to God with worship of self isn’t the bst defense.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to caseym54. | May 29, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Islam does not worship the True Holy G-D, The LORD of Love Truth and Life.

    Every tenet and practice of Islam belies and contradicts Holy G-D.

PersonFromPorlock | May 29, 2014 at 7:18 am

Is there anything preventing Ayott from proposing a declaration of war with Sudan if the woman isn’t set free? Unless I misunderstand, Obama would be obliged to prosecute such a war willy-nilly.

neo-neocon: And what of President Barack Obama? The guy who spoke up readily in the Henry Louis Gates arrest and the Zimmerman case? The answer appears to be silence—at least so far—as well as silence from Secretary of State John Kerry.

It’s not so simple. If the U.S. were to flex its muscle, it could cause a negative reaction by conservative elements in Sudanese society. This is a case where quiet diplomacy is more likely to get results. The situation is dire, but not hopeless.

    Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | May 29, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Well. THAT was a big heaping helping of luke-warm unsalted mush.

    This is a case where quiet diplomacy is more likely to get results.

    Perhaps, but that presupposes that the Obama administration is doing something quietly behind the scenes. I am not worried about “conservative” (read: Islamofascist) elements in Sudan society getting their panties in a wad, and – this may shock some – I don’t think the Obama administration is, either.

    What the Obama administration really cares about is feeding red meat to its own political base. Obama is first and foremost a secular progressive, which is why I think the debate about whether he is Muslim or Christian is silly. Obama and other progressives have just One True God: secular far-left government run by a self-anointed elite without interference from the God-and-guns-clinging masses. Nothing else matters except the secular progressives’ accumulation and use of power.

    In the bearded Spock universe that Obama seems to come from, Jews and Christians are (at best) ignorant peasants who need someone to guide them, and (at worst) pure Hitlerian evil. In the progressive worldview Christians and Jews are the victimizers, not the victims. Of course, the reality is that the majority of religious persecution through the world has been aimed at Jews and Christians. And since the reality conflicts with their worldview, reality must be suppressed.

    The only way the Obama administration will do anything is if they think it will in some way advance their progressive cause. Not likely, since the poor woman is one of the dastardly Christians progressive love to hate. A better bet is that they just ignore Mariam and her children in favor of gun control or amnesty or “income inequality” or some other pet cause that helps them accumulate more power.

      Recovering Lutheran: I am not worried about “conservative” (read: Islamofascist) elements in Sudan society getting their panties in a wad

      Conservative elements in Sudanese society may influence any possible release of Mariam Ishag. It may matter very much to Mariam Ishag.

Good news if…
A Christian Sudanese woman sentenced to hang for apostasy will be “freed within days”, a foreign ministry official told AFP Saturday, after her case triggered an international outcry.

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag was condemned to death on May 15 under the Islamic Sharia law that has been in place in Sudan since 1983 and which outlaws conversions under pain of death.

“The lady will be freed within days in line with legal procedure that will be taken by the judiciary and the ministry of justice,” Abdullah al-Azraq, a foreign ministry undersecretary, told AFP.

Azraq, who spoke via telephone from London, did not elaborate.