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.]