By Brian Whitaker:
Compulsion in religion is the ideological foundation stone of Isis and Islamist movements in general. Believing they have superior knowledge of God’s wishes for mankind, such groups feel entitled – even required – to act on his behalf and punish those who fail to comply with the divine will. In doing so, of course, they do not claim to be seeking power for themselves but merely trying to make the world more holy.
Bombing Isis and banning Islamist movements may suppress such movements for a while but it does nothing to address the ideological problem. Unless the question of compulsion in religion is tackled head-on, and in a serious way, they will resurface later or similar groups will emerge to replace them.
Although freedom of belief is a widely accepted principle internationally, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it is still far from becoming established in the Arab countries. This is true of both governments and society.
As far as many of the Arab public are concerned, discriminating against members of the “wrong” faith, or those who hold unorthodox views, is not only acceptable, but the right thing to do. For Arab governments, enforcing religious rules and allying themselves with God helps to make up for their lack of electoral legitimacy.
This causes a particular problem in combating the ideology of groups such as Isis because most Arab states – including several members of the military coalition against it – share Isis’s approach to compulsion in religion. Isis may be more brutal in practice but, basically, they are on the same ground – asserting the superiority of Islam and the legitimacy of religious discrimination.
Isis’s readiness to execute people for their beliefs has parallels in six Arab countries – Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the UAE and Yemen – where apostasy is a crime and in theory the death penalty can apply. Curiously, though, they seem reluctant to enforce it. No recent executions for apostasy have been reported in any of them and in Saudi Arabia there have been none for well over 20 years, according to the US state department.
On the rare occasions when an execution for apostasy becomes a possibility, these countries usually resort to avoidance mechanisms.
In 1996, for example, the authorities in Kuwait were confronted with their first apostasy case since independence when Hussein Ali Qambar, a Shia Muslim, converted to evangelical Christianity and adopted “Robert” as his first name. Qambar had separated from his wife and his conversion came to light during a court case about custody of their children. In accordance with Islamic custom, efforts were made to persuade him to recant – but to no avail. Islamists then began agitating and filing lawsuits seeking to have him condemned for apostasy.
Read more at The Guardian
Apostasy means “renouncing the faith.” If someone is a Jew or a Hindu or whatever and they decide they don’t want to be one anymore, that is apostasy.
The Koran says apostasy from Islam is a crime punishable by death. In many Islamic states, this is enforced by law. You cannot convert out of Islam. Once you’re in, you’re in for good.
It takes a great deal of courage to leave Islam, and the book, Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out is a collection of first-hand accounts of what happens when a person renounces their belief in Islam. It’ll give you an inside view of what it’s like to be a Muslim. It makes for some surprising, eye-opening reading.
You can find out, in Leaving Islam, the many different ways Muslims around the world deal with the difficult decision to renounce the religion.
Probably the only way we’re going to get a straight story about what Islam is like is by listening to apostates. They have been Muslims and know all about it, and yet they are not apologists for it. They aren’t trying to sell you on it. And all the apostates have a very consistent point of view on Islam.
Of course, they are all against the religion’s intolerance of apostates, but many of them do not hate Islam itself. But they can still be honest about what it’s like to be a Muslim. It’s fascinating reading and will give you lots of interesting stories to tell your friends, but Leaving Islam is also a great reference book. Appendix A is a large list of quotes showing the violence, hatred, and intolerance commanded by the Koran. These are what the orthodox Muslims believe in and these are the main reasons the apostates left the religion.
Appendix B is a list of web sites, organizations, and email addresses of groups who are trying to help create a secularization of Islamic societies and groups that promote freedom of thought and freedom of religion in general. Appendix D is a list of web sites critical of Islam. Appendix E is a bibliography of books critical of Islam.
This is a resource you can use.
There are very useful analogies to be drawn between communism and Islam…As Arthur Koestler said, “You hate our Cassandra cries and resent us as allies, but when all is said, we ex-Communists are the only people on your side who know what it’s all about.”
Communism has been defeated, at least for the moment; Islamism has not, and unless a reformed, tolerant, liberal kind of Islam emerges soon, perhaps the final battle will be between Islam and Western democracy. And these former Muslims, to echo Koestler’s words, on the side of Western democracy are the only ones who know what it’s all about, and we would do well to listen to their Cassandra cries.
Below is the description on the hardcover:
In the West, those who abandon their religion (apostates) find it to be a difficult, emotional decision that sometimes carries with it social repercussions, such as physical and psychological isolation from family, friends, and colleagues. However, in culturally diverse societies with a mixture of ethnic groups and various philosophies of life, most people look upon such intellectual shifts of allegiance as a matter of personal choice and the right of the individual. In stark contrast, the socially restricted Muslim world still views apostasy as an unthinkable act, and orthodox Muslims would consider it a crime punishable by death. Renowned scholar of Islamic Studies Bernard Lewis has described the seriousness of leaving the Islamic faith in dire terms: “Apostasy was a crime as well as a sin, and the apostate was damned both in this world and the next. His crime was treason — desertion and betrayal of the community to which he belonged, and to which he owed loyalty; his life and property were forfeit. He was a dead limb to be excised.”
Defying the death penalty that all apostates potentially face in the Islamic world, the ex-Muslims represented here feel it is their duty to speak up against their former faith, to tell the truth about the fastest-growing religion in the world.
These former Muslims — some born into the faith; others, Western converts — from all parts of the Islamic world recount how they slowly came to realize that their religion was in many respects unbelievable and sometimes even dangerous.
These memoirs and journals of personal journeys to enlightenment and intellectual freedom make for moving reading and are a courageous signal to other ex-Muslims to openly express their views.
IPT News, June 24, 2014:
Dozens of Sudanese security agents reportedly stopped a Christian woman and her family from trying to leave the country Tuesday, a day after she was granted a reprieve from a death sentence for apostasy.
Meriam Ibrahim’s case garnered international attention in May when she was sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man. She was pregnant at the time the sentence was issued. She also faced 100 lashes for adultery, after the court found her marriage was not valid.
An appeals court overturned those rulings. Her husband, Daniel Wani, is an American citizen. Ibrahim said she was raised as a Christian.
She was released from prison Monday after six months. Then, in a scene out of a bad movie, 40 National Intelligence and Security Service agents detained her at the airport Tuesday as she and her family tried to leave Sudan. “The authorities are saying she has been freed from prison but is not free to leave Sudan at this stage,” an official told reporters.”
Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter in prison, reportedly was released a few hours later, and officials claimed the hold-up was about her paperwork.
A State Department spokeswoman said the United States is working to arrange the family’s safe passage out of Sudan.
“The [Sudanese] government has assured us of their safety,” said spokeswoman Marie Harf. “The Embassy has been and will remain highly involved in working with the family and the government. We are engaging directly with Sudanese officials to secure their safe and swift departure from Sudan.”
Earlier today, an appeal court in Sudan overturned Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag’s death penalty and released her from jail.
Ibrahim is the woman who had never embraced her absent father’s Muslim faith and whose mother brought her up as a God-fearing Christian. Shariah law demands that such a woman is an apostate and demands either execution or “reversion” to Islam. That, Meriam refused to do. She was willing to die for her faith.
This was her only crime—a refusal to convert or revert to Islam. This exceptionally beautiful woman was arrested and brutalized in a medieval fashion: Chained up in a dark dungeon and forced to give birth on the filthy floor of that very dungeon in chains. The fact that her husband is an American citizen and that her two children, including the daughter born while she was imprisoned, are also American citizens did not sway the Sudanese authorities.
What has? It is hard to say. International human rights groups and Christian groupslaunched campaigns on her behalf. An internet campaign which I quickly joined seems to have gathered some momentum, but internet campaigns do not open cell doors. Many articles were published, including mine at Breitbart, but that, too, does not usually open cell doors.
On May 24, 2014, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted that “Meriam Yahya Ibrahim’s death sentence is abhorrent.” On June 12, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement about freedom of religion and noted that the Sudanese government has violated international law and human rights. He wrote: “The United States remains deeply concerned about the conviction and continued imprisonment of Ms. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag.”
However, I have been told that the American Embassy in Khartoum would not get involved—at least, not publicly and not visibly.
On June 19, 2013, thirty eight Congressmen signed a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. This effort was spear-headed by two Republican Congressmen: Trent Franks and Frank Wolf. Thirty one Republicans and only seven Democrats signed this letter. Shame on the Democratic Party! Here is an African woman who is exercising her freedom of religion—a value that we in the West, particularly in America, hold dear.
Senator Ted Cruz called on President Obama to directly engage Sudan and call for her release.
And now, five days later, on June 23rd, a Sudanese Court has freed her and declared her innocent of all charges.
Really, what has opened her cell door? At this point, I cannot say. But one thing is clear: This is an international victory against Shariah law–and as Shariah law is imposed in a Muslim country. This is no small thing. The stand taken by Christian and human rights groups, coupled with the Republican-led coalition demanding that she be freed, helped.
Other questions abound as to what occurred behind closed doors. Did money change hands? if so, whose money? Have we traded away terrorists for Meriam’s freedom? Will we ever know? More importantly, will she now be protected from death threats? Will the American Embassy give her shelter? How will she get out of the country? Who will sponsor her for political asylum here? How many other Meriams will we have to rescue, campaign by campaign?
Meriam’s journey is not yet over, though she is free of the charges leveled against her. Laurie Jalbert, founder of the Christian group A Passion for Jesus who launched a petition to save Meriam, says now is the time for the White House to act to get Meriam and her children to America safely. “There are now death threats against Meriam and her lawyers,” she explained to Breitbart News, “Please continue to remember Meriam and her children as they still need to safely leave Sudan. Also, remember her lawyers who were courageous enough to represent her.”
On Thursday 12 June, the Institute on Religion and Democracy along with dozens of co-sponsors led a protest at the White House calling for the release of Sudanese “apostate” Meriam Ibrahim. Ibrahim, the mother of two young children and wife of a U.S. citizen, has been sentenced to death by hanging by the government of Sudan.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Faith McDonnell, Institute on Religion and Democracy
Magdi Khalil, Coptic Solidarity
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
Jimmy Mulla, Voices for Sudan
Penny Young Nance, Concerned Women for America
Front Page, by
The Sudanese Criminal Court’s death sentence upon a 27-year-old pregnant woman, Meriam Ibrahim, who was found guilty of leaving Islam, has gained very wide publicity. Her plight has attracted the strongest condemnation from the world’s top politicians, and hundreds of thousands of people around the world have signed petitions for her release.
It is striking that those condemning Meriam Ibrahim’s death sentence are demanding her release, but they are not demanding the abolition of the legal code that found her guilty of apostasy and adultery in the first place.
The Sudanese Government – not unlike many Western governments, who are permitting Sharia principles and Sharia courts to become entrenched within their legal systems – is simultaneously endorsing two approaches to human rights, the one contradicting the other: Islamic Sharia Law and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.
The Sudanese Government – like other Islamic governments, Islamic communities in the West, and many Islamic non-governmental organizations – have been given a free pass to move freely between the two opposing sets of rights, according to whatever suits them best.
Sudan is an Islamic State, which has embedded Islamic Sharia Laws in its legal framework. At the same time, Sudan is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These two sets of rights are fundamentally opposed to each other in the way they view and understand rights and freedoms.
In response to the overwhelming media coverage of Meriam’s case, a Sudanese official at the Sudanese embassy in London reassured the BBC that Sudan is committed and will comply with its commitment to protect freedom of religion. Of course he was referring to principals of human rights as understood and accepted in the West.
Back in Sudan it was another story. Meriam was sentenced to death by a Sudanese Criminal Court which found her guilty of apostasy from Islam under article 126 of the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Law Act. This reads:
126 (1) Every Muslim who advocates the renunciation of the creed of Islam, or who publicly declares his renouncement thereof by an express statement or conclusive act, shall be deemed to commit the offense of apostasy.
(2) Whoever commits apostasy shall be given a chance to repent during a period to be determined by the court; if he persists in his apostasy, and is not a recent convert to Islam, he shall be punished with death.
(3) The penalty provided for apostasy shall be remitted whenever the apostate recants apostasy before execution.
According to Sharia law, and contrary to the principles of the UDHR, Meriam has no choice but to be a Muslim, because Sharia law mandates that every child born to a Muslim parent is a Muslim. A child must follow Islam if one of his/her parents is a Muslim or converts to Islam, because, according to Sharia Law, Islam is the superior religion over all other religions. In Meriam’s case she was born to a Muslim father, so, according to Sudanese Islamic Law, she cannot choose to become a Christian, despite what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says.
The same court, using the same Act, also found Meriam guilty of the offence of adultery under article 145b, and sentenced her to a flogging under article 146b, which states:
Article (145): Adultery
1. There shall be deemed to commit the offence of adultery:
(a) Every man who has intercourse with a woman without a legitimate marriage;
(b) Every woman who allows a man to have intercourse with her without a legitimate marriage.
2. Intercourse is deemed to be completed when the whole head of the penis, or its equivalent, enters inside the vagina.
3. A marriage is not legitimate when its legitimacy is not determined and settled [by Islamic jurists].
1. Whoever commits the offence of adultery shall be sentenced to:
(a) Death by stoning when legitimately married;
(b) 100 lashes when not legitimately married.
The Sudanese official in the Sudanese embassy in London would have been fully aware of Sudanese Criminal Law, under which Meriam was found guilty of apostasy and adultery, but he chose to play the Universal Declaration of Human Rights card in an attempt to reduce tensions with the West.
“Moderate” Sharia Laws?
The Western governments that allow Sharia principles (Islamic finance, Islamic schools, halal certified food, Islam-compliant inheritance, Islam-compliant marriage) are displaying harmful ignorance. Sharia Law is a single legal code which determines crimes, offences, punishments, finance, halal and haram, and so on. The fundamental principles which determine the value and the rights of women in Sharia Law in matters of inheritance, marriage, finance, and education are the same principles which determine her rights in respect of apostasy and adultery.
The London Sudanese embassy official thought to cause confusion by referring to Western understandings of human rights. Western leaders have themselves embraced and partnered with such confusion by condemning the death and flogging of an adulterer apostate in Sudan, while at the same time accepting principles of sharia law into their countries’ legal systems. They should have known better, for whether the issue is Islamic finance, halal food, inheritance issues, apostasy, or adultery, Islamic schools in the UK, USA, Australia, France, or Germany can only teach the same fundamental principles which brought a 27-year-old mother of two to death row and earned her a flogging, for the ‘crimes’ of leaving Islam and marrying a Christian man.
Islamic Sharia law follows a set of values which do not change. The Sharia legal texts that the Sudanese criminal court judge consulted are sold in Islamic bookstores all over the Western world. The same principles that brought Meriam to death row are taught to Western Muslim children in Islamic schools all over the Western world.
To the Western leaders I say this: Millions of Muslims came to the West seeking refuge in genuine principles of human rights. They were seeking freedom and justice. Please do not hand them back to the oppression of the Islamic Sharia!
Amani Gayed practiced law in Sudan, and is now based in Sydney, Australia.
Faith J. H. McDonnell directs the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan and is the author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books, 2007).
On YouTube there is a video of the punishment for adultery that will soon be meted out to Sudanese Christian Dr. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim unless the United States government intervenes on her behalf. But some disturbing information revealed by Meriam’s husband, Daniel Wani, a naturalized U.S. citizen, suggests that “not leaving behind” this wife of an American citizen may not even be contemplated by the Obama Administration without strong pressure from caring advocates.
The video, featuring a terrified young Sudanese woman being whipped in front of onlookers at a Khartoum police station is so disturbing that it has been age-restricted by YouTube. Even her distress anticipating the flogging looks physically painful itself. Meriam has already had weeks to anticipate her upcoming flogging. She is to receive 100 lashes for her marriage to a South Sudanese Christian. Because the Shariah court in Khartoum considers her a Muslim, it does not recognize her marriage to Wani.
Meriam’s suffering will not end with the agony of lashes. That punishment will be followed within two years’ time by her execution for apostasy. The delay is because the court will wait until her newborn baby, Maya, has been weaned. Meriam will then be killed, according to Shariah, for the crime of refusing to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ and “revert” to Islam.
While waiting to be hanged, Meriam, 27, is shackled to the wall of the Omdurman Women’s Prison, along with her 20 month-old son, Martin. On May 27, when she gave birth to Maya, she was forced to endure labor on a filthy floor while still in leg irons, according to her distressed husband. Now, nursing Maya keeps her from the gallows, but she is not even permitted to nurse her baby and care for her toddler in peace. She has to suffer the continuous visits of Muslim clerics, attempting to pressure her into conversion.
Current photos of the gaunt inmate Meriam holding baby Maya are shocking after viewing photos of Meriam as Daniel’s beautiful bride. Traded-for-Taliban-terrorists Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl looks in the pink after his five years with Islamists (in spite of President Obama’s excuse for negotiating a deal with the devil being concern for the soldier’s health), compared to Meriam’s deteriorating appearance after just five months in Islamist captivity.
Where are the President’s grand gestures to rescue this young Christian wife of an American? Will President Obama be Meriam’s knight in shining armor, as he has been for Bergdahl?
Sadly, there is no evidence of any planned intervention by the Obama Administration for Meriam and her children. And since Meriam’s sentencing there has been no public statement in her defense coming from that direction. There have, however, been vigorous condemnations from British Prime Minister David Cameron, former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan Mukesh Kapila, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and other international leaders.
Read more at Front Page
Meriam’s case turned on the question of her religious identity—whether she is lawfully a Christian, a faith she inherited from her Ethiopian Orthodox mother and embraces, or whether, because her father was a Muslim, she too must be a Muslim, even though he abandoned the family when she was young.
The Sudanese court determined that she was a Muslim under sharia law and, after she refused to renounce Christianity at trial, convicted her of apostasy. It also found her guilty of adultery for marrying a man who is Christian, which is forbidden to Muslim women in Sudan, and, for that, the court ordered that flogging with 100 lashes be added to her punishment.
The cruel treatment and flagrant denial of religious freedom are shocking even by Sudan’s abysmal human rights standards. The case has received wide attention in the international media, and it has stirred high level outrage. British Prime Minister David Cameron, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and various U.N. rights experts are among those who have raised their voices in protest. Mia Farrow has started a hashtag campaign (#FreeMeriam) and others are circulating petitions.
But from one quarter there has been noticeable silence. For over two weeks since the verdict was announced there has been no public statements in defense of Meriam from President Barack Obama or any high level U.S. government official. The U.S. State Department spokesperson said the agency was “deeply disturbed” by the sentence imposed on Meriam but “understood that the sentence was open to appeal”, thus seeming to suggest that the administration is heartlessly preparing to stand by and passively watch the process play out .
Read more at Daily Beast
BY RYAN MAURO:
The Sudanese regime is claiming that Meriam Ibrahim Ishag, an imprisoned Christian sentenced to death, will be released after heavy international pressure. Her attorney is doubtful but even if it’s true, there’s another woman we must act to save: Faiza Abdalla.
Meriam is a victim of Sudan’ move towards stricter sharia governance and the culture of “honor.” This tradition pushed her own Muslim brother to redeem the family’s “honor” by turning her into the authorities. Meriam’s father is a Muslim, so the Sudanese government considered her to be an apostate deserving of death for being a Christian. She just gave birth in prison.
A Change.org petition gathered over 720,000 signatures demanding that she be released. The Sudanese regime was condemned internationally, with the U.S. government becoming “fully engaged” behind-the-scenes to twist the regime’s arm.
Now, the Sudanese regime is telling the world that it is caving. Her husband, Daniel Wadi, is now allowed to visit her and their baby. A foreign ministry official claims she will be “freed within days in line with legal procedure that will be taken by the judiciary and the ministry of justice.”
It is hard to see how she can be released without violating Sudanese bans on apostasy and adultery.
International Christian Concern has been informed by a Sudanese official that it will release Meriam temporary for two years so she can take care of her baby, but the death sentencing will not be lifted. Presumably, the same is true of the 100 lashes she is sentenced to. It is possible that the Sudanese regime is hoping that she’ll be granted asylum in the U.S. during the delay.
Meriam’s attorney, Elshareef Ali Mohammed, sees it as nothing more than deceitful public relations, calling it a “statement to silence the international media.”
“If they were to release her, the announcement would come from the appeal court, and not from the ministry of foreign affairs. But at least it shows our campaign to free Meriam is rattling them. We must keep up the pressure,” he said.
Read more at Clarion Project
Breitbart, By Jeff Poor:
On Friday’s “The Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, Harvard Kennedy School fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali made an appearance to discuss the plight of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for her Christianity that recently gave birth in a Sudanese prison.
Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic and victim of Islam for female genital mutilation, urged those in the West, including states, to unite against tenets of Sharia Law, which call for the punishment she and Ibrahim faced, as they did against South Africa’s apartheid in the 1980s and 1990s.
“It’s not a dichotomy — it’s not like black and white between having boots on the ground versus doing nothing,” Hirsi Ali said. “Remember apartheid — we stopped it through writing books, writing, through songs, through trade boycotts, through diplomacy. We were united as a — just not America but the West and all moral countries to say it is unacceptable to divide humanity to blacks and whites and what are we seeing with Sharia? We’re seeing it in Brunei. We’re seeing it in Sudan. We know it in our lives, Saudi Arabia and others. On grounds of, you know … we are not taking the positions, the moral positions that we need to and we’re not fighting that moral positions with the tools we have.”
CSP, by Kyle Shideler:
In a State Department press conference, Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki repeatedly refused to answer questions about the status of Daniel Wani, the American husband of Meriam Ibrahim, a woman facing a death sentence for alleged apostasy in Sudan, and of the status of their 20 month old child who is, by all appearances, also an American citizen. Wani has told reporters that the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum demanded a “blood test” to determine whether the child was in fact his.
According to DOS regulations, (h/t Andrew Bostom) demanding a blood test would appear to be the hardest possible line for the State Department to assert against a man they believe to be engaged in paternity fraud. U.S. DOS Regulation “7 FAM 1130 ACQUISITION OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH ABROAD TO U.S. CITIZEN PARENT” indicates:
Children born in wedlock are generally presumed to be the issue of that marriage. This presumption is not determinative in citizenship cases, however, because an actual blood relationship to a U.S. citizen parent is required. If doubt arises that the citizen “parent” is related by blood to the child, the consular officer is expected to investigate carefully. Circumstances that might give rise to such a doubt include:
(1) Conception or birth of a child when either of the alleged biological parents was married to another;
(2) Naming on the birth certificate, as father and/or mother, person(s) other than the alleged biological parents; and
(3) Evidence or indications that the child was conceived at a time when the alleged father had no physical access to the mother.
Given that Wani and Ibrahim are married (Wani produced a marriage certificate and other documents for the embassy in Khartoum), the presumption is that the child, Martin, is an American citizen unless there is a reasonable suspicion otherwise. Furthermore, the Embassy’s insistence that Wani provide a blood test, is absolutely the last recourse of a consular officer who suspects paternity fraud. From 7 FAM 1131.5-3 Paternity Issues:
How to Resolve Doubts: To ascertain the true circumstances surrounding the child’s conception and birth, the consular officer may wish to:
(1) Obtain available records showing periods of time when the alleged father had physical access to the mother;
(2) Interview the parents separately to determine any differences in their respective stories as to when and where the child was conceived. Often, in separate interviews, one party will admit that the American citizen is not the father;
(3) Interview neighbors and friends to determine the facts as understood within the local community; and
(4) Advise blood testing if the couple continues to pursue the claim even though the facts as developed seem to disprove it.
By demanding a blood test, the Consular official who spoke with Wani is asserting that the office possesses facts that suggest Wani is not the father of Martin.
We ought to demand that the State Department produce whatever facts they claim exist which led them to demand a blood test in order to prove Martin Wani’s citizenship.
Given the flippancy of Ms. Psaki’s regard for this issue, I suspect no such facts will be produced, or even could be produced.
The same bureaucracy which dragged its feet over granting a spousal visa to Meriam Ibrahim (without which Meriam would right now be a free woman instead of facing death) is permitting an American child to languish in a third world prison cell.
By ARTHUR MARTIN:
A doctor who is facing execution in Sudan for marrying a Christian gave birth to a baby girl in prison today.
Meriam Ibrahim, who has spent the past four months shackled to the floor in a disease-ridden jail, gave birth five days early.
The baby was born in the hospital wing at Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in North Khartoum and is said to be healthy.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, her lawyer Mohaned Mustafa Elnour said: ‘This is some good news in what has been a terrible ordeal for Meriam.
‘I am planning to visit her with her husband Daniel later today. I think they are going to call the baby Maya.’
Meriam, 27, was sentenced to death by hanging earlier this month after being found guilty of converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian man, U.S. citizen Daniel Wani, who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.
She will receive 100 lashes before she is executed – sometime in the next two years.
Before the birth, Meriam made the defiant claim that she would rather die than give up her faith.
Read more at Daily Mail
Editor’s note: The following was written by an anonymous American teacher living in the Muslim world
At a recent dinner party, the death sentence of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim for the crime of apostasy by a Sudanese Islamic court came up as a topic of discussion. Not surprisingly, the progressive elements of the group did their best to defend Islam, claiming that her sentence to die by hanging was handed down by religious fanatics (not Muslim fanatics) who don’t understand the peaceful nature of Islam.
With my wife by my side, I firmly disagreed with them, stating that my three years’ experience working in the Middle East has taught me that Meriam’s hanging sentence fits perfectly well within the Islamic culture. To further my point, I mentioned a past interaction I had with a group of Sudanese Muslims who wanted to kill my wife for leaving Islam.
This event occurred a few years ago while I was working as an ESL instructor in a Saudi Arabian University. Many of my colleagues were Sudanese Muslims and my first impression of them was very positive. I admired them because they were hardworking and forward looking. They were in Saudi Arabia to earn enough money to either start a family, buy a home, or invest in a business. For many months, we shared stories regarding our families and dreams.
Knowing that I have a Thai wife who remained in Thailand while I worked in Saudi Arabia, my Sudanese co-workers would regularly ask me why I didn’t bring her to live with me in Saudi Arabia, to which I always responded, “She doesn’t like the idea of wearing the hijab in the Saudi heat nor the idea of remaining in our apartment all day while I am at work.”
To that, they would reply, “She must live that way in Saudi Arabia; that is our culture,” to which I responded, “She doesn’t like that aspect of this culture which is why she refuses to move to Saudi Arabia.”
One day, to get them of my back for good regarding that issue, I told them the whole truth about my wife not moving to Saudi Arabia. I confided in them that my wife was a Muslim and that she converted to Buddhism in her early twenties, years before I met her, and that Saudi Arabia could be dangerous for her.
Considering these men my friends, I was hoping they would be understanding and change the topic of conversation. After a long minute of silence, one of Sudanese looked at me and said, “Your wife must be put to death!”
I could not believe that the man whose desk was in front of mine and with whom I had numerous great conversations would say that to my face. So, I burst out laughing and said, “You can’t be serious!” to which he replied, “Our culture requires us to kill her.”
While this exchange went on for another minute, I noticed that the other six Sudanese teachers remained very quiet. I wondered whether they agreed or not with their colleague. The next morning, my question was answered. While shaking hands with all my co-teachers, I refused to shake the hand of the Sudanese who threatened my wife. He felt insulted and was furious, so I said, “How can I shake the hand of a man who wants to kill my wife.”
He replied: “But they all think like me—so why do you shake their hands.”
I responded: “They were smart enough not to say it to my face, but in your defense, you are the most honest among them.”
They stared at me in shock and awe and from that time, I rarely spoke to them. A month later, my contract was over and I left Saudi Arabia. From Saudi Arabia, I moved to another Muslim country and asked a female co-worker if the country would be safe for my wife because she left Islam.
She looked at me and said, “Do not bring your wife here.”
After finishing my story, I looked at the progressives at the dinner party and said, “That is what Muslims do to apostates because it is their religious duty to do so. My friendship with my Sudanese co-workers meant nothing to them once they found out my wife left Islam. So Meriam’s verdict and eventual hanging, if the West does not interfere, should come as no surprise to anyone who understands Islam.”
They looked at me with infuriating eyes. I dared to break their PC rules regarding Islam and they couldn’t fight back with my wife, a potential victim, by my side.
Guest-hosting for Rush yesterday, I mentioned the case of Meriam Ibrahim, who has been sentenced by a Sudanese court to hang for the crime of being a Christian and refusing to “revert” to Islam (she was turned in to the authorities by her brother, apparently). Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa has ruled that the convicted woman, who is eight months pregnant, will be permitted to give birth to her child before he executes her. Her two-year-old son Martin is currently imprisoned with her.
I would like Meriam Ibrahim not to be hanged – for several reasons. First, I’m not in favor of hanging women for apostasy. However, I recognize that, in a post-imperial age, barbarous despots are free to terrorize their subjects, and no matter how many pouty-faced hashtags we do we can’t save them all. However, there are compelling reasons why the United States Government ought to be making an effort to bring back this girl in particular.
As I’ve discussed here and on air, Meriam Ibrahim is the wife of a US citizen, Daniel Wani. Mr Wani lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, a couple hours south of SteynOnline corporate HQ. He has lived in the Granite State for 17 years. He has been a US citizen for almost a decade.
I don’t think it’s in the interests of Americans for thug states to learn they can execute the spouses of US citizens with impunity. That will not improve the security of Americans and westerners as they move around the world. As I said the other day, the spouse of a US citizen is entitled to US citizenship herself: It’s essentially non-discretionary. So Mrs Wani is in effect an American-in-waiting.
However, the sclerotic, dysfunctional and utterly shameful US immigration bureaucracy takes years to process these routine spousal applications. And that is why Daniel Wani’s wife was languishing in Khartoum: she was waiting for “permission” from the United States Bureau of Inertia to travel to New Hampshire and join her husband. And, while she was waiting, the Sudanese decided to kill her. From The Union Leader:
Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen since 2005, went to Sudan last summer to arrange for his wife and child to move to New Hampshire, where the Wani brothers immigrated in 1998 after fleeing the war-torn African country…
Gabriel Wani said the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum was slow to respond to his requests until Ibrahim’s arrest and trial…
What’s the big deal? US diplomats in Khartoum are “slow to respond”. When US diplomats in Benghazi needed someone to respond, Obama and Clinton were “slow to respond”, too. “Slow to respond” can be chiseled on the tombstone of the republic. But this is what it boils down to:
The couple’s toddler boy is a U.S. citizen by virtue of his father’s U.S. citizenship, but Wani said U.S. Embassy officials in Khartoum have told him he must prove he is the father with a DNA test before they would try to help.
“I will have to take a DNA sample in Khartoum, then send it to the USA for testing,” Wani said. “I have provided wedding documents and the baby’s birth certificate, and doors were closed on his face.”
Wani told Morning Star News that when he called the U.S. Embassy on April 9, a representative in Khartoum told him they did not care about the case.
“I have tried to apply for papers to travel to the USA with my wife and child, but the American Embassy in Sudan did not help me,” Wani said. “My son is an American citizen living in a difficult situation in prison.”
The reason Mr Wani was in Manchester and Mrs Wani and their son Martin were in Khartoum is because they were trapped in the processing hell of US immigration:
Soon after Ibrahim and Wani were wed, in December 2011, Wani applied to his government, the United States government, for a spousal visa to bring his wife to America.
As I said, a spousal application is essentially non-discretionary: An American has the right to fall in love with a Belgian or an Uzbek or a Papuan and bring her to his home, but US immigration has gotten into the habit of dragging it out, for three years, a half-decade, and even longer if the paper-shufflers are minded to really screw you over. In this case, for poor Mrs Wani, US bureaucratic torpor has proved fatal.