Talk is Cheap
News comes today, reported by the London Telegraph, on Meriam Ibrahim, the 27-yr old woman who is jailed in the Sudan, awaiting a death sentence imposed by a Sharia court.
Meriam was sentenced to death by hanging after being convicted of apostasy by a Shariah court in Khartoum -- apostasy because, though she has been a Christian her whole life, her father was a Muslim, and therefore the Sharia court says she should be one as well (her father ran off and abandoned the family, by the way). She refuses to forsake her Christian faith. Meriam was also sentenced to receive 100 lashes for adultery, a charge brought because her husband is Christian (under Shariah law, Muslim women are forbidden to marry outside their faith). Meriam's husband, Daniel Wadi, has been a US citizen since 2005, and is now in Khartoum advocating for her release. And not only hers, because she’s been jailed this whole time with her 1-and-a-half-year-old son.
You may have heard that just days ago, Meriam safely delivered a baby daughter (Maya); the baby is reportedly well, but the Telegraph reports today that Meriam was indeed shackled during her labor and delivery.
Amid the joy of seeing his child for the first time, her husband spoke of his anger at the treatment Meriam received during labour.
Mr Wani told The Telegraph: 'They kept a chain on her legs. She is very unhappy about that.'
Meriam's only public comment continues to be: “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”
Her husband Daniel said— and here I read from CNN — that he is optimistic the appeal their lawyers have filed will lead to the court's ruling being overturned.
"All the rights groups, all the broadcasters ... It's looking like it has had an effect. Perhaps it will result in the judgment being overturned."
Let me say again that I’m not advocating military action on the part of the United States. But do you want to know how much money we — and that’s us, the US taxpayers — send to Sudan? $420,349,319 just this year — not to mention the $270 million we sent there between 1977–1981 (which, by the way, was not food aid), and the $8 billion in humanitarian aid, health care provisions, water, sanitation, and hygiene we have sent since. We have given money towards nutrition, agriculture, protection, and economic recovery programs — and if we ARE the world’s greatest superpower, then it’s time to GET ON THE TELEPHONE or get Secretary of State John Kerry over there in person to inform Sudan that if Miriam Ibrahim and her two children are not released from this prison, from this grotesque abuse of religious freedom that the civilized world has universally condemned —
then not one more US dollar gets transferred from our account to theirs.
And if we CAN’T do that, then let’s stop talking like a world leader who advances human rights and religious freedom because talk is cheap. If we can’t stand behind our own citizens, who will we care for? President Obama himself said these words this week during his commencement address at West Point:
“I believe we have a real stake — abiding self-interest — in making sure our children and our grandchildren grow up in a world where schoolgirls are not kidnapped; where individuals aren’t slaughtered because of tribe or faith or political belief. I believe that a world of greater freedom and tolerance is not only a moral imperative; it also helps keep us safe.”
We’re NOT safe, when the wife of an American citizen is given a death sentence for her religious beliefs, is imprisoned with her toddler, and is forced to give birth in shackles. Let’s do SOMETHING.