Last night, interviewed by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly (video embedded below), Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, drew attention to the organization’s petition on behalf of Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim. I have described Meriam’s plight—a victim of the Sharia—previously (here, here, here, and here).
In brief, falsely accused of “apostasy” despite her lifelong Christian faith (see below), Meriam was convicted of this Sharia-based “crime” was well as “adultery”—her valid 2011 marriage to a Christian man—and naturalized U.S. citizen—having been “annulled.” Meriam, then near term pregnant, was sentenced to be hanged to death for apostasy, preceded by 100 lashes for adultery. The sentence was deferred until Meriam gave birth, which she did this week (albeit while apparently chained, and now appearing alarmingly thin), to a baby girl, Maya. Meriam and her toddler son Martin—almost certainly an American citizen by in-wedlock birth—have been imprisoned since February in a women’s penitentiary in Omdurman, and now Maya is incarcerated with them as well. Although Meriam’s execution may be deferred longer until Maya is weaned, crowded and unsanitary conditions in the prison acutely threaten the health of Meriam’s newborn and toddler—again, both children ostensibly U.S. citizens.
The Family Research Council (FRC) petition reads as follows:
We strongly urge the administration to take action in the case of Dr. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother who with her toddler and newborn baby (who pending the proper documentation are American citizens) is languishing inside a prison in Khartoum. While Meriam awaits execution for the “crime” of converting to Christianity, her children are forced to be at her side in a prison that a 2008 U.N. document reported as having an infant mortality rate of one per day in the summer. No innocent child should be in this situation. We urge you to pressure the Sudanese government to release Meriam and her children so she can escape execution and possible death of her children and be rejoined with her husband in the U.S. Please grant her expedited safe haven in the U.S., where she could seek asylum.
Perkins, during last night’s interview, appealed directly to President Obama’s administration, specifically Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, to unilaterally grant Meriam and her children refugee status.
What Perkins’/FRC’s noble campaign has declined to highlight is that per Sharia, Islamic law “criteria,” and Muslim societal mores, Meriam Ibrahim’s formal identification with Islam is relatively tenuous compared to President Obama’s.
Ibrahim’s Sudanese Muslim father abandoned the family when she was 6 years old, leaving her to be raised by her Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother. During a March 4, 2014 “hearing” Ibrahim testified before the Public Order Court that she is a Christian, showing her marriage certificate—which designates her as Christian—as formal proof of her religion. Moreover, three potential witnesses from Western Sudan who traveled to the hearing to validate Ibrahim’s lifelong adherence to Christianity were denied the opportunity to provide evidence. Indeed the refusal to accept such witness testimony, and denying a priori the validity of Ibrahim’s own claims, would be entirely consistent with a Sharia Court’s rejection (or dismissal) of non-Muslim testimony because infidels are deemed to be of a lower order of truthfulness.
Back in September, 2008, I reviewed the evidence of then Senator Obama’s childhood experience with Islam, which was considerably more involved and intimate than Meriam Ibrahim’s. As I then noted then,
Sober, independent analyses by academics, including published essays in The Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times, concur that Obama’s childhood experience of Islam—as perceived by Muslims from Islamic societies, in particular—has two critically important, and inter-related ramifications: his status as a Muslim; and more ominously, as an apostate from Islam.
These specific details emerged, in summary:
During his childhood years in Indonesia, Barack Obama was enrolled as a Muslim (see here, and here), at his primary schools (this is confirmed, conclusively, in a registration document–which the Associated Press photographed — made available on Jan. 24, 2007, by the Fransiskus Assisi school in Jakarta, Indonesia, demonstrating that his Muslim step-father listed Obama’s boyhood religion as Islam [and later confirmed, in 2012, here]), and also attended the mosque during that period.
Tine Hahiyary, a former teacher at one of these schools, claimed that the young Obama actively took part in “mengaji” classes (consistent with devout Islamic education), which instruct students to read the Koran in Arabic. And the Indonesian daily Banjarmasin Post interviewed Rony Amir, a Muslim classmate of the young Obama, who characterized Obama as “…previously quite religious in Islam” While disputing Obama’s childhood Muslim religiosity, a subsequent Chicago Tribune report still concedes that the young Obama was at least an irregularly practicing Muslim, who occasionally prayed with his step-father in a mosque.
I added that regardless of Obama’s childhood Muslim piety,
…one must also bear in mind how contemporary (and classical) Islamic Law views the offspring of any marriage between a Muslim man (Obama’s birth father and step-father were both Muslims), and a non-Muslim woman. Sheikh ‘Abdus-Sattar Fathallah As-Sa`eed, professor of Koranic Exegesis and Koranic Sciences at Al-Azhar University — for more a thousand years, the pre-eminent center of Sunni Islamic religious education — in a fatwa issued a June 20, 2002, reiterated plainly the Islamic principle that paternity determines (Muslim) religious identity for a child born of a Muslim father, and a non-Muslim wife: “There is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, that a Muslim man marries a Christian woman, but he should stipulate (in the marriage contract) that any children from the marriage will be Muslims.”
Not surprisingly then, I concluded the predominant understanding about Obama in Islamic societies, as of late 2008 was that,
the Democratic Presidential nominee, at minimum, has “Muslim origins” (as stated explicitly for example in the Egyptian newspaper, Al-Masri al-Youm). Libyan dictator Mu‘ammar al-Qaddafi has referred to Obama as “…a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia.” Analyses by Al-Jazeera have called Obama a “non-Christian man,” made reference to his “Muslim Kenyan” father, and observed, tellingly, that “Obama may not want to be counted as a Muslim but Muslims are eager to count him as one of their own.”
Six years later the predicament of Meriam Ibrahim—whose husband, and likely two children as well, are bona fide U.S. citizens—should resonate in a profound and personal way with President Obama. What I admonished then Presidential candidate Senator Obama to do on September 11, 2008, is now more urgent, and should be tied to a formal grant of asylum to Meriam Ibrahim and her children by Mr. Obama as current U.S. President:
Mr. Obama has thus far squandered the unparalleled opportunity to highlight and extol a profoundly important virtue of this flawed, but still great country of ours, personified by his life story: America’s singular, unwavering support for true freedom of conscience.
Surely if Obama is to live up to his followers (and his own) pretensions of being a “transformative” figure, then he should be ready to elucidate, frankly, the utter lack of freedom of conscience in the Muslim world, relative to the US; why his own life trajectory demonstrates this difference; and how the fight against global jihadism is, at its core, about the protection of this most profoundly important Western ideal.