05/28/2014 Speaking Up for a Sister: our Responsibility to Mariem Ibrahim

The regime of Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir has, for 25 years, been subjecting the people of Sudan to reprehensible and continuous human rights violations.   From the massacres of civilians in Darfur to systematic murder, rape, torture, and amputations, Al-Bashir’s reign of terror and cruelty has been permitted to continue despite repeated efforts by the International Criminal Court to prosecute him. It has been reported that Sudan carries out the highest number of executions on the African continent, among its many horrific human rights abuses.

Most recently, a young Sudanese woman named Mariem Ibrahim has been sentenced to both lashings and death for refusing to recant her Christian faith. Despite her insistence that she was never a Muslim, the courts have deemed her an apostate and her marriage to a Christian invalid, charging her with adultery. It has also been reported that Mariam has been shackled while in prison. A Sudanese lawyer filed an appeal requesting the judgment against Ms. Ibrahim be repealed, but she and her 20 month old son remain in prison indefinitely. Imprisoned while pregnant, Ms. Ibrahim has now given birth and could at any time be subjected to 100 lashings for the charge of adultery.

The Sudanese court’s decision to sentence Mariem Ibrahim to life in prison and physical torture is as repugnant as any attack on human rights. Freedom of conscience – the freedom to choose any faith or none at all – is a basic and inalienable human right. For every Mariem there are hundreds to thousands more we do not hear about. When will the international community and all individuals of conscience say enough to barbaric regimes like Al-Bashir’s? Many Sudanese have risen bravely to express their desire for freedom. When will we support their vision? If we do not, we are at complicit in the crimes against them.

People of all faiths, and none, should be outraged by the audacity of any government to exist in open and notorious violation of commonly accepted human rights.   We have a responsibility to humanity to vehemently oppose this action, issue our public disdain and send a message that we, as members of humanity will not be silent partners in tyranny. We can no longer sit idly by and just shout in the darkness. We must demand that the antiseptic of light and truth be poured on the Islamist ideologies fueling these barbaric, draconian and fatal interpretations of Sharia.


About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at http://www.aifdemocracy.org/.


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Gordon C. James Public Relations