07/23/2014 US lawmakers seek answers in ‘troubling’ violation of Sudanese Christian woman’s human rights

Source: Fox News 


As a Sudanese Christian who faced execution for refusing to renounce her faith remains holed up with her family in the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, a host of religious, human rights and immigration experts have been summoned to Capitol Hill to testify about her plight in the war-torn African nation.

The congressional hearing on Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth while imprisoned in chains, is aimed at raising awareness of what one lawmaker called a “troubling violation of a basic human right.”

“Meriam Ibrahim has been imprisoned in Sudan in fear of execution, chained during the late stages of her pregnancy, forced to give birth in prison, released from prison and re-arrested on flimsy charges,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., told FoxNews.com. “This all is the result of her being Christian in a country in which the ruling authorities refuse to recognize the right of people to choose their own religion. Our hearing will examine this troubling violation of a basic human right.”

Smith, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on global human rights, originally planned to hold the event last month, but it was postponed when it appeared Ibrahim, 27, would be released and allowed to leave Sudan. She was ultimately not allowed to leave the country due to issues with her passport and has since been staying at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum with her husband, Daniel Wani, and their two children, Martin and Maya.

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07/23/2014 Congress to Sudan: Release Ibrahim family

Source: World Magazine


WASHINGTON—Lawmakers on Wednesday blasted the Sudanese government for continuing to prohibit Meriam Ibrahim and her family from leaving Sudan.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, convened the hearing to spotlight the unresolved case of Ibrahim, a 27-year-old woman whose husband and two children are American citizens. Ibrahim was raised as a Christian by her mother, but a Sudanese court in May sentenced her to death for converting from Islam, the religion of her absentee father.

“Her refusal to leave the faith she had practiced her entire life led to her being in mortal fear for her life,” Smith said.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who is not a member of the panel but attended the hearing, gave fiery remarks directed at the Sudanese officials who were likely watching. “We will bring the government down,” Wolf shouted. “If Meriam is not out in two weeks, they should never be removed from the sanctions list.”

Smith originally scheduled Wednesday’s hearing in June, but he canceled it after assurances he received in a meeting with Sudanese officials. Three days later, authorities in Sudan released Ibrahim and her children only to detain them the next day while they were trying to leave the country. Media reports said Ibrahim tried to use forged travel documents, but they actually were improper travel documents.


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07/03/2014 AIFD applauds swift arrest of radicalized convert; warns of increasing extremism from Syria

AIFD applauds the swift arrest of Shannon Conley, 19, who was stopped in an apparent attempt to join ISIS in Syria. Conley is said to have met an extremist online, and became radicalized. It is reported that she had a specific desire to help in the targeting of American citizens and our armed forces. A young convert to Islam, she was brainwashed into believing that it was her duty to aid in jihadist efforts against the West.

Shannon Conley’s case speaks to what we at AIFD have been saying for years: our Muslim community must be more vigilant in addressing radicalization in our community well before an individual has boarded a plane with the intent to help terrorists.

Conley is yet another in a growing list of Americans radicalized by jihadist internet traffic out of Syria. As we have said before, the Syrian conflict threatens the United States whether we take sides or not. The Assad regime, with the full support of Iran, has slaughtered nearly 200,000 Syrians and is stoking the flames of jihad in order to justify an even more terminal solution. The conveyor belt of radicalization into and out of Syria has only just started to rear its head on our homeland. It’s time to go beyond a whack a mole program in our absent Syria and regional conflict policy. In the case of Syria, we can only defeat the jihadists by helping to defeat the Assad regime.

Happy Fourth of July from AIFD

We at AIFD would like to take an opportunity to wish you a happy and safe Independence Day.

As American Muslims dedicated to preserving the founding principles of the United States Constitution – liberty and freedom – we experience a renewed sense of gratitude on this day, which celebrates our great nation’s independence from a power that sought to undermine individual and religious liberty.

Two-hundred and thirty-eight years ago, our founding fathers set forth to guarantee that the generations to follow would live in a country that would respect their inalienable right to life, to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness.

The founding fathers were people of varying levels of religiosity but who all understood the need for men and women to live free from the prison of tyranny in order to thrive. As Muslims, some of our ancestors have been on American soil since its founding. Others among us have families who fled to this country to seek safety in the haven of freedom so many have lost their lives to give us. Ultimately, the meaning of this holiday is at the core of what we at AIFD do. The American Revolution was a struggle against theocracy, which we as liberty-minded Muslims remember and are inspired by as we combat Islamism.

The Declaration of Independence was not just a declaration of our rights – it was also a declaration of our obligation to protect those rights, defending them and ourselves from tyrants who would seek to strip them from us.

This Fourth of July, we reaffirm our commitment to protect American values at home, as well as to advance individual liberty for all who seek it. God bless you, and God bless America!


07/14/2014 Blasphemous Oppression In The Name of Islam: Hold Pakistan Accountable For Persecuting Religious Minorities

Source: Forbes


The world is aflame.  Religious minorities are among those who suffer most from increasing conflict.  Pakistan is one of the worst homes for non-Muslims.  The U.S. government should designate that nation as a “Country of Particular Concern” for failing to protect religious liberty, the most basic right of conscience.

Religious persecution is a global scourge.  Many of the worst oppressors are Muslim nations.  Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iraq, and Egypt are all important international actors.  All also mistreat, or acquiesce in the mistreatment of, anyone not a Muslim.  Some of them even victimize Muslims—of the wrong variety.  (In Syria it is opponents of the government which do most of the persecuting.)

Islamabad is another frequent offender.  The most recent State Department report on religious liberty in Pakistan noted that “The constitution and other laws and policies officially restrict religious freedom and, in practice, the government enforced many of these restrictions.  The government’s respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom continued to be poor.”

Minority faiths face violent attack.  Believers are killed, churches are bombed, buses are attacked, homes are destroyed, social gatherings are targeted.  Warned the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in its recent report:  “In the past year, conditions hit an all-time low due to chronic sectarian violence targeting mostly Shia Muslims but also Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus.”  Last year the Commission cited a spike in violence against Shiites as well as “numerous attacks against innocent Pakistanis” of other religions.

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