We must stop passing along the lie that the religion of Islam is peaceful. There are many peaceful individual Muslims, but the practice of the religion by clerics and governments is violent and often deadly.
An ongoing incident is definitely the most outrageous in the past few years. Meriam Ibrahim was born to a Muslim father and an Ethiopian Christian mother. Meriam says Christianity is the only religion she has known/practiced, although Sudanese law considers anyone born to a Muslim father to be a Muslim.
In 2011, Meriam married Daniel Wani, who is a Christian with duel Sudanese and American citizenship. (Daniel fled the civil war in southern Sudan when he was young, but later returned to the country.) They have several businesses south of Khartoum. They have a son, Martin. While Meriam was pregnant with their second child, she was put on trial for apostasy. Since Sudanese law does not recognize Christian marriages, Meriam’s marriage was annulled by the court and she was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery. She was told she had two weeks to renounce her Christian faith or be sentenced to death by hanging (after the lashings). When she refused, she was put into prison with her 20-month old son, who has become ill from the poor conditions. The death sentence will be carried out after she has weaned the baby, born at the end of May. The Sudanese state would take custody of the children, whom they consider Muslim; the law says Muslim children cannot be raised by a Christian man. (Daniel Wani has not been allowed to visit his family.)
Instead of helping an American (Daniel) to get his wife and children out of Sudan, the US State Department demanded DNA evidence to prove this is really a family!
Islamic Sharia law was made the law of Sudan in the 1980s, an act which renewed the rebellion in the southern part of the country which was mostly animistic or Christian. The southern region became an independent nation in 2011 through much international pressure.
Only occasionally have I written asking that you contact Congress concerning an issue, usually trusting your intelligence and conscience to guide you. But today I implore you to contact your members of Congress, asking them to direct the State Department to use US diplomatic power to “persuade” the Sudanese government to release Meriam Ibrahim (the wife and mother of American citizens) immediately. This is not theoretical or a potential problem – there is real danger that Meriam and her children could all die. Young Martin is ill. If Meriam dies from the lashings, her baby will die also. Even if she survives, she could be so injured that her body does not make the milk needed to nurse her baby.
Please communicate your concerns over this issue to your government; the White House can be contacted through the same website as Congress.
You can also sign an online petition here. Be advised that the site takes a long time to load.