On Thursday, May 15, Sudanese Christian Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced to death by hanging for the crime of apostasy. Ibrahim, a physician who graduated from the University of Khartoum Medical School, refused to renounce her Christian faith. The Islamist Khartoum regime claims that Ibrahim is a Muslim because her father, who abandoned the family when she was six years old, was a Muslim. Ibrahim, however, embraced for herself the faith of her Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother.
Independent Online noted that Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa told Ibrahim, addressing her by her father's Muslim name Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah:
We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death.
The judge reportedly instructed that her execution be carried out once the child has been weened but that she receive the 100 lashes for adultery soon after she gives birth. Morning Star News also reported that attorneys will file an appeal of the sentence on Sunday, May 18. This will put off execution of the sentence, including the flogging, until there is a ruling.
Ibrahim is married to Daniel Wani, an American citizen from South Sudan who came to the United States in 1998. She is in her ninth month of pregnancy with the couple’s second child. Their firstborn, Martin, 20 months, is imprisoned with his mother -- Sudanese authorities prohibit the Christian man from caring for his son. Wani has been prevented from seeing his wife and child since she was arrested along with her toddler son, but reports that she has not received proper medical care for complications from her pregnancy.
The correct solution is the one offered by Sir Charles James Napier, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in India in the mid-19th Century. When confronted with the issue of Hindus burning widows alive on the funeral pyres of their husbands, he replied: "Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs."
The United States should not countenance the flogging or hanging of Christian women (and particularly Christian women married to U.S. citizens) for the crime of being Christian. Period. President Obama should announce that, if Mrs. Wani is not released within 24 hours, it will declare the Sudanese government an Islamist terrorist organization, and will immediately issue Presidential Directives ordering drones strikes on the presiding judge and prosecutor in her case.
They have a custom. We have ours. And our customs have high technology behind them.
Be it so.