Lifelong Christian may die as a Muslim apostate

 A woman raised as a Christian, who has been a Christian all her life, has been sentenced to death in Sudan as an apostate from Islam, because her father was a Muslim.

Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced a week ago after refusing to renounce her religion and her marriage to Daniel Wani, a Christian man born in Sudan and now a U.S. citizen.   She said her father deserted his family when she was a child, and she was raised by her Ethiopian-born Christian mother.  She said she never was a Muslim.

She is eight months pregnant.  Her husband, who is confined to a wheelchair, was allowed to visit her Monday.  He said she was shackled to a wall.  Her 20-month-old son, Martin, is in prison with her.

Sudan officials said the verdict is not final.  There has been a great international protest of the sentence, and I hope the Sudan government will force the religious court to back down.

What kind of a religion is this?  I believe that how you live is more important than your opinions about religion.  But suppose, for the sake of argument, that your soul is doomed if you do not believe that there is no God but Allah, and that Mohammed is his prophet.  What is the point of forcing someone to give lip service to that belief, or any belief, against her will?

Does the court believe that God wants a hypocritical and unwilling submission?  Or do they think that God can be fooled into believing the conversion is sincere?

I do not believe that the Sudan religious court represents all Muslims.  History shows that intolerance is not an inherent part of the Muslim religion.  At certain times in history, persecuted Jews and heretical Christians took refuge in Muslim lands.

The problem is with a Muslim sect called the Wahhabis, who originated in Saudi Arabia and whose teachings are spread through the Muslim world by the Saudi monarchy.  They are among the few Muslim sects that persecute other Muslims.  Wahhabis are not necessarily terrorists, but Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda movement arose from Wahhabi teachings.

The rise of Wahhabism is a historical accident—the fact that the Ibn Saud family allied itself with the Wahhabi movement in its rise to power in Arabia, and the fact that so much of the world’s oil wealth is under control of the Saudi family.


Pregnant woman given death sentence in Sudan is kept shackled in her cell by Harriet Alexander for The Telegraph.

This spread of ‘holy fascism’ is a disaster by Patrick Cockburn of The Independent.

Meriam Ibrahim: What you need to know about Sudan and apostasy from Christianity Today.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim: International pressure rises against execution of pregnant woman jailed for apostasy by Brownie Marie for Christianity Today.

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2 Responses to “Lifelong Christian may die as a Muslim apostate”

  1. thetinfoilhatsociety Says:

    If you look into the history of Wahabism, you will find that Anglo treatment of Arabs in the 18th and 19th centuries directly fed into the inception and growth of this sect. What one sows, one will reap. And, unfortunately, so do many others who had no part in it.


  2. philebersole Says:

    The Wahabbi sect is noted for its extremely strict moral code and for its intolerance of Christians, Jews, Shiite Muslims and the wrong kind of Sunni Muslims. This kind of intolerance has been rare in the history of Islam.

    The sect arose in the interior of the Arabian peninsula, and rose to power by endorsing the Saudi family’s successful attempt to take control of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

    The Saudi family in turn became the darlings of the British and later American governments after the discovery of oil in the Persian Gulf. Oil money flowed from the major oil companies to the Saudi family, and from the Saudis to Wahabbi mosques and schools. The CIA and other intelligence agencies on occasion have subsidized Wahabbis and other militant Muslim sects, because they are (1) anti-Communist and (2) opposed to secular nationalists such as Saddam, Asad and Arafat.

    In the Sudan, this is the first case of its kind. I don’t know whether Miriam Ibrahim is a scapegoat for the real and perceived sins of the United States and other Western governments. One of these perceived sins would supporting the independence movement in South Sudan, where black Christians and pagans (animists) freed themselves from the oppressive rule of the Muslim Arabs of Sudan proper.

    It’s complicated.


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