Killing In The Name Of Your God

Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan. By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan. By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On May 15, a Sudanese court sentenced Mariam Yehya Ibrahim, a pregnant Christian mother married to a Christian man, to death for “apostasy.” According to Islamic law, apostasy is defined as a number of actions including  conversion to another religion, denying the existence of God, rejecting the prophets, mocking God or the prophets, idol worship, rejecting the sharia, or permitting behavior that is forbidden by the sharia, such as adultery or the eating of forbidden foods or drinking of alcoholic beverages.

As her father was a Muslim (he abandoned the family when Mariam was young), she was considered by the court to be Muslim and thus guilty, even though she had been raised by her mother, who is an Orthodox Christian. She was also convicted of adultery, as the court doesn’t recognize her three year old marriage to a Christian, and was sentenced to 100 lashes for that in addition to the death sentence.

The judge had given her a four day grace period to recant her Christian faith to escape the death penalty. She refused, telling the judge“I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.,” The sentence is stayed for two years so that her child may be born and weaned. She also has her 20 month old son in jail with her.

For obvious reasons, the international community is up in arms over this. Both the Dutch and United Kingdom Ministries of Foreign Affairs have had meetings with their respective Sudanese ambassadors over the matter. Amnesty International says that “…Mariam is a prisoner of conscience,” and also states that: “Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law,” According to Al Jazeera, Sudan Change Now, a Sudanese youth movement, released a statement denouncing the case as a violation of her human and civil rights, an invasion of her privacy and spotlights the Sudan government as continuing “crimes of social discrimination against women, social groups, and [the] religious sects to which Mariam belongs.”

For their part, the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C. issued a bizarre press release claiming that Mariam had never changed her name, her mother was not Christian as she claims and that Mariam was arrested after her family had filed a missing persons report. They further claim that the issue is strictly legal and not religious. Personally, I think that killing somebody for changing religions is about as religious as it gets, but I digress…

Occupy World Writes calls on the Sudanese government to drop all charges and release Meriam and her son immediately. We furthermore call on all governments, religions, churches and people to stop discriminating against, hating, prosecuting and/or killing people who are different from you in the name of whatever God you claim to believe in. We’re pretty sure that’s not what He or She wants…


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This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Government, Religion, Social Justice, Women's Issues and tagged , , on by .

About ew

ew came of age during the winddown to the Vietnam War, and like many other Americans, as soon there wasn't an issue that didn't affect him personally, he became indifferent. This gradually changed during the Reagan and Bush I years, continued through the Clinton years and finally came to a head with the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001. He works as a freelance consultant/tester for various music hardware and software companies, and lives in Minnesota.

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