CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 3, 2014 — There are so many reports out of Khartoum regarding the plight of Meriam Ibrahim it is difficult to determine the truth.
Ibrahim is the Sudanese woman married to an American who recently had her death sentence for apostasy reversed. Though Miriam says she has never been a Muslim, her family turned her in to authorities because, according to Islamic law, her father was a Muslim which means she, too, is regarded as Muslim.
By stating that she is a Christian, Ibrahim was accused of renouncing Islam. She was sentenced to death by hanging for that crime. She was also convicted of having sexual relations with a non-Muslim, even though he is her husband, and sentenced to receive 100 lashes.
Since her release, Ibrahim and her family have been desperately trying to leave Sudan without success, and it is difficult to determine the accuracy of the information surrounding her situation or any progress that is being made.
Some sources say that the family was close to leaving Sudan when they were surrounded by government militia and re-arrested on charges that their documents were not valid.
According to reports, Ibrahim was detained at a police station for two days and then released under heavy diplomatic pressure with the condition that she remains in Sudan.
Marie Harf, a U.S. state department official, says that Ibrahim’s documents are in order, but according to international law “It’s up the government of Sudan to allow her to leave the country.”
Early reports said that the family had been taken to a safe house due to death threats, but they are now at the American Embassy in Khartoum.
Officials say the situation remains tense and that Ibrahim continues to be questioned.
While the controversy continues over Ibrahim’s efforts to return to freedom, another report says that her baby daughter, who was born just prior to Miriam’s successful appeal, is disabled because of the manner in which she was born.
While in prison, Ibrahim’s legs were chained and remained that way during childbirth.
Miriam described the May 27th birth sayins, “Not cuffs – but chains on my legs. I couldn’t open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table. I wasn’t lying on the table.”
Ibrahim went on to say, “Something has happened to the baby.” The child is physically disabled but the extent of her injuries may not be known until she is older
In an interview with “The Daily Mail”, a U.K. publication, Ibrahim said, “To be honest, I’m really miserable. I found myself in jail today and tomorrow and now there are protests against me in the streets.
“How can my paperwork be wrong? My paperwork came from the Embassy. Its 100 per cent correct and it was approved by the South Sudan ambassador and the American ambassador.
“It’s my right to use the papers and have a South Sudanese passport because my husband is a South Sudanese citizen. He has an American passport and South Sudanese passport.”
And so while the nightmare for Miriam Ibrahim and her family continues so do the questions.
So, too, does the example of what Islamic Sharia law can do when its medieval 7th century ideals overrule 21st century compassion and common sense. It should be a lesson for everyone each time there are cries of “Islamophobia.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com
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