I want to share with you a couple of thoughts on the case of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim , a Christian woman sentenced to death by a court in Khartoum for adultery and apostasy.
The fact is that the woman is technically a Muslim because his father was. And there in Sudan, the marriage between a Muslim woman and a Christian is invalid. Therefore, the relations between Ibrahim and the Christian man who shares her life with is considered adultery. In addition, as the woman is officially a Muslim, and she swear before the judge that she is a Christian, she also has been accused of apostasy.
According to the Islamic law, these two facts are crimes. In the case of apostasy , many ulema agree that there is no alternative to the death penalty. In fact, the judge said very clear when he read the sentence: “I’ve given to you three days to recant your faith , but you insisted on not returning to Islam. I condemn you to death by hanging”. Ibrahim has also been sentenced to receive one hundred lashes for adultery.
And then my thoughts on the reaction of Westeners that have accused the Sudanese of being barbarians believing that this is the best we can do to save Mariam Ibrahim and to change the laws of Sudan.
The media have published statements by the head of Amnesty International in Sudan. “Adultery and apostasy should not be considered crimes”, said Manar Idriss . They also cited several Western diplomats , who have requested “compassion” for the condemned.
Despite I agree with Idriss and the diplomats, his words have drawn little of my attention, that I focused on the clemency petition of the defendant : “I’ve always been a Christian and I have never committed apostasy” and to a very important fact of his life:
• Apparently, Ibrahim was educated as a Christian by his mother , an Christian Orthodox, because his father did not live with them and was absent throughout his childhood and youth. Christian women who marry Muslims must commit to educating their children in the Islamic faith. In exchange , the man agrees to take care of the family. In this case, he did not fulfill his part of the agreement and this could relieve women of their obligation.
• Meanwhile , one of the lawyers said that appeal to the Constitutional Court against the sentence,because according to him, the judge’s decision does not respect the provisions of the Constitution.
Given these two points , I wonder if it would not be more profitable that international organizations, Western diplomats and the outraged of the world, would fill airplanes and aircrafts with Ulemas , Islamic studies specialists of international prestigi, religious leaders… in direction to Khartoum to prepare the defense of Ibrahim in the territory of the Sharia and with the language of the Sudanese, against the intolerant judge and against Islamic radicals and before anyone. It would not be more usefull if they proved that the law of Sudan is able to prove the innocence of the defendant?
It would not be more beneficial to focus a defense under Sharia and Islamic law and that experts from all over the world would show proved that the girl is innocent while respecting the law of Sudan, the law of the same people who wants to kill Ibrahim for being an apostate? Don’t you think that this way they would listen to the arguments of the defense?
However, the international reaction can still put Islamists in Sudan more in a defensive. That is, more violent, more surly, tighter against what they understand is a new attempt to impose the criteria and mentality of the West on Africa.
What should we do to save this woman? Should we convince the judges of the Constitutional Court of Sudan that the sentence does not fit the law at all, or should we tell them in their faces that the law they have written is bad because they are bad people too? Or even worse, do you think the judges will listen to us if we accuse the Islamic law in general, the one they consider to be divinely inspired, to be unjust and inhumane?
The second thought I wanted to share with you is the one about the possible reasons that led, on the one hand, the Sudanese authorities to denounce this woman who lived so quietly without disturbing anyone, and on the other , that made the Western mass media and politicians to focus precisely on this injustice.
I’m surprised that among so many wars, so many murders and so many crimes against minorities in the region, our interest and our compassion reaches us only to pity this Sudanese woman. Do you think this may have to do with the good political relations between Moscow and Khartoum and the fact that China is the main trading partner of Sudan?
P.S. By the way, the newspapers published a half truth when they say that “marriage between a Muslim woman and a non – Muslim is invalid and constitutes a crime of adultery. However, a Muslim can marry a woman of another religion”.
The thruth is that a Muslim man can marry a Christian or Jewish woman and they do not have to renounce to their faith. In exchange , they commit to transmit to their children the values of Islam. However , women of other religions , such as Buddhism or Hinduism , they must conver in order to marry a Muslim man.
Author: Jordi Llaonart
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