A Sudanese Christian woman once sentenced to death in her native country because of her faith arrived in her new home, the United States, on Thursday.
Mariam Yehya Ibrahim, her husband and two young children were greeted by a large crowd of supporters at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire. Ibrahim, whose sentence was overturned a few weeks ago, didn’t speak with the media.
Ibrahim’s ordeal started when a Muslim relative filed a criminal complaint saying she had married Daniel Wani, a Christian, after going missing for several years. A Sudanese court considered Ibrahim a Muslim because her father was Muslim.
She was charged with adultery on grounds that a Muslim woman’s marriage to a Christian man is illegal in Sudan. Ibrahim also was charged with apostasy, accused of illegally renouncing what was alleged to be her original faith.
She was convicted in May, while about eight months pregnant. In chains, Ibrahim gave birth about two weeks later in a women’s hospital in Khartoum.
Ibrahim had been detained since mid-January. She refused to let go of her 20-month-old son, Martin, for fear she would never see him again.
Ibrahim was born to a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox mother. Her father left when she was 6 years old. She was raised by her mother as a Christian.
A court in Sudan overturned Ibrahim’s death sentence a few weeks ago, but police arrested her again June 24 when she and her family tried to leave Sudan to go to the United States. Wani is an American citizen who has lived in Manchester since 1998.
Mrs. Ibrahim is married to an American citizen; she gave birth to another. Yet her adopted country left her in a Sudanese prison to give birth and nurse her American baby. It’s her own fault, of course. If she had merely flouted American laws and traditions by slithering across the southern border in the dead of night, or tossed her visa aside like an empty Snickers wrapper, she would be feted as a feminist heroine and offered the keys to the city (if Manchester has any). President Obama would embrace her tighter than he did Sandra Fluke.
Instead, by embarrassing a great religion (of peace), she is an embarrassment herself. Obama would sooner embrace the ebola victims than he would Mariam Yehya Ibrahim.