Minister of Justice
Mohamed Bushara Dousa
Ministry of Justice
P.O. Box 302
Al Nil Avenue, Khartoum
May 21, 2014
Your Excellency,It is with great concern that we petition the government of Sudan for the immediate and unconditional release of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a Christian mother eight months pregnant with her second child, who was sentenced to 100 lashes and death on charges of adultery and apostasy. Ibrahim was arrested by Sudan’s Public Order Police and arbitrarily detained in the Federal Women’s Prison in Omdurman on February 17, in violation of her constitutional and human rights, for practicing her Christian faith and marriage to her husband, Daniel Wani, a naturalized United States citizen.
On March 4, 15 days following her initial arrest and detention, the El Haj Yousif Public Order Court in Khartoum charged Ibrahim with adultery and apostasy.
On May 11, that same court convicted Ibrahim of both adultery and apostasy, granting her three days to publicly recant her faith and profess Islam in its place or face sentencing.
On May 15, Judge Abbas al-Khaleefa of the El Haj Yousif Public Order Court in Khartoum sentenced Ibrahim to 100 lashings following the birth of her second child and death by hanging two years following said birth, for violating Articles 144 - 45 of Sudan’s Public Order Criminal Code. The sentencing was handed down following a representative of the Sudan Fatwa Council’s public pressuring of Meriam to recant her faith, to which she responded, “I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian.”
Sudanese police barred Wani, who is confined to a wheelchair, from entering the courtroom. An appeal for his admittance placed before Judge al-Khaleefa by defense lawyer Mohamed Jar Elnabi was denied.
Judge al-Khaleefa provided Meriam’s legal defense team 15 days to appeal the decision.
Ibrahim, born to a Muslim father who abandoned her and her mother at age six, was raised an Orthodox Christian in Western Sudan. A graduate of the University of Khartoum, where she studied to become a medical doctor, Ibrahim is not only a medical professional, but a loving mother and faithful wife.
According to her legal defense team, Ibrahim has been physically abused by prison officials, denied critical medical treatment, and repeatedly pressured to convert to Islam.
No individual should ever be forced to suffer arrest and arbitrary detention for the expression of his or her faith. Nor should any individual ever be physically abused, denied critical medical treatment, subjected to state - sponsored pressure to recant their expressed faith, or be sentenced to death for the expression of that faith. [Of course, they're talking about worldly governments and what constitutes "reasonable" expressions. It is only with that in mine that I added my name.]
Your Excellency, the signers of this petition urge the government of Sudan, in the strongest possible terms, to: immediately and unconditionally release Meriam Yahia Ibrahim; provide her and her children with proper medical care; and ensure her access to a private medical center for the birth of her second child. We eagerly anticipate your timely response to this urgent matter.
International Christian Concern (and attached)
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
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Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
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- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)