A real outrage: Who will help Meriam Ibrahim?
The wife of a Manchester man has been sentenced to death in Sudan for being a Christian. Amid all of the fake outrage drummed up by New Hampshire’s political parties, the phony, fabricated scandals, the petty personal attacks, here is a genuine moral outrage, one perpetrated against a member of our own community, and almost everyone is ignoring it.
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, is the wife of Daniel Wani, also 27, of Manchester. Both are from Sudan; both are Christians. Wani made it through the U.S. immigration system and became an American citizen in 2005. Last summer he returned to Sudan to try to bring his wife, whom he married in 2011, to the United States. He was there when she was arrested, charged with apostasy, and sentenced to death.
The government alleges, based on the testimony of three people who claim to be Ibrahim’s relatives (including one who claims to be her mother, who is deceased), that Ibrahim was a Muslim who converted to Christianity. In Sudan, that is a capital crime. Ibrahim, who insists she was never Muslim, was imprisoned with the couple’s young son, Martin, now 20 months old, while pregnant. She gave birth to a daughter, Maya, in prison last week. Wani told the British press that his wife remained in chains during the birth.
Writer Mark Steyn, also a Granite Stater, has pointed out that Meriam Ibrahim should have joined her husband in Manchester years ago, but she was caught in the unforgivable U.S. immigration bureaucracy. The couple waited and waited and waited, but she was never processed through. The delays kept her in Sudan, where she awaits her execution.
New Hampshire’s congressional delegation has called for Ibrahim’s release. But the President has done little. A State Department spokesman has said “the White House and the State Department have communicated our strong concern to the highest levels of the Government of Sudan over this case.”
The state’s two political parties have been too busy pretending to be outraged about each other to join together to focus the public’s attention on the case and increase the pressure on the White House. Gov. Maggie Hassan has said nothing.
The wife of one of our own sits in a Khartoum prison, shackled to the ground, her two tiny children in prison with her because the Sudanese government considers them Muslims too, and most of us shrug and assume someone else will handle it. But what if no one else does? What if her life is really in our hands — the hands of the sovereign people of the United States, to whom all elected officials are accountable — and we do nothing to help her? If we do not find it within ourselves to get outraged over this, what kind of people are we?