Sharia Rights or Human Rights: The Case of Meriam Ibrahim

hjThe Sudanese Criminal Court’s death sentence upon a 27-year-old pregnant woman, Meriam Ibrahim, who was found guilty of leaving Islam, has gained very wide publicity. Her plight has attracted the strongest condemnation from the world’s top politicians, and hundreds of thousands of people around the world have signed petitions for her release.

It is striking that those condemning Meriam Ibrahim’s death sentence are demanding her release, but they are not demanding the abolition of the legal code that found her guilty of apostasy and adultery in the first place.

The Sudanese Government – not unlike many Western governments, who are permitting Sharia principles and Sharia courts to become entrenched within their legal systems – is simultaneously endorsing two approaches to human rights, the one contradicting the other: Islamic Sharia Law and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

The Sudanese Government – like other Islamic governments, Islamic communities in the West, and many Islamic non-governmental organizations – have been given a free pass to move freely between the two opposing sets of rights, according to whatever suits them best.

Who’s confused?

Sudan is an Islamic State, which has embedded Islamic Sharia Laws in its legal framework. At the same time, Sudan is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These two sets of rights are fundamentally opposed to each other in the way they view and understand rights and freedoms.

In response to the overwhelming media coverage of Meriam’s case, a Sudanese official at the Sudanese embassy in London reassured the BBC that Sudan is committed and will comply with its commitment to protect freedom of religion. Of course he was referring to principals of human rights as understood and accepted in the West.

Back in Sudan it was another story. Meriam was sentenced to death by a Sudanese Criminal Court which found her guilty of apostasy from Islam under article 126 of the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Law Act. This reads:

126 (1) Every Muslim who advocates the renunciation of the creed of     Islam, or who publicly declares his renouncement thereof by an express   statement or conclusive act, shall be deemed to commit the offense of     apostasy.

‪(2) Whoever commits apostasy shall be given a chance to repent     during a period to be determined by the court; if he persists in his     apostasy, and is not a recent convert to Islam, he shall be punished     with death.

‪(3) The penalty provided for apostasy shall be remitted whenever the apostate recants apostasy before execution.

According to Sharia law, and contrary to the principles of the UDHR, Meriam has no choice but to be a Muslim, because Sharia law mandates that every child born to a Muslim parent is a Muslim. A child must follow Islam if one of his/her parents is a Muslim or converts to Islam, because, according to Sharia Law, Islam is the superior religion over all other religions. In Meriam’s case she was born to a Muslim father, so, according to Sudanese Islamic Law, she cannot choose to become a Christian, despite what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says.

The same court, using the same Act, also found Meriam guilty of the offence of adultery under article 145b, and sentenced her to a flogging under article 146b, which states:

Article (145): Adultery

1. There shall be deemed to commit the offence of adultery:

(a) Every man who has intercourse with a woman without a legitimate marriage;

(b) Every woman who allows a man to have intercourse with her without a legitimate marriage.

2. Intercourse is deemed to be completed when the whole head of the penis, or its equivalent, enters inside the vagina.

3. A marriage is not legitimate when its legitimacy is not determined and settled [by Islamic jurists].

Article (146)

1. Whoever commits the offence of adultery shall be sentenced to:

(a) Death by stoning when legitimately married;

(b) 100 lashes when not legitimately married.

The Sudanese official in the Sudanese embassy in London would have been fully aware of Sudanese Criminal Law, under which Meriam was found guilty of apostasy and adultery, but he chose to play the Universal Declaration of Human Rights card in an attempt to reduce tensions with the West.

“Moderate” Sharia Laws?

The Western governments that allow Sharia principles (Islamic finance, Islamic schools, halal certified food, Islam-compliant inheritance, Islam-compliant marriage) are displaying harmful ignorance. Sharia Law is a single legal code which determines crimes, offences, punishments, finance, halal and haram, and so on. The fundamental principles which determine the value and the rights of women in Sharia Law in matters of inheritance, marriage, finance, and education are the same principles which determine her rights in respect of apostasy and adultery.

The London Sudanese embassy official thought to cause confusion by referring to Western understandings of human rights. Western leaders have themselves embraced and partnered with such confusion by condemning the death and flogging of an adulterer apostate in Sudan, while at the same time accepting principles of sharia law into their countries’ legal systems. They should have known better, for whether the issue is Islamic finance, halal food, inheritance issues, apostasy, or adultery, Islamic schools in the UK, USA, Australia, France, or Germany can only teach the same fundamental principles which brought a 27-year-old mother of two to death row and earned her a flogging, for the ‘crimes’ of leaving Islam and marrying a Christian man.

Islamic Sharia law follows a set of values which do not change. The Sharia legal texts that the Sudanese criminal court judge consulted are sold in Islamic bookstores all over the Western world. The same principles that brought Meriam to death row are taught to Western Muslim children in Islamic schools all over the Western world.

To the Western leaders I say this: Millions of Muslims came to the West seeking refuge in genuine principles of human rights. They were seeking freedom and justice. Please do not hand them back to the oppression of the Islamic Sharia!

Amani Gayed practiced law in Sudan, and is now based in Sydney, Australia.

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  • Lady Prudence

    I am glad you are keeping this story in the headlines. I disagree with your thinking we can change “their” “laws”. These “laws” are Ping-Pong balls in a political game.
    Just get this poor woman and her children out of there! I fear “they” will say the woman can go, but the children stay which means the woman stays.
    I have not heard of those poor girls captured in Nigeria in a long time.

    • BagLady

      Of course they can change things. It takes money though.

      As for the poor Nigerian girls, who knows. Goodluck tells us to be quiet while he works wonders behind the scenes. Again, it’s down to money.

      There’s never much left over in Nigeria after the fat-cats have taken their enormous share.

      I see an army of illiterate village boys wearing cheap black ‘plimsoles’ on a diet of nseema twice a day, used to sleeping the afternoon away under a tree but now expected to exert themselves with skinned toes and an half empty stomach. Their reward? Riding on the back of a pickup truck (occasionally), toting a big gun and having POWER for the first time in their miserable lives. Allahu Akbar? Yea, they can shout that as they mow down the ‘enemy’.

      What do you want? Do you really expect the West to invade a sovereign nation on behalf of an handful of girls? That could only happen if there was profit in it for us.

      • Pete

        I see why you told us you are unemployed.

        You do not see outside agitation by Islamic groups?

        The long and short of it is all fat cats and child soldiers?

        GET REAL!

        • BagLady

          Too succinct for me so not sure what you’re getting at. What, in your esteemed opinion should be done?

          Is their a symbiotic relationship between my status and the situation in Nigeria? Do tell.

          • Pete

            Readers can rely on on you to mostly take a leftist world view in things. I don’t doubt this has to do with your present circumstance. Every once in a while middle class or upper middle class values show through.

            There is corruption in Nigeria? Who knew? There is corruption in every country. The degree of corruption matters.

            Is the degree of corruption so bad that the only thing for a boy to do is to murder people and rape women?

            I have not heard of famine in northern Nigeria. Maye the Imans and clan elders are hoarding all the food?

            Northern Nigeria is not exactly part of Sally Struther’s stomping grounds like Sudan or Somalia. Maybe I am missing something.

            Maybe there is high youth unemployment in France is like 20%. Maybe we should expect whole villages to be massacred there?

          • BagLady

            Every once in a while middle class or upper middle class values show through.”

            Should I feel shame for having standards?

            Chief Oyegun, Chairman of the APC, described the country’s corruption as worthy of an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. The sheer scale of it has brought this potentially rich country to its knees.

            Head of Boko Haram, Abubaker Shecaci, is practically illiterate — though he claims otherwise — so imagine the minds of his troops.

            It didn’t take long for the Rwandan Akazu to turn the Hutu population into a bunch of savages, killing 20% of the entire population in a matter of months.

            Life becomes very cheap in such countries. France has a good way to regress before it reaches such a state again.

          • Pete

            “Should I feel shame for having standards?”

            The standards of parents, grandparents, ancestors occasionally show through, but mostly you have used leftist values. This is not a good thing.

            France has car burning season. It has no go areas, where police fear to tread. It does not have far to go.

            The druids were supposedly illiterate. They had no books. Yet they had a considerable body of knowledge. When I was a tween or a teenage I would have thought someone who was illiterate was dumb. I don’t make such mistakes nowadays.

            In the 1990s and 2000s, I would have agreed with you that Africa in general and Nigeria in particular were more corrupt than the U.S. or Europe, but not since 2009.

            Economists saythat when you do not have a price signal, when you cannot have price discovery, when there is little or no information or not enough information you get mal-investment. That smells suspiciously of corruption. Solyndra is a case of green corruption. The Chinese subsidized solar panel production and tanked the market. Okay, I’ll buy that for $500. But when Solyndra folds and they throw hazardous waste into the trash, I have to wonder how much the politically connected investors knew about the particular industry in particular or manufacturing in general. It looks suspicious like mercantalism and the king giving monopoly grants to the politically connected. Maybe I could live that also. But these guys do not bother to bone up on accounting, engineering, OSHA regs, EPA regs and everything else having to do with manufacturing. They are foppish dandies. Don’t tell me Nigeria is worse.

            Have you seen Detroit?

            Or our graduation rates or some of the high school graduates?

            The list is long.

  • BagLady

    but he chose to play the Universal Declaration of Human Rights card in an attempt to reduce tensions with the West.”

    … and keep the $millions in aid flowing in.

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  • PJG

    The Sudanese are very confused people. Whatever embarrasses them about their society they blame on residual culture or the British. Or, of course, Omar al Bashir. Never Islam.

    • BagLady

      The Sudanese mouths that speak on behalf of the people are not really representative of the people’s beliefs. I expect the people know exactly who to blame for their hard lives and no, why would they blame Allah when the greedy bastards running things will put them in their graves.

  • knowshistory

    I was with you until the last paragraph. if people with common sense were in control in the west, no muslims of any kind would be allowed in our countries. since fools are in charge, and have invited muslim hordes to take over our countries, it is the choice of the muslim “refugees” themselves whether they keep their criminal “religion”, or abandon it for any other religion or no religion at all. what I see is the occasional muslim who rejects the intrinsic violence of islam, but pretends he can still be a muslim while rejecting the very basis of his religion. the rest are very comfortable with the evil of their religion, but most are wise enough to stay silent about it until they attain majority status, then the mask will come off. the remaining small minority are not intelligent enough to wait, and must kill the infidel now. these are the violent jihadis—-the only ones the fools of the west recognize as a problem. the west can remain free only if we depose our fools, and expel all our muslims. all of them. there is no safe number of muslims in a country that wants to remain free.

    • BagLady

      “….no muslims of any kind would be allowed in our countries.”

      I’ve just turned on the TV to BBCWorld and, oh look, Mishal Hussein is reading the news. Must she go too?

      Must we judge all Americans by the standards of the KKK?

      “there is no safe number of muslims in a country that wants to remain free.”

      The argument for numbers holds true for all immigrants. Being over-run by any foreign society will bring out the innate xenophobia in the indigenous population. Boris Johnson (bless his messy hair) has seen fit to buy 3 very expensive German water cannons for London. He clearly shares my apprehension for the coming summer and the clashes between various factions who ‘own’ whole post-codes and swagger with their sense of ‘freedom’.

      500 Romanians recently moved into a small English town of 3,000. That is an huge percentage in one intake, especially when you consider the Romanian ‘culture’ at the bottom. Had one or two begun the process, they would have adapted: stayed home at night, learned the language, put their garbage in bins and got a job. Instead the 500 hang around the streets at night, drinking, shouting, fighting and intimidating the locals. During the day many go pickpocketing or nicking copper pipes. These are the people the government is populating the country with in order to satisfy the ‘need’ for cheap labour and continues to argue are going to be good for the economy. Another 250,000 are due in the coming year. You can probably double that number in reality.

      The outcome will be a tremendous drop in standards and a lessening of expectations. Got cancer? Need some attention? Wait until next year to see the ‘consultant’. Treatment? Are you crazy? Our budget doesn’t allow us to spend that much on one person. Don’t be so selfish. Take the Liverpool Care Pathway, that nifty euthenasia program practised by the British Government and needing no authority from the patient or family.

      Let’s control our base emotions and seek workable solutions to the problems that beset us due to decisions made by those we put in power.

      • knowshistory

        you give reasons that we should not take immigrants, but criticize me for saying we should not take any immigrants who belong to the most toxic religion ever invented. everyone knows a pet muslim who is just wonderful. does that mean we should commit suicide? if our criminal “leaders” were doing their jobs, we would not have that small number of wonderful muslims for stooges to fall in love with and swoon over. everyone in the west who has any historical awareness at all knows that muslims are dedicated to the enslavement and murder of infidels. it is only in recent times that western “leaders” have been determined to genocide their own population, and the target populations have been so stupid and lazy that they don’t execute the traitors who are willing to sell them into slavery or genocide.
        try to keep in mind that mentioning kkk every time you disagree with someone just indicates that you don’t have a valid argument.

        • BagLady

          try to keep in mind that mentioning kkk every time you disagree with someone just indicates that you don’t have a valid argument.”

          I believe I have mentioned the KKK just the once.

          “everyone knows a pet muslim who is just wonderful.”

          Do you have a ‘pet’ Muslim? I recall that, in times gone by, the British aristocracy had ‘pet’ African boys. Perhaps you should move on to the 21st century.

          “you give reasons that we should not take immigrants,”

          I say no such thing. Moderation is what I advocate. A reasonable number of immigrants is always good for a country.

          What does worry me, however, is that the British government has absolutely no control whatsoever of violent Jihadi kids toing and froing between the Middle East and Britain thanks to the open border policy of the EU.

  • Amani Gayed

    I think, immigrants are one side the problem of Immigration. The other side of the problem are the Governments who compromised their own legal system by allowing the immigrants to bring in, with them, their own legal system.

  • mollysdad

    “To the Western leaders I say this: Millions of Muslims came to the West
    seeking refuge in genuine principles of human rights. They were seeking
    freedom and justice. Please do not hand them back to the oppression of
    the Islamic Sharia!”

    If they don’t want to live under Sharia, they should change their religion.