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Sudan’s Inane Response to Criticism

The Sudanese embassy has released a patently ridiculous and self-contradictory statement regarding the death sentence they have handed down on a pregnant woman for apostasy after she converted to Christianity and married a Christian. Try to parse this bullshit:

The Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan in Washington DC has noticed with regret some of the official statements and media coverage on the case of the Sudanese citizen Mariam Ibrahim Yahia; as some of them have mistakenly accused the government of Sudan of violating human rights by depriving Mariam of her civil rights as a Sudanese citizen. In this regard, the Embassy would like to confirm the following:

The official records of the Government of Sudan indicates that the real name of the lady mentioned in this case as Mariam Ibrahim is actually ‘ Abrar Elhadi Muhammad Abdallah Abugadeen’ and there is no official record shows that her name was changed to Mariam Ibrahim Yahia. Abrar was born in um Shagrah in Algadarif state on Jan. Ist. 1986 to Muslim Sudanese parents and the claim that the mother is an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia is untrue.

There was no Government agency behind the case; rather her immediate family had reported their daughter as missing, later and after she was found and claimed that she is Christian, the family filed a case of apostasy against her.

The ruling of the judge was made at the primary court after hearing all parties involved since February 2014, and it is subject to be implemented in at least two years if confirmed by three levels of courts which are: Appeal Court, Supreme Court and finally the Constitutional Court. The Judiciary System in Sudan is independent, and the Sudanese Judges are qualified and dignified.

This case remains a legal issue and not a religious or a political one. It is unwise and dangerous to politicize the issue at hand to spur religious tension between the two peaceful faiths with similar foundations. Notably, It is important to emphasize that freedom of choice is the cornerstone of both Islam and Christianity.

While reaffirming the commitment of the Government of Sudan to all human rights and freedom of beliefs, the Embassy of Sudan in Washington DC would like to thank all those who have raised their concern and sympathy on this issue.

Oh, fuck you. You don’t get to hang a woman for changing religions then then “reaffirm” your commitment to “human rights and freedom of beliefs,” you fascist assholes. Who gives a damn whether you define the situation as political or religious? It’s barbaric and totalitarian no matter how you label it.

Comments

  1. scott says

    “the family filed a case of apostasy against her”

    There is no reading of that sentence or any part of it, that is not completely and utterly wrong in every possible way.

  2. dingojack says

    The US is criticising another country for using the death penalty?

    …and in other news, North Korea has criticised Sudan for not allowing freedom of speech. Film at 11.

    Dingo

  3. abb3w says

    It seems they’re saying “She was convicted under due process; where’s the beef?”, possibly garnished with “get the name right, dudes”. Scalia might be proud.

    On the other hand, I have no idea how “It is important to emphasize that freedom of choice is the cornerstone of both Islam and Christianity” fits into that word salad. You’re free to choose your religion — although the state may have you executed for apostasy?

  4. steve84 says

    In countries like Sudan there is no difference whatsoever between religion and politics.

  5. Dr. Strabismus says

    @#3 Dingojack

    You don’t see a slight difference between using the death penalty as a punishment for murder, and using it as a punishment for changing one’s religion?

  6. scienceavenger says

    Shorter Sudan: Nothing to see here, everything is under control, move along.

    The great thing about laws against apostasy is if you challenge them, you are guilty of apostasy.

  7. dingojack says

    No. Judicial murder is barbaric for any reason.
    Nevertheless, it’s the hypocrisy of the official response that’s the real issue.
    Dingo

  8. Dr. Strabismus says

    @#10 Dingojack

    No, I disagree. It is not hypocritical to think that the death penalty is justified for certain crimes, and not justified for others. Where is the hypocrisy? Is it hypocritical to advocate imprisonment for some crimes, and monetary fines for others? While I oppose the death penalty myself, for many reasons, it is not, in principle, insane. Good and intelligent people advocate it for horrific crimes, and have throughout history. While their arguments are, I believe, insufficient, they are not completely dismissable. What is insane is applying capital punishment to something that should not even be a crime, and is, in fact, a human right.

  9. Artor says

    Pen @#1
    How about fucking barbaric? Bloodthirsty? Insane? Thoroughly evil? I can think of many more ways to put it.

  10. laurentweppe says

    The US is criticising another country for using the death penalty?

    Said country is using the death penalty to enforce endogamy and conformism among its majority ethno-religious group. Which is clearly anti-American.
    Oh Wait…

  11. says

    @ Abb3w (#5)

    I thought the same thing. Scalia would be fine with this. She had her day in court! Her mother was never a Christian. It was her family that brought the charges. She never officially changed her name. She will get 3 levels of appeal, THEN be executed. All the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. Justice has been done to the letter of the law. (And that law is being followed exactly as the framers of that law expected it to be followed). There is nothing to criticize here!

  12. iangould says

    It’s highly unlikely that the death penalty will be applied.

    Ms. Yahia will likely be freed and allowed ot leave the country after a foreign government coughs up a suitably disguised ransom.

    In fact that’s probably the whole point of the entire disgusting episode.

  13. Michael Heath says

    laurentweppe writes:

    Said country is using the death penalty to enforce endogamy and conformism among its majority ethno-religious group. Which is clearly anti-American.
    Oh Wait…

    This makes no sense. There are no longer any miscegenation laws in the U.S.; such laws that were still on some states’ books were struck down 47 years ago.

    And we don’t indict people for changing their religions or picking an unpopular one. In fact it’s a protected right to pick a religion and practice it, leave a religion, or migrate from one religion to another. Where surveys show millions of Americans doing one or more of these changes in their lifetime.

  14. DaveL says

    It is important to emphasize that freedom of choice is the cornerstone of both Islam and Christianity.

    And by “freedom of choice”, you mean that if they make the “wrong” choice, you execute them?

  15. lofgren says

    Reading between the lines, I think I disagree with most of the other commenters here, as well as Ed. I believe what the Embassy is trying to convey is something like, “Everybody calm the fuck down. We’re dealing with it.” I got to this conclusion for the folowing reasons:

    The three points that embassy emphasizes diminish the government’s responsibility.
    The details about the appeals process are unnecessary except to attempt to reassure observers that there are significant hurdles to overcome before the sentence is actually carried out.
    The statement gives no indication that the verdict is right or good, and in fact makes several points that indicate the verdict is supremely unjust.

    As an analogy, we who frequent this site see blatantly unjust and inappropriate, at times even unconstitutional, rulings by US judges. Try to imagine the position of an embassy if they were called upon to comment on one of these rulings. They are never going to come right out and say, “Yeah, that’s some fucked up shit.” The US embassy will always defend, at least tepidly, the US people and system of government in the face of foreign crticism. I imagine that they would craft a very similar response this one.

    The stakes are especially high and the violation of personal freedom especially egregious, but it appears the embassy is attempting to reassure us that it is unlikely the sentence will actually be upheld or carried out.

  16. anubisprime says

    Fundamental religion is inane…

    Specifically …

    silly, foolish, stupid, fatuous, idiotic, absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous, laughable, risible, imbecilic, moronic, cretinous, unintelligent, witless, asinine, pointless, senseless, frivolous, nonsensical, brainless, mindless, thoughtless, vacuous, vapid, empty-headed. childish, puerile, infantile, jejune.daft, dumb, dim, half-baked, gormless, damfool dumbass.

    It is what they do!

  17. Erp says

    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
    signed and ratified by Sudan (1986). Laws against apostasy are a direct violation of the freedom to adopt a religion or belief of his choice (it was written in 1966, gender neutral language hadn’t really caught on)

    Article 18

    1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

    2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.

  18. Ichthyic says

    the Sudanese Judges are qualified and dignified.

    I didn’t know they had certifications in dignity.

    How would that work, exactly…

    ideas?

  19. Ichthyic says

    “the family filed a case of apostasy against her”

    There is no reading of that sentence or any part of it, that is not completely and utterly wrong in every possible way.

    It could be even worse though… like they could have just stoned her to death in front of the court instead of waiting for a legal verdict.

    surely that would never happen though.

  20. laurentweppe says

    This makes no sense

    I was sarcastically answering to a sarcastic remark: go fix your irony metter

  21. Ichthyic says

    Heath… it was the sarcasm surrounding the “clearly anti-American” part that you seem to have missed.

    still, it’s not as much of a pot-kettle issue as it should be in order for that bit of sarcasm to really have a lot of bite.

    the US criticizing Putin for creating instability in the Ukraine?

    now that is a definite pot-kettle worthy of sarcasm.

  22. Michael Heath says

    laurentweppe writes:

    I was sarcastically answering to a sarcastic remark: go fix your irony metter

    My irony meter’s just fine; your comparison is instead false. Thus, no ironical observation to be had between the Sudan and the U.S. as you falsely claimed.

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