- (Photo: Facebook/Gabriel Wani)
A petition to the White House calling for President Barack Obama to directly respond to the case of Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother on death row for her Christian faith, has already reached over 37,000 signatures in the first week of its launching, but needs 100,000 by the end of June.
"We strongly urge the administration to take action in the case of Dr. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother who with her toddler and newborn baby (who pending the proper documentation are American citizens) is languishing inside a prison in Khartoum," the petition started on May 28 reads.
"We urge you to pressure the Sudanese government to release Meriam and her children so she can escape execution and possible death of her children and be rejoined with her husband in the U.S. Please grant her expedited safe haven in the U.S., where she could seek asylum."
Ibrahim recently gave birth to her second child in prison while still in shackles. Her husband, Daniel Wani, clarified earlier this week conflicting information that her release was imminent, by saying that he is not ware of such a possibility.
Foreign ministry spokesman Abubakar Al-Sidiq said that only a ruling from an appeals court can secure her release, while she is unlikely to be granted amnesty by President Omar al-Bashir.
The Sudanese mother was sentenced to 100 lashes and death for what Sudan's Public Order Criminal Code says is adultery and apostasy, for marrying a Christian man and for turning away from Islam.
She was given three days to recant her faith, but she refused to do so.
Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called her a "true daughter of Sarah" for the courage and conviction she has displayed.
"For her, her freedom, even her life, aren't worth tossing aside her allegiance to the Lord Christ," Moore highlighted. "It's not just that Mariam is displaying the sort of fearless faith Peter commends. It's also that she's displaying the sort of fearless faith Peter himself lacked, at least at first."
Moore also sent Secretary of State John Kerry a letter earlier in May urging him to "personally denounce" Ibrahim's sentencing as "cruel and inhumane."
"The use of state power to enforce belief of any religion – Islam, Christianity or otherwise – is outside the authority of any government. That such an arrangement culminates in the arrest, torture, and execution of an otherwise law-abiding pregnant woman is abhorrent and should be condemned outrightly by the leadership of the United States government," Moore wrote.
Other online petitions for Ibrahim have been very successful. An American Center for Law and Justice petition reached over 348,000 signatures as of Wednesday noon, and a Change.org petition gathered close to 800,000 signatures.
The White House petition needs to reach 100,000 signatures by June 27 in order to get a response from the Obama administration.