Patterico's Pontifications


Meriam Ibrahim’s Release: Whom to Thank

Filed under: Current Events,General,Obama,Politics,Religion — JVW @ 10:24 am

[guest post by JVW]

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman married to an American citizen, was flown to Rome from Khartoum yesterday, thus bringing to an end the saga of her death sentence handed down by a Sudanese Islamic court for alleged apostasy and adultery.

The trouble apparently began when Ms. Ibrahim traveled to Sudan on a Sudanese passport to visit her ailing mother. She brought her 18-month-old son, Martin, and was at the time in the second trimester of a pregnancy. Her Sudanese-American husband, Daniel Wani, is confined to a wheelchair due to MS and therefore remained in the couple’s New Hampshire home. The trouble in Khartoum began when Ms. Ibfahim’s Muslim half-brother, Al Semani Al Hadi, brought charges against her for allegedly abandoning the Islamic faith to marry a Christian man. Ms. Ibrahim contends that her mother is an Eastern Orthodox Christian and she has always practiced the Christian faith, but authorities declared that by having a Muslim father Ms. Ibrahim was obligated to follow the tenets of Islam, even though her father had left the family early in Ms. Ibrahim’s youth. Her marriage to a Christian and the birth of her son Martin (along with her obvious pregnancy) thus became adultery in the eyes of the Sharia court. Ms. Ibrahim was sentenced to death for the “crime” of apostasy and tossed in prison and placed in shackles. The death sentence was “mercifully” delayed so that Ms. Ibrahim could give birth to her second child, a daughter, Maya, and the 100 lashes that she was to receive for adultery were cancelled. According to both Ms. Ibrahim and Mr. Wani, she gave birth while her legs remained chained.

After an international outcry caused the Sudanese court to release her, she was once again arrested at the Khartoum Airport and charged with carrying false travel documents. This time, she and her children were allowed to serve their detention at the U.S. Embassy, but the family had to worry not only about the possibility of not being permitted to leave but also having the death sentence restored. Finally, she was granted new travel documents and permitted to leave with her children yesterday. The lawyer for Ms. Ibrahim told the Daily Mail that her release was secured by the Italian government, who provided the plane and dispatched a deputy foreign minister to escort the family to Rome where they had an audience with Pope Francis.

So you would think that the wife of a United States citizen with a son and a daughter who are natural-born United States citizens would have been way too frightening of a target for a Sudanese Sharia court, but we simply cannot ignore the degree to which radical Islam apparently believes that there are no consequences for poking the U.S. in the eye as long as Barack Obama is President.* As he so often does, Mark Steyn sums up the impotence of the Obama/Kerry crew perfectly:

Just to reiterate what happened here: A barbarian regime seized an American’s family and jailed them – and throughout their imprisonment no one in the United States Government did anything and neither the President nor his Secretary of State said a word. The British and Canadians helped, and the Italians sent a government plane and the deputy foreign minister. The Pope had time for the Wani family, but not President Fundraiser.

Meanwhile, the last remaining Christians are being forced to leave Mosul, a city that was once considered the heart of Christendom in Mesopotamia. And so it goes.

[* I am willing to concede that there exists the possibility that the Obama Administration worked relentlessly behind the scenes to secure the release of Ms. Ibrahim and her children, but thought that taking a strong public stance would complicate their efforts. Perhaps they coordinated very closely with the British, Canadians, and Italians on this matter, and someday the truth will come out and we will see that they deserve a great deal of the credit for convincing Sudan to release her. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility. Still, if I had to bet in this matter, I would put my money down on passivity and fecklessness by the administration where radical Islam is involved. If it can’t be accomplished with drones, this President doesn’t seem to want to try.]



Starting with Chapter Two

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Current Events — Jack Dunphy @ 9:33 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

“When you don’t win an argument on the merits, change the subject. That seems to be the favorite tactic of groups opposed to marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

So begins an op-ed piece, “Lose the ruling, attack the judge,” in Friday’s Los Angeles Times. The column was written by Jon W. Davidson, the legal director of Lambda Legal, the organization that brought the federal lawsuit attacking California’s Proposition 8, so it comes as no surprise that it supports U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision to rule the proposition unconstitutional.

But note where Davidson chooses to begin his timeline, rather like picking up a book and starting with chapter two. I recall there being an election some time ago, one in which a majority of California voters — for the second time — made known their preference to define marriage as it has been understood for thousands of years.

I propose an alternative opening for the column, one that more accurately reflects the sequence of events: “When you don’t win the argument at the ballot box, as indeed advocates for homosexual marriage have failed to win in even a single instance in the 31 times they’ve tried, take the campaign to the more accommodating venue of the courtroom. There, a lone judge, blessed with finely attuned senses denied to both his predecessors and the ignorant proles of the voting public, can discover a constitutional right that mysteriously remained undetected through all our nation’s history. That seems to be the favorite tactic of groups advocating for same-sex marriage.”

–Jack Dunphy


Happy Mother’s Day

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 5:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere and to every mother’s child.



Epic Mid-South Floods

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 11:50 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky are recovering from epic floods that left 29 dead, 5 missing, and billions in damage. In some places the water rose several feet in less than an hour, leaving people little or no time to escape or to save their possessions.

In Nashville, the Cumberland River crested at 12 feet over flood stage:

The recovery will be hard as residents face toxic conditions from stagnant water, debris, and sewage.

Please pray for our neighbors and consider donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can also make a $10 donation by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to help those affected. It may ask you to confirm your donation by replying “YES.”



Honesty Is the Best Policy

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 4:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

April 30 is National Honesty Day.



Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 1:07 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan and an 8.8 magnitude quake off the Chilean coast sparked tsunami warnings in both nations, although the Japanese warning appears to have been rescinded. There is no tsunami warning for Alaska or the West Coast of the United States as a result of the earthquake in Chile [UPDATE BY PATTERICO: there is now a warning for the West Coast], but there may be an impact in Hawaii.



Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 10:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all.



California Rains

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 7:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Massachusetts’ election and the Haitian earthquake have dominated the news and blogs, but there are other stories including one that affects many California readers — Los Angeles rain:

“Street flooding was reported across the region, including in Burbank, the Bixby Knolls section of Long Beach, areas south of Long Beach Airport, as well as Sunland and San Pedro.

The storm ripped part of the roof off an industrial building in Paramount and flooded the southbound 710 Freeway around Alondra Boulevard. Flooding was also reported on the 710 near Willow Street in Long Beach. [Updated at 6:35 p.m.: The California Highway Patrol said the 405 Freeway south is flooded in Long Beach at Spring Street and that traffic was being diverted.]

Other freeways reported less serious flooding, producing a grim evening commute.”

Any stories to share?



150-200K Deaths in Haiti

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 3:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The man in charge of America’s military relief efforts in Haiti, Lt.Gen. P.K. Keen, commented on how many people have died as a result of the Haitian earthquake:

“As the numbers of dead and injured in Haiti continue to climb, Lt. General P.K. Keen, the man charge of military relief efforts there says, “we are going to have to be prepared for the worst”. When I asked General Keen about death toll estimates ranging between 150,000 and 200,000 people, Keen said, “I think the international community is looking at those figures, and I think that’s a start point.”

President Obama has named former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to raise funds for Haitian relief. The former Presidents have established a website to collect donations for this cause.



Pat Robertson: Haiti’s Curse

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — DRJ @ 2:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

TV evangelist Pat Robertson has a flair for saying controversial things: He once suggested that Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine punishment for “dividing God’s land” and giving away Gaza to the Palestinians. He also wondered if America’s abortion rate could have provoked Hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attacks on the United States. And now, following the earthquake in Haiti, Robertson has once again suggested a disaster might be due to more than bad luck:

“The Haitians “were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever,” Robertson said on his broadcast Wednesday. “And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.'”

Native Haitians defeated French colonists in 1804 and declared independence.

“You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs commented it was “utterly stupid” to think a nation’s actions could cause it to be cursed.

Apparently Jeremiah Wright (“God Damn America” and the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own “terrorism”) could not be reached for comment.


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