The Corner

Grotesque Human-Rights Violations Against Christians Continue in the Muslim World

In Sudan, a Christian woman named Meriam Ibrahim has been sentenced to death for apostasy. That sentence, however, is only one aspect of the barbarism visited upon her by Sudanese authorities.

Despite being raised by a Christian mother, her absentee Muslim father’s faith is imputed to her, in complete disregard of her own autonomy. She also stands accused of adultery since the Sudanese court deems her marriage to a Christian American invalid. Reports indicate that her young son, who appears to be a U.S. citizen, is in prison with her, and she’s eight months pregnant.

Sudan, in its “mercy” will allow her to have the child before she’s executed, but immediately after she gives birth, she’ll be punished with 100 lashes.

Meanwhile, in Iran, Pastor Saeed Abedini has been beaten, forcibly removed from his hospital room, and returned to prison, where he is serving an eight-year prison sentence because of his faith.

In America, we are continually assured by apologists that horrors like these are always the work of the “few extremists,” and their actions should not be attributed to the wider Islamic world. Such assurances are worse than naïve. In fact, American willingness to turn a blind eye to these atrocities hardly encourages the better angels in the Middle Eastern world. Instead, it empowers and emboldens the worst violators.

When will we learn that our forbearance is construed as nothing more than weakness — weakness that not only results in continued atrocities but also discourages potential friends?

It’s in our national interest to press the Islamic world to respect human rights. Our passivity — whether it’s demonstrated by reluctance to name Boko Haram a terrorist organization, refusal to insist that nations stop torturing and imprisoning Americans as a precondition for easing sanctions, or our continual reliance on lame and ineffective statements of concern in lieu of actual policy — only perpetuates jihad.

There was a time when a nation would imprison American toddlers at its peril. Those days are apparently long past.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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