By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
A twenty seven year old Christian woman, who is presently eight months pregnant, has been sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy and adultery. Having been born to a Muslim father, the Sudanese government contends that Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, was Muslim and that she later converted to Christianity before marrying her South Sudanese husband, a Christian. Sudanese law considers marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims to be invalid. Under Sudan’s interpretation of sharia, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man and any such relationship is regarded as adulterous. Thus, her pregnancy is considered to be resulting from an adulterous relationship, punishable by one hundred lashings.
Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa sentenced Meriam to death and declared:
“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged,” The judge addressed her by her father’s Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.
Ms Ishag reacted without emotion when the judge delivered the verdict at a court in the Khartoum district of Haj Yousef. Earlier in the hearing, an Islamic religious leader spoke with her in the caged dock for about 30 minutes. Then she calmly told the judge:
“I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”
Amnesty International said Ms Ishag was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her Muslim father was absent.
Continue reading “Sudanese Judge Imposes Death Sentence On Woman Who Allegedly Converted To Christianity And Later Married”
By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Author note: This is the fifth in a series about the child sexual abuse scandal at The Pennsylvania State University that helped bring down iconic football coach Joe Paterno and three top officials at the premier public college in Pennsylvania.
Penn State’s ousted president and amateur magician, Graham Spanier, enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for secrecy while leading the state’s flagship public university. In one instance, Spanier became incensed when he learned that the Harrisburg Patriot-News had obtained the salaries of the top PSU officials — including Joe Paterno — from the state pension board. (Paterno had consistently made mention of the fact that he received around $500,000 per year as a coach, donating much of it back to PSU. Many prominent FBS football coaches make up to ten times that amount and it appears Paterno was fudging a bit on his salary.) Spanier embarked on a five-year fight to block publication of the salaries, taking the case through the entire appeals process and up to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Spanier lost at every level. Undaunted and against the odds, he successfully lobbied Pennsylvania state lawmakers to reject closing the loophole which exempted college employees salaries from the state’s “right-to-know” law. With that legislative prestidigitation, he just made the problem disappear.
Continue reading “Down In The Valley V: Spanier’s Culture of Secrecy And Penn State’s Other Ignored Child Sexual Abuse Scandal”