The Sudanese government underestimated the American response to the death by hanging sentence imposed in Sudan on Meriam Ibrahim and appears willing to discuss it, says Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes and hanging for refusing to convert to Islam from Christianity. Pregnant when jailed, Ibrahim's sentence was stayed until her baby was born. It is now less than a month old. She also has a 2-year-old with her in the prison.
"The clock is ticking," Perkins said Monday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."
The lashing could take place at any time, he said, and also could be severe enough to kill her.
Perkins criticized President Barack Obama for saying nothing about the case, though he praised members of Congress whom he said have contacted Sudanese officials to warn them to act quickly or face cuts in U.S. foreign aid.
Secretary of State John Kerry has said he is "deeply concerned" about Ibrahim's plight and has called on Sudan to repeal its strict Islamic laws that don't allow for religious freedom. Ibrahim's father was Muslim, but he left the family when she was a child and she was raised Christian by her mother. The charges were filed because she married a Christian rather than a Muslim.
Perkins was unsatisfied with Kerry's statement because it did not mention she is married to an American citizen and that her two children are eligible for U.S. citizenship.
"Even though there's been coarsening of the Western civilization we still hold women and children in high esteem and value them" more than Islamic cultures do, Perkins said.
More than 50,000 have signed petition at the White House website, about half the number needed for the White House to review if for action. The petition can be seen at FRC.org/sudan
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