Writers and filmmakers are using Meriam Ibrahim’s story — of the persecution that she suffered in a Sudanese prison for her faith — without her permission, causing the Christian convert a new form of persecution at home in the United States.
Last May, Ibrahim’s story of persecution made headlines around the globe after she was found guilty of apostasy and received a death sentence while pregnant with her second child. Even though her mother was Christian, she was charged with apostasy because her father was a Muslim. Sudanese law calls for children to take the religion of their father, meaning that Ibrahim was guilty of practicing Christianity.
While still shackled in prison, Ibrahim delivered her child. She was released in June and became an instant icon for refusing to deny her faith — and to convert to Islam — in the face of death. Ibrahim now lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children.
Cashing in on persecution?
Ever since their arrival in the U.S., the couple has been in communication with authors and filmmakers alike who want to tell their story. Strongly desiring her story to be portrayed accurately, Ibrahim has boldly condemned them for wanting to make a profit off of her persecution without receiving her official stamp of approval.
Her release was arranged in part by an author, who soon afterwards took the liberty to write Ibrahim’s story in a book.
“Now a new book by an Italian author, Antonella Napoli, has driven her to renew her call for her and her husband to be allowed to tell their own stories,” Christian Today reports. “Napoli, a journalist and activist who campaigned for Meriam’s release and is president of the charity Italians for Darfur, has written My Name Is Meriam about Meriam’s ordeal.”
Ibrahim indicated that she refused to sign a copy of a proposal because she had already been in communication with another publisher about her story.
“[Being written about without giving permission feels like] new persecution from some weak people who do not know the meaning of faith, but are working to collect money from the tears of the oppressed,” Ibrahim told Christian Today. “[Writing unauthorized books will] plunder my right to make my story to the world by the way that I choose it.”
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Michael F. Haverluck