Over the past several weeks, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has relentlessly criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the imprisonment of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who is married to a U.S. citizen. Ibrahim, a Christian, was put on death row in Sudan for apostasy. She was recently released from jail after an appeals court voided her conviction, but according to reports today she has been rearrested while attempting to leave the country.
It is no surprise that Perkins has used the shocking human rights violation as an excuse to attack the Obama administration, but now even his Republican allies aren’t backing him up on it.
Yesterday, when Perkins invited Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., to discuss the case on his radio show “Washington Watch,” Meadows completely undermined the FRC leader’s thinly veiled partisan attacks.
Asked if the State Department was working to help Ibrahim and her children, Meadows reported that the U.S. has in fact worked vigorously behind the scenes to free Ibrahim: “I got off of a call not more than an hour or so ago and a number of agencies across the board are working hand-in-glove to make sure that this is handled quickly and efficiently. And I am heartened by what I heard on that phone call and really encouraged that this is a government that cares about people. Sometimes I wish they would speak up louder and quicker, but I can tell you behind the scenes a number of agencies are working to make sure that they are safe.”
Just minutes later, however, Perkins completely discarded the congressman’s assessment and once again accused the Obama administration of doing little to help secure Ibrahim’s release.
Bizarrely, he cited the case of Abdul Rahman — an Afghan convert to Christianity who faced imprisonment and death threats during the Bush administration — to criticize Obama, saying the president is “not just sympathetic to but I think extremely supportive of these Islamic nations.”