Updated: May 6, 2021
If you haven’t heard the name Meriam Ibrahim before, you should take a moment to learn a bit more about her and her story.
Meriam was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in the Sudan. In the early years of her life, her father abandoned the family, and she was raised in the Christian faith.
She grew up a genuine Christian, married a Christian man, had one son and was eight months pregnant with a daughter when she was arrested for apostasy. Essentially, because Meriam was born to a Muslim father - even though absent - the Sudanese government considered her a Muslim. By marrying a Christian man, she was committing adultery because the courts did not view their marriage as legitimate.
She was condemned to death by hanging.
Not only was she thrown into prison and put on death row, but her 20 month-old son was also imprisoned with her as he too was considered Muslim by the courts and could not be raised by his Christian father and relatives. Additionally, Meriam was then forced to deliver her daughter with her legs chained to the floor in unsanitary conditions.
The courts demanded that she renounce her faith. She refused to do so, and so she remained in chains.
All of these actions were a clear violation of her human rights, and the world agreed. Countless organizations took to social media to raise awareness of her plight. Petitions, email campaigns, social media movements, all dedicated to one thing...her and her children’s freedom. And what’s more, it was successful.
Meriam and her family now reside in the United States, safe and sound.
Other cases like hers have gotten global attention and have made a real impact in the lives of those who have been oppressed.
Just to name a few: The #BringBackOurDaughters campaign, which highlighted the capture of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram. The #SaveSaeed movement, a campaign dedicated to gaining freedom for an American citizen wrongfully imprisoned in Iran. The #AsiaBibi cause (pictured above), which dealt with the case of a Pakistani woman who was on death row for 8 years for allegedly offending the Prophet Mohammed.
And countless other instances.
Though digital media can have dramatic negative impacts on the human condition, it also, if harnessed correctly, can be used as a force for great good. It’s important that these tools are wielded for the betterment of the human race, and we're so glad that they were for all these important causes around the globe.