27 December 2013, Basel, Switzerland: The International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) has today launched a campaign in support of the recent asylum request of Albina Kurmanbekova in the United States.
VOSAN Program Director Chris Knowles said:
Albina’s case is very worrying. Lawmakers need to be made aware of such cases. They need to understand the dangers that sharia can pose to individual human rights. Granting asylum in this case might even go some way to assuage worries that sharia principles will not be allowed to take root in the United States itself.
Miss Kurmanbekova’s case is currently being heard by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and a decision is imminent. She was born a Muslim in Kyrgyzstan but converted to Christianity. Apostasy is a crime under sharia law and returning her to her country of origin may be extremely harmful to her personal safety. Furthermore, in Kyrgyzstan the second class status of women under sharia is compounded by the local cultural practice of ‘bridenapping’. This combines kidnapping with forced marriage and the authorities seem reluctant to stamp out this wicked and degrading practice.
Albina’s case illustrates a widespread problem – the persecution of Christians. During the current holiday season we should be mindful that large numbers of Christians currently face severe persecution in many parts of the Islamic world. It is time for human rights leaders such as the United States to put this problem high on the international political agenda.
Albina entered the United States legally on a work-and-travel visa and has respected American laws by going through the official channels to seek asylum.
While President Obama continues to support an amnesty for illegal aliens we hear very little from him about compassion for people who entered the country legally but seek genuine asylum through the proper legal channels. He should make his views on the Kurmanbekova case known to the public and should intervene on her behalf if that becomes necessary.
It is time for America to take a stand on human rights abuses in the Islamic world, making it clear that it is supports freedom of religion and therefore opposes practices that punish apostasy. President Obama will be endorsing sharia law if he allows this poor young women to be deported to Kyrgyzstan.