UPDATE 30 Nov 2007: After teacher is jailed, mob of thousands scream for her blood to be spilled (plus, more editorial cartoons and mockery).
Gillian Gibbons is a 54 year old primary school teacher in Sudan. as part of school curriculum, she asked the class to ‘adopt’ a teddy bear. The teddy needed a name, so she allowed the children to decide what to name it.
The 23 children suggested 8 names including Abdullah, Hassan and Mohammed. Then they voted, and 20 of the children chose Mohammed. (Seriously, what names can you expect them to think up when every single male Muslim is named Mohammed? It’s their very way of life!)
And for this, Gillian Gibbons is under arrest for insulting the name of Islam’s prophet, insulting Islam itself, and attempting to make an image of Islam’s prophet.
The school also has been closed down temporarily for fear of violent attacks.
See below the following news excerpt for more cases of incedible injustice running amok.
Hat tip to Moonbattery. Also at Michelle Malkin who also links to other outrage-in-a-can cases, with her updates at here, and further here and here.
From Daily Telegraph:
Briton faces lashes in Sudan over teddy named Mohammed
By Caroline Gammell and Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 5:46pm GMT 26/11/2007
A British primary school teacher in Sudan is facing 40 lashes and up to six months in prison after allowing her pupils to name a teddy bear after the prophet Mohammed.
Colleagues of Gillian Gibbons, 54, claim she made an “innocent mistake” by allowing the class of seven year-olds to choose the name. But she has been accused of insulting Islam’s holiest prophet, arrested and imprisoned.
If charged and found guilty of blasphemy she faces punishment under Sharia law.
Her actions have sparked protests in Sudan and have forced the school to close until January for fear of reprisals.
The divorced mother-of-two from Liverpool is being held at a police station in the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum, and there were reports that an angry mob had gathered.
As the Foreign Office tried to resolve the situation, Miss Gibbons was visited by consular staff who described her as well, despite her ordeal.
Miss Gibbons had been working at Unity High School – popular with wealthy Sudanese and expatriates – since August, after leaving her position as deputy headteacher at Dovecot Primary School in Liverpool this summer.
However, trouble flared after she let her class choose a name for the stuffed bear as part of a school project.
She was teaching her Year 2 class about animals and their habitats as part of the school’s British-style national curriculum.
She asked one of the female pupils to bring in a teddy bear and asked the students to name it. “They came up with eight names including Abdullah, Hassan and Mohammed,” said the school’s director, Robert Boulos
Twenty of the 23 children opted for Mohammed and the toy was taken home by a different pupil each weekend to record a diary of the bear’s “activities”.
Mr Boulos said the diary entries were written in a book which bore a picture of the bear and the words “My Name is Mohammed”.
It is seen as an insult to Islam to attempt to make an image of the Prophet Mohammed, but Mr Boulos said nothing was written on the bear itself.
Several Muslim parents complained to the Ministry of Education and on Sunday, Sudanese police arrested her at her home on the school premises.
Mr Boulos insisted Miss Gibbons had not meant to offend anyone but said the school would remain closed until January for fear of reprisals.
“She has done nothing wrong but now we are very concerned that there’s a risk to the school and the students from the men in the street,” Mr Boulos said.
The police have confiscated the diary and plan to interview the little girl who owned the bear.
A source close to the school said one teacher was angered by the naming of the toy and complained to the headmistress, who is European. “According to what I was told, she belongs to one of the established conservative families in Khartoum.”
But a Muslim teacher at Unity, who also has a child in Miss Gibbons’ class, said she had not found the project offensive: “I know Gillian and she would never have meant it as an insult.”
The country’s state-controlled Sudanese Media Centre said Miss Gibbons was arrested “under article 125 of the criminal law”, on suspicion of insulting faith and religion.
Unity, founded in 1902, is an independent school for Christian and Muslim children aged four to 18 and is governed by a board representing major Christian denominations in Sudan.
Miss Gibbons, who separated from her husband Peter in December 2006 after more than 20 years, is one of several Western teachers who work at the school.
The couple have two children Jessica, 27, – also a teacher – and John, 25, and used to live in the Aigburth area of Liverpool.
Former neighbour Peter Sorensen, 64, said: “Everyone is shocked to hear that Gillian has been arrested in Sudan. We can only think that it’s all a huge mistake, I’m sure she would never have done anything deliberately to insult the Muslim faith.
“We are very worried about the kind of conditions she is subjected to. Being held in police cell in Khartoum must be an horrendous experience.”
Mr Sorensen said Miss Gibbons had planned to be in Africa for two years but was hoping to come home for Christmas.
Headteacher of Dovecot Primary School Gillian Jones said: “We are all thinking of her at this difficult time and are absolutely certain that there is no way that she will have done anything to intentionally insult any religion.”
Gift Idea: Show your support for Gillian and your opposition to spiteful, mindless Perpetual Outrage by purchasing and sending to Sudan one of the special, very special bears at Café Press:
Hat tip for above to Moonbattery.
You can get another version of a Mohammed Teddy Bear via Michelle Malkin.
Cartoon below also at super large size at Scott Stantis:
So once again, sharia literalists, Islamic extremists and ignorant ordinary folk are punishing people for things they did not do and ‘crimes’ they were not responsible for.
Recall how in an eerily reminiscent scenario, Muslims in Nigeria were becamed enraged and went on riots, attacking churches and blaming and killing Christians.
Why? Because they were angry over a cartoon depicting a boy holding a cat. When asked the name of his cat, the boy innocently replies: Mohammad Cat. (Again, what can you expect when every male such a child would know is named Mohammad something?)
And the cartoon was published published in BANGLADESH, drawn by a MUSLIM!!! So obviously, the correct over-reaction is to kill Christians for the perceived insult to Islam and its prophet. Because Christians must obviously be to blame for cultures where men are all named Mohammad.
Recall close to home, how the Maria Hertogh riots in Singapore 1950 were triggered by a court giving custody of a 13-year old girl to her Catholic biological parents, ovr her Muslim foster mother. Particularly, a photo of Maria in the same shot as a statue of Mother Mary and intentionally flames-fanning Malay newspaper coverage brought it to boiling point. (So tell me, when have you seen outraged citizens raging rampantly over Lina Joy, or Mount Everest hero Maniam Moorthy, or an Orang Asli church being torn down?
Also recall how an Egyptian woman was sentenced to 3 years jail for stating that she’s a Christian. It was considered a crime because when her father converted to Islam when she was 2 years old, that made her automatically a Muslim as well. Never mind that she had no idea such a thing transpired – she’s a woman, she’s obviously at fault (as our dear ol’ Nik Aziz would argue).
And how a Saudi woman was whipped 200 times and jailed six months… For being gang raped, and for protesting the unfairness of the original verdict of 90 lashes. Her assailants get away with 1 to 5 years jail.
And how drawings of Mohammad in a Danish newspapers is taken as justified cause for ‘offended Muslims’ to riot and murder people across the world. Never mind that most of the property damage and loss of life is to other Muslims. Rioting is obviously great fun. And never mind that the cartoons did not cause much controversy until Muslims added on much worse images to better stir up anger against the real cartoons.
And how Muslim protestors rioted and attacked people, causing much destruction and murdering dozens of innocent and unknowing people worldwide… Because of their anger over a hoax about Qurans being desecrated .
And how a burned Quran left at a mosque caused a stir as a possible hate crime… Until it was revealed that the perpatrator was a Muslim who didn’t know how to dispose of an old Quran properly, so left it for the mosque to take care of.
And even in our very own Malaysia, where a rapper’s lyrics poking at a cultural practice is taken as just cause for a fatwa-ish death threat.
With such protests-turned-violent becoming such a regular affair, with flare-ups at every single existent and even non-existent thing, is it any wonder that some critics mockingly use the term Religion of Perpetual Outrage?
Or have great fun parading and parodying the stereotyped image of the protestor as found in the Islamic Rage Boy?
All I can say is, such disrespect and lack of respect will not stop until the violent over-reaction against the wrong persons stops.
At least punish the actual culprits. That would at least resemble real justice.