Thursday, November 29, 2007

muhammed the bear

have you been following this awful story? the gist of it is that a british teacher named gillian gibbons has been arrested in the sudan for blasphemy. yesterday the telegraph thought that she might be released. they described the incident thus:

"Miss Gibbons arrived at Unity High School - which caters for wealthy Sudanese children as well as expatriates - in August, after leaving Liverpool in the summer. She asked one of her pupils to bring in the bear and let the children choose the name Mohammed, prompting complaints from several Muslim parents. It is seen as an insult to Islam to attempt to make an image of the prophet. The seven-year-old student who inspired the naming of the teddy has insisted the teacher was not trying to insult Islam. The boy, called Mohammed, told the Daily Mail: "The teacher asked me what I wanted to call the teddy. I said Mohammed. I named it after my name.""

today the bbc reports:

"Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, has been sentenced to 15 days in prison and will then be deported. She escaped conviction for inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs, and will now appeal."

wtf? the idea was that each night a student took the bear home and wrote down what happened to him that evening. the reports were then collected in a booklet. kind of like flat stanley. anyway, again according to the bbc:

"Sudan's top clerics had called for the full measure of the law to be used against Mrs Gibbons and labelled her actions part of a Western plot against Islam."

insulin may be causing me to lose my mind - what is their excuse?

ps a perspective from jemima khan

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