Author Topic: Sudan Accuses Teacher of Islam Insult  (Read 896 times)

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Offline OdKahaneChai

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Sudan Accuses Teacher of Islam Insult
« on: November 27, 2007, 04:27:04 PM »
From the NY Nazi Times:

Published: November 27, 2007

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 26 — The Sudanese police arrested a British schoolteacher and accused her of insulting Islam after she allowed her 7-year-old pupils to name a class teddy bear Muhammad, Sudanese officials said Monday.

The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, was arrested Sunday in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, after a number of parents complained, said Rabie A. Atti, a government spokesman. “How can you call a bear Muhammad?” he said. “Muhammad is the holy prophet of Islam.”

Dr. Rabie said the authorities had obtained a letter Ms. Gibbons sent home with students explaining that her primary school class was doing a project on animals and had adopted a teddy bear named Muhammad.

“Her letter said there was an intelligent bear named Muhammad, and the letter instructed parents to take pictures with this bear,” Dr. Rabie said. “This is not acceptable, according to the general opinion of our society.”

In Islam, insulting the Prophet Muhammad is considered a grave offense, and the law of northern Sudan, where Khartoum lies, makes this a crime.

Unity School, where Ms. Gibbons taught, is known as one of the more expensive private schools in Khartoum. The students are the children of wealthy Sudanese families and foreign diplomats, a mix of mostly Muslims and Christians, and the lessons are in English.

Ms. Gibbons is in jail, pending further investigation, Dr. Rabie said. “If she is innocent, she will be set free,” he said.

If she is guilty, Dr. Rabie said, she will face punishment, possibly including lashes.

“I hope she didn’t mean what the people thought,” he added, saying it was possible that Ms. Gibbons did not intend to offend Islam. Officials at the school have defended Ms. Gibbons.

“This was a completely innocent mistake,” Robert Boulos, the director of the school, told the BBC. “Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam.”

According to the BBC, Ms. Gibbons, 54, asked a 7-year-old girl to bring in a teddy bear and asked her classmates to pick a name for it.

“They came up with eight names including Abdullah, Hassan and Muhammad,” Mr. Boulos said.

When it came time to vote, 20 out of 23 children choose Muhammad, one of the most common names in the Muslim world.

The students then took turns bringing the bear home on weekends, and wrote a diary about what they did with it. According to the BBC, the children’s entries were bound together in a book with a picture of the bear on the cover and a message that read, “My name is Muhammad.”

A few weeks ago, the Sudanese authorities said that no troops from Scandinavia could serve as peacekeepers in Darfur, where the United Nations is trying to send an expanded peacekeeping force, because Danish newspapers published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad two years ago.

Those cartoons set off riots across the Muslim world, and several dozen people were killed.

Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, said in a recent interview with the television network Al Jazeera, “We in Sudan declared mobilization against the Scandinavians after the publishing of the offensive cartoons of the prophet.” He said the Sudanese people would not accept Scandinavian troops because of this.

His rejection of the Scandinavians complicates efforts to bolster the peacekeeping force with appropriate technical expertise. The force is supposed to be predominantly African, but United Nations officials have said that it is essential to include experts from developed countries and that they are hoping to send teams from Norway and Sweden.
My question:
If Muslim animals can name their fellow animals "Muhammed," why can't this teacher name a different kind of animal "Muhammed"?

One does not deal with terrorists; one does not bargain with terrorists; one kills terrorists.
- Rabbi Meir Kahane ZT"L, HY"D