Sudan Drifts Further From Civilisation

The situation involving Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher in Sudan, has deteriorated. With the intervention of British consular officials, she has gone from faving 40 lashes for naming a teddy Muhammad to a possible three years in prison for sedition. It would seem that naming a teddy after the False Prophet is the same as inciting the children to rebellion against the Sudanese government.

A rather unenlightened professor at the University of Kartoum showed just how far Islamic academic quality has fallen.”In our culture, there can be no image of the Prophet,” he said. “You cannot even show him in a film or a play. To show him as a bear is unthinkable.” The only thing is that no one ever suggested that the bear was an icon of the False Prophet. I can’t imagine the same scholar has the same problem with half of Muslim boys being named Muhammad. Are they showing Muhammad as a another person?

I would have thought that the teddy would be seen to honour Muhammad. It’s just the sort of thing Aisha, his nine-year-old favourite wife, would have loved. She could have had a teddy and a husband with the same name.

I hope that the Islamic world is not looking at Ms Gibbons as a scapegoat for launching another attack on the West, find some sort of excuse for claiming insult against the inventer of their religion.

Just a Name

A 54-year-old British teacher is facing 40 lashes for allowing her primary school children in Sudan to name a teddy bear Muhammad. She currently in prison awaiting trial on blasphemy charges.

She is teaching in a Christian school that has both Christian and Muslims students. Apparently Muhammad is fine to name a male child from just about every Muslim family, but to name the teddy is blasphemy.

The lash isn’t enough for some in the view of some of the residents of Khartoum. It didn’t take long after her arrest for word to spread. Groups of young men surrounded the police station, shouting death threats. After all, Sharia can be interpretted in various ways. Who is to say that a good beating is enough for blasphemy?

It’s a good thing we’re supposed to teach in this country that all religions and cultures are equal. On simple observation, sometimes it just doesn’t look that way. It’s a dangerous thing to let the facts speak for themselves.