Monday, November 26, 2007

"Muhammad" Bear Lands Brit Teacher In Jail

"Hello, my name is Muhammad!"

Imagine being jailed simply for calling a stuffed animal "Jesus" or "Buddha". It would never occur in the west, but change locales and switch the name to "Muhammad" and that's exactly what happened to a British schoolteacher in the mess of a country called Sudan.

Gillian Gibbons, a teacher at the private British International, Unity High School in Khartoum (where both Christians and Muslims are taught an English curriculum) was arrested on Sunday for insulting Islam. Her crime: allowing her pupils to name a fuzzy little teddy bear Muhammad.

For a school project about bears, children were asked to choose a name for a teddy bear that one 7-year-old girl brought in to share with the others. They would each be allowed to take home this adopted stuffed animal on weekends, and were asked to write a diary about what they did with it. The 6 and 7-year-olds chose 8 commonly used names including Hassan, Abdullah and, yes, the infamous Muhammad. 20 of the 23 students fancied the latter, so the bear was duly named Muhammad. A compilation of the diary entries were bound together, and a picture of the bear with "My name is Muhammad" graced the cover of the book.

This was back in September, and according to a British Embassy spokesman the parents had no problems with the bear being named Muhammad at that time. And there is no indication as to why, months later, several parents decided to complain to the authorities, which then led to Gibbon's wholly, unwarranted arrest.

Rabie Atti (a Sudanese government spokesman) has said:
"If she is innocent, she will be set free."
"I hope she didn't mean what the people thought."

In other words, that she willfully, and consciously chose to insult Islam. As though someone would be stupid enough to offend "the Prophet" in a predominately Muslim country. I think not. He does concede that she might not have meant to offend Islam, but that if she did, she will be punished.

For this innocent infraction of an absurd Islamic law, she could receive a 6 month jail term, a fine or 40 lashes!

Don't you just love a civilized, modern justice system!

UPDATE 11/27:

There is now talk that a fellow teacher (from a conservative family in Khartoum) filed the complaint. Was someone jealous of this new teacher? Gibbons just started the 1st of a 2 year stint in Sudan, and was apparently well liked by all.

UPDATE 11/29:

Gillian Gibbons has been charged with inciting hatred towards Islam! Ironically when the Muslim world does these kinds of things, they do exactly that! She faces 4o lashes.


74WIXYgrad said...

Naming something, that a child sometimes uses as security, after a deity shouldn't be a crime anywhere.

I am glad I live in a free(for now) country.

Pat Jenkins said...

what a cute and cuddly cub!!! now not to justify this, but do they believe that this is in a sense using the "lords" name in vain... i know you probably don't see it this way incog.. i am just throwing it out there!!! of course the punishment does not fit the "crime"!!!!

WomanHonorThyself said...

hiya takes the sick ped00philes at the ROP to ruin a teddy bear!..pffttt!...look out for riots hun !

Frasypoo said...

Hi Incog,
It happens in India too.Someone wrote a story on a mad man and called him Mohammed and there were riots and burning buses and all that.
They are nuts

Incognito said...

74WIXY: Agreed.. thank God for that! And naming anything anything shouldn't be a crime.

PATJ: Yeah.. it's soft and one of my faves.:-)

They think any use of the "m" word is using the prophet's name in vain. And yet, ironically, Mohammed (and its million different variations) is one of the most common names in the Muslim world. Like Jesus is in teh Latin world.
But what other religion calls for physical punishment for blasphemy? It's just barbaric. They need to get a life. All however many billion of them. My 2 cents.. :-)

WOMAN: I know...I feel sorry for the poor woman who probably had no idea, considering it was the kids who chose the name, not her.. and now she's suffering the consequences.

FRASY: Hey Poo..I would agree... and the scary thing is they are trying to export that nuttiness to the rest of the civilized, western world.

MondaythroughSunday said...

I heard on the radio this morning that they actually named the bear after one of the kids in the classroom...who happened to be named Muhammed. Wild story!!!

Joe B. said...

And there are people out there who believe Global Warming is the Biggest threat to the free world.

Karen said...

I heard this story this morning and thought to myself how incredibly silly it is. Except for the fact the woman is in jail now. A child named it for goodness sake. It is all unbelievable.

Incognito said...

MONDAYTHSUNDAY: Yes.. a little boy, who has stood up for the poor woman. It's all so crazy.

JOE B: Hey...isn't that pathetic? We'll all be blown away by some nuclear weapon before the sun burns up this planet.

KAREN: I know it's totally insane... i was reading that some editor of a paper over there that had questioned Mohammed's history (or some such thing) was eventually found beheaded.

American Interests said...

Pathetic in this day and age, what’s the Brit Government doing? Diddly squat I suppose. The West ought to begin a process of containment for we import this ugly creed through unintelligent immigration. The future may be at stake. Am I being harsh?

Aurora said...

Hey, incognito. I heard she's already been through about five hours of interrogation (probably to extract some kind of confession) and will be going through some more tomorrow. Poor woman. How on earth was she supposed to know that a name as common as Mohammed is over there would be OK for every second boy but not for a bear.

Aurora said...

By the way, nice blog. I've blogrolled ya. ;)

Incognito said...

AI: Well.. not much they can do in a foreign country. And no, not being harsh at all.

AURORA: It's all so ridiculous and unbelievable.. that someone would be interrogated for 5 hours about naming a bloody bear Muhammed. And thanks for the blogroll... I think you already had.. under Confessions of... but thank you! You're already in mine, as well.

Lizze said...

Poor, poor woman!

Is it just me or does the Muslims get into riot-mode for every little small, safe thing that happens and the totally ignore the injustice, poverty and the general state on their own countries?

Muslim riotlist looks like:
Muhammad cartoons - check
Muhammad Teddy bear - check
Woman gang raped by Muslims - hey why wasn't I invited?
Suicide bombers - acceptable

Interesting that it is only minor situation or women involved when it get all out of hand.

UK government: Get the SAS troops in and bring this woman back to safety!!

kodiak73 said...

One of the sadder elements is that she CHOSE to go to Sudan because of her belief in tolerance and wanting to work with Muslims to help communicate that not all westerners think of Muslims as terrorists... Think she is rethinking her approach right about now? She was there to help break down walls and some of them just couldn't let that happen...

Anonymous said...

Concerning the Qu'ran and the Prohibition on Graven Images...

It seems important to point out that there is NO commandment against making images of living beings in the Qur'an. But it does make clear that nothing should be honored alongside God:

"God does not forgive the joining of partners with him: anything less than that he forgives to whoever he will, but anyone who joins partners with God is lying and committing a tremendous sin" (4:48).

ALL the Islamic injunctions against making religious images come from the Hadith, a collection of traditions recorded by various followers about their interpretations about what the Prophet said and did. It is the Hadith, and NOT the Qur'an that consistently prohibits images of living beings.

Another important item to note is that the Hadith prohibiting images DO NOT call for Muslims to take action against those who make images, but instead say that God will punish them severely at the Day of Judgment.

One exception to this rule is dolls for children, probably because children are not considered in danger of worshipping them as idols.

"Aisha played with dolls while her husband Muhammad was with her." (Sahih Muslim vol.4, book 29 ch.1005, no.5981)

(The above was taken from )

Incognito said...

LIZZE: Indeed Lizze. She had only been there for a few months of a 2 year contract. She'd always wanted to go there. Guess not anymore! And yes, it's usually women who bear the brunt of all the horrors of Islam. It's all so ludicrous.

KODIAK: Exactly.... I think she probably can't wait to get home. How can you be tolerant of a religion that is totally intolerant. Challenging.

Incognito said...

ANON: Thank you for that info! So they are misinterpreting the teachings? That's the trouble with religion in general, it is open to misinterpretation.

Lizze said...

The UK government is now to involved to get her released and back to the UK. 15 days sentenced might sound much (well, it does to me) but look at her "crime": Teddy bear called the M-word.

Reading the BBC new story, it says:
But 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.

Misdirection is oldest trick in the book to cover up your own faults.

Incognito said...

LIZZE: A western plot against Islam??? How do you even respond to that...

USpace said...

Well said! Green Ink has a great cartoon of a MoTeddy, THAT would get the European Muzzies rioting too.

This would make a wonderful Ramadan gift. A New Dark Age is Dawning has a link to them for sale at the Cafe Press store.

Calling these ignorant freaks in Sudan human garbage is just too kind. Oh so peaceful, effin SICK animals...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
give a pig a prophet's name

glorify the godly swine
and thank him for his bacon

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
outlaw all teddy bears

before some little kids
try to honor a prophet

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
pay your teachers with DEATH

for visiting to help out
your ungrateful country

Incognito said...

Great comment/poem USPace, thank you!!

Pooh said...

I've never seen the fuss; after all -- wasn't Winnie-the-Pooh himself, that most famous of bears, a Muslim, according to this article ... (warning: satire :-)