Teddy-bear crisis in Sudan

December 3, 2007 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

The Sudanese government seems to have averted a human-rights outrage that would have been prompted by a schoolteacher’s religious offense.

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir pardoned Gillian Gibbons, a British schoolteacher jailed for naming a teddy bear “Mohammed” after she received input from her class of 7-year-olds.

“Although there is no ban in the Quran on images of Allah or the Prophet Mohammed, Islam’s founder, some Muslims consider likenesses highly offensive,” CNN reported.

Gibbons faced two charges in a Sudanese court: “inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs,” CNN reported. “Gibbons had initially faced the possibility of 40 lashes and a six-month jail term for insulting Islam.”

President al-Bashir made a compassionate decision in pardoning Gibbons. But a little more compassion is needed for others involved in this crisis. Gibbons gets to go home, but what about the education of the students of her school, which has since been shut down? What of its faculty and employees, now presumably jobless? And how will all this affect children who saw their teacher imprisoned over a teddy bear?


Entry filed under: international politics, islam, news. Tags: , , , , , , .

Frames of reference: YouTube, Kucinich Patriots’ defense delights

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