An unsurprizing hardening of religion.

A British woman Gillian Gibbons has been arrested in Sudan after allowing a teddy bear to be names Muhammad, apparently as it is an insult to Islam.

Ms. Gillian Gibbons

  The reaction of the Sudanese is IMO ott, but I’m not surprised. The attacks on things seen as being in the ‘arena of Islam’ have been attacked by haters of Islam far too long already. It is only natural that the action brings about a reaction. I think we see that here.

What Should have happened is that

1) The teacher is initially briefed on issues which may be “Islamically sensitive” before she started work, although her past colleague says “Certainly she is also very worldly wise and she is obviously aware of the sensitivities around Islam.”, but still, ‘non club members’ are less likely to know all the club rules!

2) Once the ‘problem’ of the teddy bear was noticed the teacher should have had a consultation with the Head Teacher and advised it was better not to apply the name to an inanimate creature or object.

3) Have a recognized and respected religious scholar have a discussion with her about the issue.

4) Have the religious scholar and the head teacher have a discussion with the  parents concerned – possibly even ask for a UK scholar come over and discuss with her and the Sudanese authorities.

5) Have the Parents discuss the issue with Ms. Gibbon.  Gibbon is a non-Muslim, unlikely to know of all Muslim sensitivities, and this is likely to have made a mistake. A case like this should have been easy to ascertain  if there was malice involved.

According to the BBC (yes dangerous to accept what they say without scrutiny) the pupils named it Muhammed. The teacher may well have thought that ‘the kids may not have called it that if it was so taboo’. I myself have used the name Muhammad at times when I’ve need to draw up a ‘John Smith’ instant name simply doing so because it is popular and comes to mind so readily.

BBC said “It is seen as an insult to Islam to attempt to make an image of the Prophet Muhammad.”  This is what will be buzzing around in the heads of some Muslims. Thinking that the teacher (and not the pupils!) is saying the bear is the prophet Muhammad (saw) which surely is nonsense.

Besides, there is a story about one part of the life of the prophet, and that is, of a woman who used to throw rubbish on him. I see from that Sunnah that the very clear insult to the real live prophet wasn’t met with any action such as lashes, jail and a fine.

It seems to me that non-Muslims are reluctant to talk about this lest they be seen joining in on an attack (in some way) on Islam. So the Muslim community should speak out a bit more in cases like this. I remember the good Iranian people holding vigils for those killed when elements of the US government helped distinguish 3000 lives on 9-11 as well as inflict health problems on tens of thousands more. 

But with the ever shortening fuse of Muslims, snipped way by the nations of Zion, it is not so surprising these things happen and understandable that Muslims are generally quiet about such issues.

7 Responses to “An unsurprizing hardening of religion.”

  1. 1 StefZ November 27, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Without making any excuses for this business in the Sudan, it’s interesting to see just how much coverage this story, along with the antics of that buffoon-for-hire David Irving, received in the UK mainstream press yesterday – easily exceeding the BBC’s coverage of the latest UK Labour party sleaze scandal for example

    The Sudan thing is an over-reported storm in a teacup – there are much more portentious events taking place in the world at the moment

  2. 2 lwtc247 November 28, 2007 at 2:40 am

    Yes, fueling my suspicion that the much discussed ‘gatekeepers’, are highly concentrated in the profession previosuly known as journalism. To some it is known as “Moores philosophy”

    It’s being milked yes, but there is an issue there.

    But just like terrorism against western states springs forth from a vacuum so is the issue of Islamic radicalism, or at least that’s what the BBC tells me!

  3. 3 lwtc247 November 29, 2007 at 10:14 am

    Like the philosophical exam papers of old:


    [1]: But Sudan’s top clerics have 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.

    [2} Some Islamic leaders in Sudan said on Wednesday that the law should be applied against Gibbons.

    [3] The country’s top Muslim clerics pressed the government to ensure the teacher, Gillian Gibbons, is punished, comparing her act to Salman Rushdie’s “blasphemies” against the Prophet Muhammad.

    [4] Gibbons’ arrest was announced in Arabic on the state-run news agency’s Web site. No-one from Sudan’s government has so far commented on the decision.

    [5] xinhua – Not covered

    [6] Press TV (Iran) – Not covered

    [7] Muslimnews – Not No covered

    [8] The Hindu – Not coverend

    [9] Sudanese Embassy in London – Not Covered

    [10] “Khartoum North prosecution unit has completed its investigation and has charged the Briton Gillian (Gibbons) under Article 125 of the criminal code,” the Sudanese news agency SUNA said, quoting a senior Justice Ministry official.

    [11] Meanwhile Sudan’s embassy in London said the affair could still be resolved amicably — but underlined the cultural differences behind the decision to charge Gibbons.
    “We still say that it can be resolved in an amicable way through a fair hearing and fear investigation and fair legal system,” embassy spokesman Khalid al Mubarak told the BBC.
    The head of the Muslim Council of Britain said he was “appalled” at the decision to charge Gibbons.
    “This is a disgraceful decision and defies common sense,” said Muhammad Abdul Bari. “There was clearly no intention on the part of the teacher to deliberately insult the Islamic faith.
    “We call upon the Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir to intervene in this case without delay to ensure that Ms Gibbons is freed from this quite shameful ordeal,” he added.
    The Sudanese embassy spokesman declined to comment on the indictment. “It’s not for me to say if it’s sensible or not. This is now in front of the law and I should not interfere in the case or try to influence it in any way,” he said.
    “But a teddy bear {I think he meant bear in general} in your culture is different from a teddy bear in our culture,” he said.
    “In our culture a teddy bear is a wild and dangerous animal. It’s not something to be cuddled by children before they sleep. This is important to remember,” he said.


    [2] (Al Jazeera English)
    (November 28, 2007 — Updated 1742 GMT (0142 HKT))
    [11] (reporting AFP)

  4. 4 lwtc247 November 30, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Roumer has it that certain images of ‘her not so majestic majesty’ and Charles Darwin are rife on the streets of Khartoum.

  5. 5 steph December 2, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Whether it’s wrong from an Islamic perspective or not, the Sudanese government is a sovereign State, she’s had due process of law. We might consider those laws extremely harsh but she chose to work there. The British government’s behaviour has been highhanded, colonial and escalated the situation. I’m sure Britain’s support for Fur separatism has something to do with it.

    Instead of shouting the odds at the “fuzzy-wussies”, her Majesty’s Government might have quietly agreed to issue an apology for Kitchener’s Holocaust in the Sudan at a later date if she was released. I think they call it diplomacy. :)

  6. 6 lwtc247 December 3, 2007 at 7:04 am

    A vauluable statement of facts there Steph.

    You see Muslims, Blacks, Thai’s, Chinese, Indons and so forth are just too stupid to flirt with “Laws”, “Justice” and “Penal Codes”. They just don’t seem to get it that you only have justice when it sees darker skinned people languishing in jail and when it doesn’t appear as ‘odd’ in the minds of whitey.

    Can you remember (I’m sure you can!) the acidic spittle that shot from the mouths of British politicians and other ‘(mini)establishment’ figures at how foreign countries should not condem the knighthood of Salman Rusdie as Britian was a soverign country and nobody had the right to interfere with what the UK wanted to do?

    Oh how those tiny little vitriolic minds forget.

    Diplomacy? Hehehe, that reminds me of something David Icke likes to tell people about when Ghandi was asked about Western civilisation “It sounds like a good idea” he apparently replied.

    Britians Diplomacy, as I’m sure you may agree, rests at the end of muzzle.

  7. 7 lwtc247 December 4, 2007 at 6:04 am

    Disingenuous BS:

    Red faces in Sudan over teddy row
    By Jonah Fisher
    Former BBC Khartoum correspondent

    Noted: is the FORMER BBC correspondent
    But I haven’t the time to rip into this biased “journalist” (former?) spiteful post.
    Hopefully you can see it yourself.

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