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.