Sudan and the teddy bear blasphemer

You’d think that the Sudanese would be embarrassed that their police arrested British teacher Gillian Gibbons for allowing her class of seven year olds to name a teddy bear Muhammad, a crime that called for 40 lashes, and that the Sudanese authorities, in order to save their reputation before the world while saving their face as Muslims, dispensed with the lashing but still sentenced Gibbons to 15 days in jail. You’d think the Sudanese would be embarrassed that this poor woman has to serve 15 days in jail, let alone that she was threatened with 40 lashes. Well, you’re wrong. As far as many Sudanese clerics and their followers are concerned, 40 lashes would not have been enough punishment, not nearly enough. The AP reports:

KHARTOUM, Sudan—Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad.”

In response to the demonstration, teacher Gillian Gibbons was moved from the women’s prison near Khartoum to a secret location for her safety, her lawyer said.

The protesters streamed out of mosques after Friday sermons, as pickup trucks with loudspeakers blared messages against Gibbons, who was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in prison and deportation. She avoided the more serious punishment of 40 lashes.

They massed in central Martyrs Square outside the presidential palace, where hundreds of riot police were deployed. They did not try to stop the rally, which lasted about an hour.

“Shame, shame on the U.K.,” protesters chanted.

They called for Gibbons’ execution, saying, “No tolerance: Execution,” and “Kill her, kill her by firing squad.” [cont.]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 30, 2007 01:19 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):