NEW FEATURE: VOTE & EARN NEATOPOINTS!
Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!


Woman Faces 40 Lashes for Teddy Bear Named "Mohammed"

British teacher Gillian Gibbons, 54, is in a Sudanese jail facing 40 lashes if convicted. Her crime? She let her class of 7 years old name a teddy bear Mohammed:

Ms Gibbons allowed her class of seven-year-olds at the Unity High School in Khartoum to name a teddy bear Mohammed as part of a lesson about animals' habitats.

Mohammed is sacred to Islamic philosophy and the penalty for blasphemy is 40 lashes, a large fine or a jail term. The British Embassy in Khartoum confirmed the arrest.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,70131-1294365,00.html - Thanks James Laughton!


why should it teach her its not as if she meant to do it. She didn't know it was offensive, and anyway it was the kids idea to call it muhhamed so if your going to give anyone 40 lashes make it the kids!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Well that sucks, sadly this is sort of a no brainer if your going to live in such places. She is lucky they have the time/fine possibilities.

The gut reaction 'zomg those savages' has little room versus 'zomg what an insult' when your obviously in a very theocratic society.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
similar story... when i was in 4th grade, we had a class mouse that was white. after a long polling of potential mouse names, we decided on "spooky" because he was a white mouse, yunno, like a ghost. we got lots of parent complaints because it was too close to "spook," a common racial slur against black people way back when. so, we had to change the name. i forget when we ended up calling it, but "spooky" was apparently offensive... to the parents who didn't even have to interact with this mouse...

now that i think of it, wouldn't that be a great way to get rid of racial slurs and maybe racism altogether? if you don't tell your children what the words mean, they won't know the difference because they won't use those words and offend anybody. am i wrong?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
It's absurd, people who think that was an offence deserving a prison sentence or capital punishment need to grow up and live in the real world.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Hpavc, this is savage behavior whether someone is or is not in a theocratic society. There's no moral justification for this; it's simply the kind of human rights abuse you can expect from a religiously intolerant society.

If you really think that physically assaulting someone is an appropriate response to feeling insulted (implied or deliberate), then you'd probably be better off living in a country like that.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
From her school website: The School is administered by a Council whose members represent the different Christian denominations found in the city. The School is a non-profit making, charitable institution financed by school fees and donations.

So it's a Christian school. Very intelligent then to make fun of Mohammed ...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Naming your child Muhammad is different from creating an image of him. It's an insult to the faith. I'm astonished she didn't know actually. It's such a basic factoid. Hell, I learned that one as a kid, and I'm just some white Christian girl.

Having said that, naming a teddy Muhammad is really in a grey area in my opinion. A fellow Muslim teacher expressed that she wasn't offended by it. While that's only one person the BBC took comment from, it suggests that it might be a grey area for Muslims too.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Should have named it Mohammed's Stinky Butt. Anyone who would voluntarily live in that part of the world should be whipped just to knock some sense into them.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Why do these people get so upset about this? Why does every blasphemy have to be punished so severely? Why does this victimless crime have to result in such uproar? What's wrong with just writing a strongly-worded letter to the Times and being done with it?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Because it is in an exercise in control. The people in power want to control the thoughts of others by bullying them. It is a method that has been used since history began. Think of things like the Spanish Inquisition and the mistreatment of Galilieo Gelilei by Rome and you get the idea. Think how I think, or you get a beating or worse. It's just that the West has grown out of it sooner (or so we would like to think) than some of the Muslim countries.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I'm still trying to get my head around the mindset that exists in the middle-east. Remember when the President of Iran stated there were no homosexuals in Iran? Or when death sentences were imposed against Salmon Rushdie and the Dutch cartoonist who drew Mohammed? Perhaps Ms. Gibbons should feel fortunate that she hasn't had a publicly announced bounty placed on her head. Maybe she would have if the bear looked more like Fozzie Bear than a Boyd's Bear. Afterall, people with this same mindset declared that images of Miss Piggy offended Islam as the pig is an unclean animal. But then we all knew that from Kermit years ago. After all, why do you think he wouldn't hit that pork butt?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Wow. Pretty unbelievable that some of us are perfectly willing to justify the barbaric behavior of a government towards another human being simply because she should've "known better". Chalk another one up for "tolerance" and the Religion of Peace....
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Dale :"It’s absurd, people who think that was an offence deserving a prison sentence or capital punishment need to grow up and live in the real world."

->Hum. THIS is the real world. It's absurd and violent.

This teacher needs to read more books about the country she's living in...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
While I think it is intolerant and a gross overreaction, a teacher has to exercise common sense when living in an intolerant society.

You don't see a lot of hamsters or teddy bears named Jesus in school.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Holly:
similar story… when i was in 4th grade, we had a class mouse that was white. we decided on “spooky” because he was a white mouse.... we got lots of parent complaints because it was too close to “spook,” a common racial slur against black people way back when.

To everyone else who thinks the that the English teacher's punishment is cruel and unusual, that's something to think about. Everyone has a rule that's 'absurd' to someone else. Don't call them barbarians. After all, the response to 'spooky' could be termed uneducated, uncultured, secretly racist, etc.

If you live in another person's country, you follow their rules, however strange they may seem. In some countries, cops say please, in others, they taser you. Some countries make flying easy, while others treat you like a potential terrorist because you happen to be the wrong color. Some countries give you a talking to for having drugs, others hang you. Barbaric? Uncivilized?

Consider this too: if you poked a sleeping lion, do you blame the lion for mauling you? That's the way things are, and you either learn the rules or you pay the price. So certainly she should have known better.

BTW, I don't support the punishment.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
hahaha im so glad she's getting wipped. morality and all that is based on culture, so different cultures see things differently. I wouldn't want fucking christians invading my land trying to shove jesus down my throat, so i think she's getting what she deserves.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Sam, what you're talking about is cultural relativism, and it's a very dangerous philosophy. Sentencing this woman to be whipped or imprisoned for the victimless crime of blasphemy is not excusable because it is Sudanese culture to punish people like that. Morality has to be based on more than just culture, and it is.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
That does it. From now on, all my insults will be blasphemies against mo-fucking-hammed, is-fucking-lam, and all-fucking-ah.
And, I will wipe my ass with pages of the Koran, for good measure.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Hey Sam, suicide bombings are culturally acceptable in "palestine", yet they generally take place in Israel. Should Israelis just accept this cultural "im"morality of the "palestians"?

It's an easy question with only one answer.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
What does that have to do with anything i said? But yes, i think there needs to be more wars around here. What a stinking shitty ass little war we have going on. I want a BIG ONE! With lots of killings and bombs and blood oo i hope the world ends
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
that has nothing to do with what i said. But on another note, I think there needs to be more wars, bigger ones with more killings and bombings and blood.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
As a Muslim, I find it insulting Mr. T and Lester for you to say that. I get its a free world and all but you should also respect others beliefs. My entire family is a group of diverse religions, we have Catholics, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhist, so I have grown up to accept everyone for who they are. So plz, show respect to all religions, even if you don't agree with it.

Now, I think its absurd for her to get 40 lashes on something so silly. I understand it is a Christian school, but the students chose the name, they should have just changed it. Also, there are many non-Muslims who have the name Muhammad, so I think this punishment is unjust. But if the intention was to make fun of Muhammad and using the bear as a tool to do so, then there should be a punishment, but not that. The government should just deport her from the country.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
1) She got 15 days in prison instead of whippings, and she'll be deported once her sentence is served.

2) It wasn't so long ago in the West that 'blasphemous' and 'sinful' things could get you thrown in prison. In fact, if you can believe it, anal sex is illegal in many places in the US still.

3) Aren't there *people* named Mohammed? Did their parents insult the prophet, or does this have something to do with making idols?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Islam is a peaceful religion. But those radicals that want the teacher dead are Terrorists! They do not follow God they follow Satan! The TEACHER is INNOCENT 100% and those IGNORANT Mobsters that want her dead should be taken into prison and they had better repent to God for desiring the execution of an Innocent Teacher!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
They should spend more time and outrage worrying about the horrid state of their government before they go making such a huge intolerant stink over a teddy bear.

I think since I live in the good ol' USA I'm going to go re-name my dog to make a statement. Oh Muhammed, here Muhammed...nice doggie.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 34 comments




Email This Post to a Friend
"Woman Faces 40 Lashes for Teddy Bear Named "Mohammed""

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
 
Learn More