British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

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Chezzie
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Chezzie »

A British primary school teacher is in a Sudanese jail facing 40 lashes if she is convicted of insulting Islam's prophet by letting children name a Teddy bear Muhammad.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, is in a Khartoum prison cell after being arrested on suspicion of blasphemy on Sunday. Ms Gibbons, who taught primary-age children at the Unity High School in Khartoum, allowed her class of seven-year-olds to name a Teddy bear Muhammad as part of a lesson about animals' habitats.

Muhammad is sacred to Islamic philosophy and the penalty for blasphemy is 40 lashes, a large fine or a jail term.

As the British Embassy in Khartoum confirmed Ms Gibbons' arrest and a possible prosecution, her neighbours in leafy Aigburth, Liverpool, spoke of their shock.

Peter Sorensen, 64, a retired maintenance worker, who lived next door to Ms Gibbons for more than 20 years, said she had dedicated her life to teaching children.

He said: "Gillian was a very nice person and wouldn't harm a fly. It is ridiculous what has happened. She left a note before she left saying she would see us at Christmas so she was planning on coming back."

Mr Sorenson lived next door to the teacher and her two children John and Jessica, believed to be in their mid-twenties, for more than 20 years. He said: "She will be going through hell in jail over there."

Ms Gibbons moved to Sudan after the break-up of her 32-year marriage to Peter Gibbons, also a teacher. He was unavailable for comment.

A spokesman for the British Embassy in Khartoum said: "The children chose the name because it is very common here. This happened in September and the parents did not have a problem with it. We are in contact with the authorities here and they have visited the teacher and she is in a good condition."

A source close to the school said one teacher was angered by the naming of the Teddy bear and complained to the headmistress. Ms Gibbons's children declined to comment about her arrest.
Kittypaws
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Kittypaws »

How come it always seems to be WOMEN getting lashes in these places?? Does it turn the men on??
koan
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by koan »

just because those are the stories that the media focuses on.

there are two men in S Arabia undergoing 7000 lashes each for being homosexual.

they have already been receiving their lashes in installments.
Kittypaws
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Kittypaws »

Then that is just as barbaric as the reason for that woman getting lashed ...
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Chezzie
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Chezzie »

The headteacher - who I believe is a Muslim - is highly supportive of the teacher and is horrified about what has happened to her, and thinks it has blown out of all proportion. As he explained in an interview, the children chose the name not only because it is extremely common there but also because one of the most popular boys in the school is named Mohammad and they explained they wanted to call it after him.

Most boys are called Mohammed but a child's toy cannot be. :confused:



Apparantly, she may now face more serious charges of sedition, even though the child Mohammed who the bear was named after (and apparantly had suggested the name) has come forward in her defence.
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SuzyB
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by SuzyB »

I think it is terrible for the poor woman, I just hope that something can be sorted out and she is released asap.

:(:(
I am nobody..nobody is perfect...therefore I must be Perfect!





koan
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by koan »

it's very bizarre, as was mentioned, the name is extremely common.
Kittypaws
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Kittypaws »

I guess the reason why this whole incident has been blown out of proportion is because a female is involved ... our gender count for very little in such places ...
mikeinie
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by mikeinie »

And this is a religion that claims they believe in peace and love. They lack tolerance, respect for woman and anything else human.

Christians and Jews get a slagging all the time, say anything about Muslims and they want to kill you, or whip you. I can’t believe that they are still in the stone ages the way that they are.
Kittypaws
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Kittypaws »

mikeinie;726785 wrote: And this is a religion that claims they believe in peace and love. They lack tolerance, respect for woman and anything else human.

Christians and Jews get a slagging all the time, say anything about Muslims and they want to kill you, or whip you. I can’t believe that they are still in the stone ages the way that they are.


They especially have NO respect for women ... anyone ever read Princess??
freetobeme
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by freetobeme »

7000 lashes for being homosexual - Mien gotte I wonder how many installments and if they could survive that. I suspect the teacher wouldn't survive 200 lashes either. Barbaric doesn't cover it, it's horrifying.





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RedGlitter
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by RedGlitter »

Hell, they'll beat them for anything it seems. I am supposed to be tolerant and understanding of such an ignorant culture? I don't think so! I'm calling it.

And yes, I read Princess Sultana. Great book, sad, sad though.
Mia
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Mia »

All I can say is thank God we live in the West.The narrow minded bigrotry of these countries are appalling.
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crazygal
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by crazygal »

This is so awful.. Another reason why (sorry to those who are religious) but I think most religions are ridiculous. I spoke with a Muslim the other day who wants a pet dog but said he isn't allowed because he is Muslim, PATHETIC!
wigintwat
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by wigintwat »

Muslims are nothing short of animals! they're all the same!
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abbey
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by abbey »

wigintwat;726944 wrote: Muslims are nothing short of animals! they're all the same!That's a very broad statement!

Of course they're not all the same. :rolleyes:
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Nomad
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Nomad »

wigintwat;726944 wrote: Muslims are nothing short of animals! they're all the same!




Please select one

A. Bored

B. Stupid

C. Hereditary

D. All Of The Above
I AM AWESOME MAN
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Chezzie
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Chezzie »

MSNBC News Services

updated 10:46 a.m. ET Nov. 28, 2007

KHARTOUM, Sudan -

A British teacher has been charged with inciting hatred, insulting religion and showing contempt of religious beliefs after her class named a teddy bear Muhammad, state media said on Wednesday.

"Khartoum north prosecution unit has completed its investigation and has charged the Briton Gillian (Gibbons) under Article 125 of the criminal code," SUNA said quoting a senior Justice Ministry official.

In London, a British Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that Gibbons had been charged and officials said Foreign Secretary David Miliband was calling in the Sudanese ambassador over the affair.

"We are surprised and disappointed by this development and the foreign secretary will summon as a matter of urgency the Sudanese ambassador to discuss this matter further," Prime Minister Gordon Brown's official spokesman said.

Earlier on Wednesday, three British embassy officials and a teaching colleague from the Unity High School where Gibbons worked were allowed to visit her for 90 minutes.

"I can confirm that we have met Ms. Gibbons and she said she is being treated well," said British consul Russell Phillips. "We remain in close contact with the Sudanese authorities on this case," he said, declining to give further details.

Gibbons was arrested Sunday and, if found guilty of insulting religion, could be punished with a whipping of up to 40 lashes, a fine or six months in prison.

On Tuesday, a Sudanese embassy spokesman in London had indicated Gibbons might soon be freed.

"The police is bound to investigate," embassy spokesman Khalid al-Mubarak told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "I am pretty certain that this minute incident will be clarified very quickly and this teacher who has been helping us with the teaching of children will be safe and will be cleared."

Gibbons was arrested after one of her pupils' parents complained, accusing her of naming the bear after Islam's prophet and founder. Muhammad is a common name among Muslim men, but giving the prophet's name to an animal would be seen as insulting by many Muslims.

School apologizes

Several Sudanese newspapers ran a statement Tuesday reportedly from Unity High School saying the administration "offers an official apology to the students and their families and all Muslims for what came from an individual initiative." It said Gibbons had been "removed from her work at the school."

In the first official comment on the case, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday played down the significance of the case, calling it "isolated despite our condemnation and rejection of it."

Ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadeq said it was an incidence of a "teacher's misconduct against the Islamic faith" but noted the school's apology.

The statement from the school in newspapers called it a "misunderstanding." It underlined the school's "deep respect for the heavenly religions" and for the "beliefs of Muslims and their rituals," adding that "the misunderstanding that has been raised over this issue leads to divisions that are disadvantageous to the reputation of the tolerant Sudanese people."

The school has closed for at least the next week until the controversy eases. The Unity High School, a private English-language school with elementary to high school levels, was founded by Christian groups, but 90 percent of its students are Muslim, mostly from upper-class Sudanese families.

The school's director, Robert Boulos, told the BBC that the incident was "a completely innocent mistake. Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam."

I really really feel for this woman who has gone out Sudan to help and gets treated like this. I thought we lived in the 21st century, mind you we are talking about a country that still has slavery and treats their own with less compassion than a gutter rat.
911
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by 911 »

Where's Amnestity International?

Don't they help out in situations like this anymore?
When choosing between two evils, I always like to take the one I've never tried before.

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Kittypaws
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Kittypaws »

What really p's me off is that the world just sits back and does nothing simply because it isn't p c to criticize muslims because they may withhold their oil ...

Are the western leaders any better than the leaders of saudi arabia and similar states if they remain silent?
RedGlitter
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by RedGlitter »

Maybe not in your and my eyes, Kittypaws; but the US keeps getting browbeaten to stay out of the rest of the world's affairs. Read some of the older posts around here and you'll see what I mean. We are supposedly the cause of all that's wrong in the world because we keep "butting in." :rolleyes:
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Bryn Mawr
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Bryn Mawr »

RedGlitter;727460 wrote: Maybe not in your and my eyes, Kittypaws; but the US keeps getting browbeaten to stay out of the rest of the world's affairs. Read some of the older posts around here and you'll see what I mean. We are supposedly the cause of all that's wrong in the world because we keep "butting in." :rolleyes:


There's a massive difference between making your opinions know and invading the country and hanging it's leaders.

No-one objects to vocal objection - most people object to military bullying.
RedGlitter
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by RedGlitter »

Bryn Mawr;727523 wrote: There's a massive difference between making your opinions know and invading the country and hanging it's leaders.

No-one objects to vocal objection - most people object to military bullying.


So would you be saying there's no middle ground between letting our opinion be known and military action?
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Bryn Mawr
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Bryn Mawr »

RedGlitter;727545 wrote: So would you be saying there's no middle ground between letting our opinion be known and military action?


all I'm saying is that the objection is not to speaking out it's to acting as judge, jury and executioner.
Kittypaws
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by Kittypaws »

Bryn Mawr;727523 wrote: There's a massive difference between making your opinions know and invading the country and hanging it's leaders.

No-one objects to vocal objection - most people object to military bullying.


And this is why even their own women who have not invaded any country or hung any leaders are treated like dogs?
gmc
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British woman facing lashes over Muhammad teddy bear

Post by gmc »

911;727391 wrote: Where's Amnestity International?

Don't they help out in situations like this anymore?


What do you suggest they do? If issues like this concern you are you a member?

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