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Death Over a Teddy Bear!??!

Reader comment on item: Not Child's Play: The Teddy-Bear Intifada

Submitted by gary fouse (United States), Dec 4, 2007 at 23:35

This week's events in Sudan really have to make the rest of the world shake their heads in wonder. A 54-year-old British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, who had recently arrived in Sudan, has been arrested by Sudanese authorities. Her crime? It seems that as part of her lessons on bears to her class of 7-year olds, she had the pupils bring in teddy bears to class. As part of the lesson, the children were asked to choose names for the teddy bears. The children chose the name, Mohammed for one bear, and all hell broke loose. It seems that naming a teddy bear Mohammed is an insult against Islam. Accordingly, Ms Gibbons has been arrested and charged for blasphemy- or whatever they call it.

During the ensuing diplomatic crisis between Sudan and Britain, it was reported that the unfortunate lady was facing a maximum punishment of 6 months in prison, plus 40 lashes! Apparently, diplomatic efforts have paid off (to some extent). Ms Gibbons has been sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation.

Not content to leave well enough alone in the face of world-wide shock, the Sudanese have in the past 24 hours carried out a massive demonstration in the heart of beautiful downtown Khartoum-demanding the execution of the British lady as just punishment for insulting Islam. Of course, it should be pointed out that such a demonstration in Sudan (which is under dictatorial rule) would not be possible without the consent-if not the direction of the government. So now the world is treated to the usual scene of outraged Muslim mobs in the streets shouting "Death to All!" (or something like that).

First of all, what kind of country is this Sudan, where a 54-year-old woman would even have to spend 15 days in jail for such an "offense"? Well, for starters, this is the same Sudan where a quarter of a million people have been slaughtered in the Darfur region by killers supported by the government-an atrocity that continues as we speak. This is one of the most odious regimes in the world today.

Then we must ask: what kind of mentality leads people to demand death for naming a teddy bear Mohammed? How about a barbaric 7th Century mentality?

I am not a Brit, but if I were, I would be demanding that my government break off relations and all aid to such a nation. This is not the first outrage that the UK has swallowed at the hands of a 4th rate banana republic. Remember Idi Amin's Uganda? Remember the murder of a British policewoman by riflefire from the Libyan Embassy in London? Remember the British sailors held hostage by Iran? Whatever happened to the Britain of Margaret Thatcher? I remember when Argentina seized the Falkland Islands from the Brits, and Thatcher sent in the troops to take them back by force. Sadly, the Brits are bending over backwards to placate radical Islam-even in their own country.

And what about the so-called moderate Muslims? Why aren't other Muslim governments speaking out against their Sudanese brethren for bringing further embarassment to Islam? Are British Muslims demonstrating against the Sudanese treatment of a British subject in the name of Islam? Well, probably not since they prefer to wave banners reading, "Behead those who insult Islam!"

Frankly, I am up to here with the sight of Muslim mobs all over the world jumping up and down, shaking their fists, burning other nations' flags and demanding death to people they don't like. It is high time that Muslims join the 21st Century and start acting like civilized people instead of 7th Century barbarians. As for the so-called moderate Muslims, it is past time to stand up to the crazies and re-establish Islam as a religion worthy of respect.

As for Ms Gibbons, I pray for her safe return back to civilization. Sudan does not deserve the help of people like her. Her experience should be a lesson to other westerners who feel compelled to go and serve people who don't appreciate it.

gary fouse

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