She's Lucky It Wasn't a Stuffed Pig

Gillian Gibbons, a British teacher at a private school in Khartoum, was arrested on Sunday for insulting Islam because she had her 7-year-old students vote on a name for the class teddy bear, and they picked Muhammad. The possible punishments for this offense include up to 40 lashes and up to six months in jail. A spokesman at the British Sudanese embassy in London says, "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." Well, not exactly cleared:

Several Sudanese newspapers ran a statement Tuesday reportedly from Unity High School in Khartoum where Gibbons taught, 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.''

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  • ed||

    I think the officials were ticked off because she let the kids vote,
    and voting, as we know, is an infidel concept.

  • Kolohe||

    voting, as we know, is an infidel concept.

    Nah, only for the womenfolk is it sacrilege.

  • BakedPenguin||

    For anyone having trouble w/ the NYT site, here's a different link to the story from the BBC.

  • Russ 2000||

    It's also scary that 7-year olds are already so indoctrinated that they came up with Mohammed. It'd be like a class of 7-year olds in America naming it Jesus.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Russ 2000 - the kid who came up with it, named it after himself.

  • ||

    So people can be named Mohammad, but teddy bears cannot? I see.

  • shecky||

    It's also scary that 7-year olds are already so indoctrinated that they came up with Mohammed. It'd be like a class of 7-year olds in America naming it Jesus.

    Jesus is fairly common name here in L.A.

  • ||

    There was some great skit on Mad TV, I think, with a hick cop puling over a hispanic driver, demanding his driver license and being enraged that the poor guy had "Jesus" as his first name, accusing him of having a fake ID among other things...

    Comedy gold.

  • DavidS||

    Latest reports suggest that she will in fact be charged with an offence, rather than released.

  • PantsFan||

    Would a teacher in Omaha name the class Teddy bear Jesus?

  • ||

    Huzzah for adherents to The Religion of Peace!

  • Theophanes||

    You morons. Muhammad is a common name for people in Sudan. It's not like a teacher in Omaha naming a stuffed animal Jesus. It's not even like a Mexican teacher naming a stuffed animal Jesus. It's like the Omaha teacher naming it Peter, or Paul or something else biblical. The only difference is the images of the prophet thing...

  • McClane||

  • Episiarch||

    Would a teacher in Omaha name the class Teddy bear Jesus?

    No, Cain. And Glenn Danzig would show up and sing about blood streaming from its forehead to the ground.

    "I'm running a little low on the blood front right now."

  • DavidS||

    It seems she's been charged on two counts: insulting religion and inciting hatred.

  • joe||

    But, but fundies blow up abortion clinics here! What about Matthew Shepherd??? Haters!!!

  • Mike Laursen||

    It seems she's been charged on two counts: insulting religion and inciting hatred.

    Inciting hatred? Here in America our children hug their teddy bears. What the heck are the children doing with their teddy bears in Sudan?

  • Reinmoose||

    clearly this is sufficient grounds for invading

  • ||

    Joe, I don't see anyone around here giving our own home-grown fundie whacknuts a free pass.

  • BakedPenguin||

    So people can be named Mohammad, but teddy bears cannot? I see.

    It would be darkly comic if Sharia law was interpreted that any use of the name Mohammed (and its variants) was idolatry. I could see the Mullah police in the less enlightened Muslim lands going around arresting everyone named Mohammed, beating and jailing them until they're no longer named Mohammed.

  • ||

    The kids voted on the name. Frankly, I'd say that's one of the less objectionable names I've heard kids come up with.

    What's being done to this teacher, is all the evidence I need to conclude that Sudan is a backwards third-world douchetopia, with no resemblance to civilization.

  • Callforjustice911||

    Forget the teddy bear... how about naming a pet pot belly pig "Muhammad"? Oh that would insult Islam?

    How about the fact that it would actually insult the pig?

    Oh, BTW, how about naming the pig "Allah" before slaughtering it for bacon? The Islamic so called "god" is actually Satan-- An entity filled with hate for anything that even resembles the Jewish faith or Christianity or to any that ascribes to those faiths.

    In fact they (Islamic fundamentalists) hate any that ascribe to any other faith than Islam which is inspired by Satan.

    Says it all really...

    Callforjustice911

  • ||

    Isn't it about time for superstitious people all over the world to grow the fuck up? They're talking about physically assaulting a middle-aged woman because they got their poor widdle feewings hurt.

    Fuck them.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I understand the student came out in the teacher's defense. So now I'm sure the authorities will do the reasonable thing. Whip the student.

  • TR||

    turn Sudan to rubble

  • ||

    CallForJustice911--

    If you want to be taken seriously, please leave the 1990s and enter the new century by putting your homepage on the real internet. Geocities doesn't count as the real internet. Nor does Angel Fire. Oh, and you might want to switch from AOL.

  • ||

    I wonder if this would even be an issue if the teacher wasn't from the U.K. (or from a similarly infidelistic country). I suspect not.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    Isn't it about time for superstitious people all over the world to grow the fuck up?

    Not all "superstitious people" find what the Sudanese government doing is right, especially in this case. Generalizations... generalizations, generalizations...

    Remember when all those Ron Paul supporters got angry about the nazi thing, I am sure all those "superstitious people", including myself, are unhappy about the generalizations that many on this thread are making.

    How do we not know that it was not for some classic political/propaganda blitz that this thing (not the actual lashing part of it, that is gruesome and plain stupid, but the naming teddy bear Muhammad) did not go out of proportion and the government had to do something about it to appear legitimate again.

  • PantsFan||

    People are named Jesus all the time here too.

  • Sudanese Villager||

    I hope they sentence her to defloration and then 200 lashes.

    I've got a blue pair and can't wait to bust this nut!!

  • ||

    "...is all the evidence I need to conclude that Sudan is a backwards third-world douchetopia, with no resemblance to civilization."

    Um...I think there was ample evidence previously available, but kudos for "douchetopia."

  • ||

    and voting, as we know, is an infidel concept.

    Nonsense. The Islamic Democracy 101 textbook states the principle clearly. One man, one vote, once.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    One man, one vote, once.

    Here is Islam 101 you won't here about: the first 4 Caliphs and in fact Muhammed himself was essentially "elected" in a consensus-based process called "bay'aa". Don't understand the fetish the terrorists (and many in the West) have with Islamic Jihadi terrorism but not concepts like "bay'aa"? Live in the dark ages, my friends, live.

  • ||

    The Islamic world shows once again they live in the 16th century.We now have a country that won't allow women to drive in Washington as a player in Middle peace talks.

  • ||

    Since it was the children who voted to name the bear, aren't they the ones responsible? i think the only logical thing to do is behead them all on video, or at least cut of their hands. Right?

  • Gillian Gibbons||

    You guys thought I named the bear after Mohammed the prophet? No. I named him after Mohammed Howard, the greatest of the Three Stooges.

    Now that that's cleared up, can I go?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Jesus (Hey-Seuse) is fairly common name here in East L.A.

    There, fixed that. :-)

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    And some people think they hate us because we stick our noses into their business.

  • ||

    turn Sudan to rubble

    But how could we tell?

    The Islamic Democracy 101 textbook states the principle clearly. One man, one vote, once.

    No, in keeping with the literalist textual principles of Islamic thought, the only question raised by "one man, one vote" is, who is the man?

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    J sub D:

    Since you brought it up:

    The whole system of Islamic State from its inception to the selection of the head of the state and all those in positions power as well as its dealings must be conducted by shura [consultation/election], whether it is carried out directly or indirectly through selected or elected representatives. The Qur'an states: "Their affairs are decided by consultations between them" (Al Shura, 42:38). Even the Prophet (s) although he was the recipient of direct guidance from the Supreme Allah, was commanded: "Consult them in affairs (of moment)" (Al Imran, 3:159). Following this advice and lead, Khalifah Omar (r) admonished: "There is no khilafah without consultation." (Please refer to Kanz al ammal, vol. 5, and Hadith number 2354).

    Thus the practice of shura was the mechanism followed at all levels in the selection of political leadership by Muhammad (s) and his followers. It was the Islamic community that selected the first four rightly guided khulafa, although the method of selection and the process of approval differed. The essential principle was consent and confidence of the community and the accountability of those selected before the community. Even afterwards when the heredity rule crept in that violated this community right, a facade of bayaa, or community's acceptance of rulers was still maintained.

  • ||

    I had a pig, his name was Mohammed, he was very delicious.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    I came across that previous excerpt here:

    http://www.muslimaccess.com/articles/misc/islamic_governance.asp

    Don't know much about the remainder of the site, but they were referenced on wiki.

  • DavidS||

    Re punishing the children. Some of the Sudanese contributors to the BBC's website have suggested just that:

    "The children themselves should be punished for having chosen the name of our great Prophet for a lowly bear. The teacher was misguided, whereas the children were malicious. They must be brought to answer for their blasphemy."

    "The children voted as well. They should lock them up too, as a lesson to anybody who insults Prophet Muhammad."

  • Rhywun||

    iih, not to be rude or anything, but what's your point? Regardless of what happened over 1000 years ago, there is little that resembles "election" or "freedom" in the Islamic world today, and the religion itself is used to justify all sorts of restrictions and injustices. Call that a generalization if you wish.

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    ZIG ZAG:

    A HORSE NAMED MOHAMMAD IS EVEN TASTIER. AND IT HAS THE EXTRA BENEFIT OF MAKING "MNG" HYPERVENTILATE!

  • ed||

    Good thing she didn't go with her original choice of "Rushdie".

  • ||

    Minion of URKOBOLD;

    I am honored to incur your wrath. Now please help me clean the Coca Cola off of my monitor.

  • ||

    Here is Islam 101 you won't here about: the first 4 Caliphs and in fact Muhammed himself was essentially "elected" in a consensus-based process called "bay'aa".

    iih, that was sooo long ago. Lebanon once had a functioning democracy, but that was when it was more religiously diverse than today. Turkey has a funcional democracy today, sputtering but functional. Indonesia is making strides in that direction as well, but I'm somewhat pessimistic about the people's chances there. There aren't any other positives that come immediately to mind.

    The problem, as i perceive it, is that Islamic societies have never divorced religion fron governance. See your refernces to Muhammed and caliphs. Your thoughts?

  • ||

    Well, I'm sure this will make First World teachers come to Sudan in droves. Nice work.

  • Kunal||

    There's a British embassy in London?

  • ||

    Unfathomable...

    If flogging happens, it will just be one more piece of evidence that we live in an absurd world.

    Someone call Amnesty International.

  • ||

    Hey, it does say that! Huh.

  • ||

    mediageek,

    That, obviously, wasn't me upthread.

    Just another one of the vanquished, I suspect.

  • DavidS||

    There's a British embassy in London?

    It was actually the Sudanese embassy in London.

  • ||


    DavidS | November 28, 2007, 12:10pm | #

    Re punishing the children. Some of the Sudanese contributors to the BBC's website have suggested just that:

    "The children themselves should be punished for having chosen the name of our great Prophet for a lowly bear. The teacher was misguided, whereas the children were malicious. They must be brought to answer for their blasphemy."

    "The children voted as well. They should lock them up too, as a lesson to anybody who insults Prophet Muhammad."



    I should hope so.

    I wouldn't want my contribution to the Lt. William Calley Kill the Children Fund not to go to use.

  • I\'m here all week||

    It seems she's been charged on two counts: insulting religion and inciting hatred.

    Sometimes the bear eats you.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    iih, not to be rude or anything, but what's your point?

    See my blog for the point (click my name). What happened 1000-1400 years is not necessarily irrelevant.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    iih, that was sooo long ago.

    Sure, but that there were some bright spots in the history of Muslims a long time ago should not take away from their legitimacy. Knowing what I know about the "average" Muslim psyche (not the terrorist ones... the rest of them --the silent majority), I would argue that the best way to fight extremism in the Muslim is through: (1) justice, (2) appealing to the dynamic and evolutionary nature of historic Islam, and (3) trade not war. These bright spots in the history should not be dismissed as irrelevant, but should be revived from within (by people like me) to correct the path.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    The problem, as i perceive it, is that Islamic societies have never divorced religion fron governance. See your refernces to Muhammed and caliphs. Your thoughts?

    Of course they have up until 200-250 years ago or so. See Rose Wilder Lane's Islam and the Discovery of Liberty

    In case you do not know who that is, see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Wilder_Lane

    Rose Wilder Lane (b. December 5, 1886, De Smet, Dakota Territory - d. October 30, 1968, Danbury, Connecticut) was an American journalist, travel writer, novelist, and political theorist. Although her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, is now the better known writer, Lane's accomplishments remain remarkable. She is noted (with Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson) as one of the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement and is also considered one of the seminal forces behind the American Libertarian Party.

  • Dave Woycechowsky||

    It's like the Omaha teacher naming it Peter, or Paul or something else biblical.

    It is more like a Germany teacher naming it Hitler, or a Libertopia teacher naming it Fidel. Taboos can come from other places besides religion. This one just happens to come from religion.

    But, but fundies blow up abortion clinics here! What about Matthew Shepherd??? Haters!!!

    and John Kerry has people electrocuted for talking too long at his speeches. This one just happens to come from fundies.

  • ||

    Yes, but see, freedom of religion does not mean freedom FROM religion. ;-)

  • Rhywun||

    iih, maybe I will check that book out; it looks interesting.

    Your thousand-year purview and boundless optimism are commendable. But as an atheist homosexual whose partner was forced to return to a Muslim country (Malaysia) and be subject to many of that country's injustices despite not being a Muslim himself, I take a more personal, less optimistic view.

  • ||

    Sure, but that there were some bright spots in the history of Muslims a long time ago should not take away from their legitimacy.

    You know me better than that. I'm aware of why the classics from ancient Greece are available today. I'm aware that in Indonesia and the Phillipines (Mindanao)the Muslims did not conquer, but converted the locals (using trade for those libertarians out there). My concern is for the lives of muslims in the world today. It's sad to say, for the most part, it's a sorry lot.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    J sub D:

    I know you very well by now ;-) And I agree with your last statement. My argument is that by appealing to these historical bright spots, the sorry lot would be more interested in improving themselves. (I would argue that they are not all a sorry lot. It is a big mix of reformers, agnostics, indifferent, and the radicals --most lie in the "indifferent" lot, sd to say but not as sad as if I had said they are all in the radical lot).

  • ||

    most lie in the "indifferent" lot

    iih, good points. "Indifferent" isn't a muslim thing but a people thing. Most sheep are content as well. [sigh]

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    J sub D:

    Even more dangerous than the indifferent sheep are those indifferent sheep who are not aware that they are indifferent and think that they are doing the right thing, while their doing nothing but add to the BS and noise. Worse, they do have the power to change things (voting, democracy?), but they choose to change them to the worse. They are misguided sheep! ). Think 2004.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    J sub D:

    BTW, feel free to call me Ali. I will make the change from iih to Ali eventually, but smoothly. I guess, Eric was right about that one.

  • ||

    And some people think they hate us because we stick our noses into their business.

    TWC, was that supposed to be sarcastic? Is the implication that physically assaulting - actually torturing - a human isn't the business of all humanity? Even without the silly superstitious reason for the punishment, the resultant penalty alone cries out for universal denunciation. But, perhaps I misunderstand your comment?

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    Rhywun:

    I apologize, I hadn't realized till now that I have not responded. but, that is why I truly believe that some form of "libertarianism" could work very well in Islam (i.e., acceptable) in order to avoid such horrors as the ones you describe. It is a hard formula to solve and defend, but doable over time. I (and others) have some ideas that are brewing on matters like life style, drugs, abortion, etc., vis-a-vis Islam.

  • iih (aka Ali)||

    Let me qualify this. So far I have convinced myself that the strictest Muslim devouts should have no problem surviving as a minority in a libertarian society while living by their strict interpretations of the religion. The reverse (i.e., when Muslims become a majority) is harder to formulate, but I see formulas where liberty and Islam can coexisted without violating the tenets of the religion. It will take time to come up with the right formula AND convince (the silent "sheep") Muslims that it won't violate their religious sensitivities.

  • ||

    She is so going to make tons of money selling signed Mohammed Teddy Bears on ebay. Maybe she can work a deal with One Laptop Per Child. Call it OMTBPC. I'd do that buy 1 give 1 thing in a minute.

  • ||

    Query: So, what happens to the teddy bear?

  • Robert||

    Couldn't the teacher have just taken another vote? Or once the students voted for Mohamed once, was the teacher fucked?

  • Callforjustice911||

    Cesar | November 28, 2007, 11:21am wrote:| #
    CallForJustice911--

    If you want to be taken seriously, please leave the 1990s and enter the new century by putting your homepage on the real internet. Geocities doesn't count as the real internet. Nor does Angel Fire. Oh, and you might want to switch from AOL."

    Well, Cesar...

    There are some out there, Islamofascist's that take me seriously enough so that I must protect my identity.

    They would like to chop my head off, and I have gotten e-mail to that effect.

    The fact of the matter is we in the West have not woken up to the threat that these sub-humans wish to impose on all of us. Kuffar worthy of death because we who are enlightened cannot accept the Koran as the word of god, which it isn't.

    For those that have not read it, it is full of hate for any that do not believe their stinking rotten religion. It puts down women, it puts down any that fail to submit to their faith. Listen to their mullahs... they spew out disdain for Western Civilization. And they encourage their followers from children up to strive not for life but to become martyrs (murderers) for their faith.

    Martyrs... HA!

    The Christian idea of martyr is one that speaks their faith and is persecuted for it-- usually put to death by others for their belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    The Islam (Islamofascist) idea for martyr is one that straps on a bomb and blows it and himself to smithereens in a crowd of innocents.

    And the mullahs preach the love of death for their santanic god, allah rather than living the life that the real God gave them.

    I am reading the Koran now, and what a piece of trash it is. Everyone needs to critically understand what this perverse book represents, and how if it is taken as it is written, as the islamofascists have, what lies ahead for Western Civilization.

    They intend to destroy us, just as certainly as Hitler intended to take over Europe, and with his Axis forces the world at large. They made no bones about it. Fortunately for us our last generation took the threat seriously.

    Now we are sleeping. We have not yet woken up to the islamofascist threat that we face.

    A teacher is going to get a lashing and maybe six months in a Islamic jail (where she will most likely be abused in the worst way). We protest. But look at what Islamics demand of us? We as a people (Kuffar) walk softly in the face of their demands.

    They come to our country, many wearing the garb of their faith. Few find jobs, live in poverty, and then in the case of some European countries riot in the streets for their Islamic rights. Well, if they wish to live among us, they must also take our culture as it is. That means dress as we do, but all the while they can practice their faith in their homes and in their mosques. But now... that is not what they want... They come to our countries with an agenda... To subdue us with their numbers.

    When will we wake up and stand up to these bastards.

    Who are they to impose their religion on us?

    And Islamics make outrageous demands that we respect their stinking pig sh*t religion, yet they can defile ours, our people, blow up our buildings, threaten us with death unless we submit...

    And we walk softly so as not to "upset" them?

    I sure hope that when the next mega attach against the West occurs, either U.S. or Europe that we as members of Western Civilization wake up--- AND FIGHT!

    They want to die and be martyrs as their wish in life-- fine...

    Let's oblige them.

    Callforjustice911

  • Callforjustice911||

    Robert | November 29, 2007, 1:15am | # wrote:
    "Couldn't the teacher have just taken another vote? Or once the students voted for Mohamed once, was the teacher fucked?"

    She will be as you say "fucked" once she winds up in that Islamic prison. The islamofascist guards there can do anything they want to a kuffar... those that do not accept Islam. They even do it to those that are Islamic, if they don't take the hard line and wind up in their prisons.

    Callforjustice911

  • Callforjustice911||

    Now those Islamic bastards over in Sudan are crowding the streets demanding this woman's EXECUTION!

    Why because the mosques over there and the Islamofascist leaders in those mosques are stirring up the people to make the demand.

    When is the West going to wake up!

    We are at war with Islamic culture, a sinister, evil religion that has made quite clear that they intend to wipe us out.

    If we don't wake up and fight them--- they will do as they intend and we will roll over and die.

    Where is our Winston Churchill today, where are those that will stand up and say it like is? He saw the threat of NAZI'ism right from the start. And he was strident is speaking out about it, yet Europe and British government sought "appeasement" to avoid war...

    But as Churchill predicted... War came.

    We are in the same boat now with a far greater threat than NAZI'ism ever was. We try to appease and the Islam shits on us...

    Bush should have gone to the American public and a joint session of Congress and declared all out war against Afganistan and Pakistan. And in so doing asked for the American people to flood the armed services and finish this war right from the start. Those are the countries that started this... Taliban and all. And just look at Pakistan now? Islamofacists are trying now to take over the country! And that country has the A-bomb!

    And the U.S. and the West stand by and do nothing.

    When we finally wake up to the threat that Islam poses to us, and finally go to all out war... Maybe history will look back at Bush and Blair as Churchill's of our time.

    Callforjustice911




    Callforjustice911

  • Islam is not compatible with l||

    These types of events have become commonplace in the Islamic world. Unfortunately another act (or absence thereof) is just as commonplace: the lack of disapproval of such acts by so-called "moderate" muslims (a species that scarcely seems to exist). Rather, what is more common is a defense of these barbarians by their coreligionists. Frankly, it has gotten to the point that westerners should just steer clear of any country with a majority Islamic population.

    "Couldn't the teacher have just taken another vote? Or once the students voted for Mohamed once, was the teacher fucked?"

    That naming a teddy bear Mohammed placed her in this position in the first place is beyond fucking insane.
    However, I am doing my part every time one of these incidents occurs. I wipe my ass with a page from the Quran and I burn a picture of Mohammed.


    "Here is Islam 101 you won't here about: the first 4 Caliphs and in fact Muhammed himself was essentially "elected" in a consensus-based process called "bay'aa". Don't understand the fetish the terrorists (and many in the West) have with Islamic Jihadi terrorism but not concepts like "bay'aa"? Live in the dark ages, my friends, live."

    I am curious, is this the same Mohammed who spread his religion by the sword, utterly destroying those who refused to follow him? Is it the same Mohammed who preferred "women" who in today's day and age would still be watching Sesame Street? To claim Mohammed was some sort of middle eastern proto-democrat is an assertion so fucking absurd it is hilarious.

  • Robert||

    Is it as soft as Cottonelle?

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