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."