2007-11-29 Teddy bear teacher gets 15-day prison term in Sudan
'Teddy bear' teacher gets 15-day prison term in Sudan
“A Sudanese court found a British teacher guilty of insulting religion and sentenced her to 15 days in prison Thursday for allowing a teddy bear to be named "Mohammed," British authorities and her lawyer reported. ... Gibbons, 54, was arrested Sunday after she asked her class of 7-year-olds in Khartoum to name the stuffed animal as part of a school project...” In other words: a class of 7-year-olds picked the name, and the teacher got 15 days in prison for allowing it, because this was considered an insult to religion.
- If I were religion (assuming religion is somehow self-aware and capable of having its feelings hurt), I think I'd find the idea of someone else meting out punishment in my name to be insulting. Also, what about all the people named Mohammed? What punishment did their parents receive? Calling this a crime seems rather arbitrary, and more like the flexing of authoritarian muscles than any kind of genuine religious outrage (if there is such a thing). W.
- 2007-11-29 commentary