Sudan embarrasses Islam with ridiculous charges

NY Times:

The Sudanese government decided Wednesday to charge a British primary school teacher with blasphemy, inciting hatred and insulting Islam after she allowed her 7-year-old students to name a class teddy bear Muhammad.

If found guilty, the teacher, Gillian Gibbons, who taught at one of Sudan’s most exclusive private schools, could be sentenced to six months in jail and 40 lashes.

“She will be brought in front of a judge, and now she must prove her innocence,” said Rabie A. Atti, a government spokesman.

The British government responded by summoning the Sudanese ambassador to the Foreign Office in London.

“We are surprised and disappointed by the developments,” said Omar Daair, spokesman for the British Embassy in Khartoum, the capital. “This isn’t the way we were hoping it would go.”

The charges were made as Sudanese government officials continued to resist efforts to deploy peacekeepers in Darfur and accused several Western countries of being anti-Islamic.

On Tuesday, the British ambassador to the United Nations asked the Security Council to address warrants against a Sudanese official and a militia leader accused of war crimes in Darfur, a troubled region of western Sudan where more than 200,000 people have died. Some Sudanese analysts wondered if charges had been filed against the teacher in retaliation.


It is hard to imagine circumstances more likely to bring ridicule to Islam than the preposterous charges of the Sudan government against this teacher. If Sudan wants to make Islam look ridiculous they are succeeding. The charges brought against the woman are an insult to the world's intelligence and to Islam itself. Those responsible for these charges against this woman should be charged by the International Criminal Court with idiocy.

The American Islamic Conference has slammed the Sudan action in the Teddy Bear case.

“We denounce this fabricated outrage,” stated Nasser Weddady, the organization’s Civil Rights Outreach Director. “The Sudanese government’s ridiculous case trivializes the feelings of Muslims around the world.”
Good for them. British Muslims also object to this nuttiness.


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