Monday, November 26, 2007

Some Days the Bear Eats You

Teddy’s bearAs every American schoolboy knows, the teddy bear was originally called “Teddy’s Bear”. The earliest teddy bear was a popular stuffed toy manufactured and sold in New York in the early 20th century after a bear cub became associated with President Theodore Roosevelt via a well-known political cartoon.

Mr. Roosevelt had developed a thick skin from his years in the rough-and-tumble of American politics, and he didn’t particularly mind his name being given to the teddy bear.

But the same can’t be said of Mohammed, who has taken great offense and sent his zealous servants to exact revenge: a British schoolteacher in Sudan faces prison and flogging for naming her pupils’ stuffed bear “Mohammed”. From today’s Daily Mail:

British teacher faces 40 lashes in Sudan for naming a teddy bear Mohamed

A British teacher is facing 40 lashes from police in Sudan where she has been accused of insulting Islam after naming a Teddy bear Mohamed.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, was being questioned at a police station in the capital Khartoum.

She had been working at one of the city’s exclusive British schools for the past three months since giving up her job in Liverpool.

Police arrived at the old-fashioned brick and stone buildings of the Unity High School on Sunday to arrest Miss Gibbons after a complaint from parents that she had named the bear after Islam’s most holy prophet Mohamed.

An angry mob shouted death threats as she was taken away.
- - - - - - - - -
The school remained closed yesterday and children were sent home for fear of reprisals from Islamic extremists.

Robert Boulos, the school’s director, said the teacher had made an innocent mistake.

“We have lost one of our best teachers. She was maybe a little naive but she really had no idea what she was doing.”

The teddy bear had been brought to school by one of Miss Gibbon’s six and seven-year-old pupils as part of a project.

They were asked to take the bear home each weekend and keep a diary of his activities.

The class voted on a name and settled on Mohamed — also the name of one of the most popular pupils.

“No parents or teachers complained because they knew she had no bad intentions,” said Mr Boulos.

“She has done nothing wrong but now we are very concerned that there’s a risk to the school and the students from the men in the street.

He added that the problem only came to light last week after parents complained to the ministry of education.

The school would stay closed until January, he said.

Miss Gibbons faces six months in prison, a fine or 40 lashes if convicted of insulting the Prophet Mohamed.

There’s much more background at the full news story.

Notice that the little children themselves are the ones who named the bear. I wonder what punishment they will face…

Hat tip: HTP.


Ed Mahmoud said...

They really are children, aren't they. The Religion of Petulant (and homicidal) Children.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

When people try to talk about "Moderate" Islam, or how not all Muslims are terrorists etc., they miss the point.

THIS is the sort of behavior that we can EXPECT from Muslisms, and this sort of behavior is not compatable with western ideals and free nations.

Henrik R Clausen said...

I don't get it. 'Muhammad' was a nickname (it means 'The praised one'), not a given name.

Muhammad's given name was Qutham, according to Spencer. Or, in a more complete form, Qutham b. Abd Allah b. Abd al-Muttalib.

We should try using this instead of 'Muhammad'. Is sure to cause some fun :)

One remarkable detail in his ancestry is that his father was named 'Abd Allah', which means 'Slave to Allah'. Qutham (Muhammad, if you prefer) didn't introduce worship of Allah, far from it. Allah had been worshipped at Mecca for at least 9 generations before him, and Qutham actually started out by introducing Yemenite gods to the mix and reviling the Meccan gods.

Only in AH -3 did Qutham accept the gods of Mecca (Allah, al-Uzza, Manat and many more) along with his own, and adopted the prostration we all know. His (few) disciples did likewise, and after everyone prostrated themselves in the Kaaba, there was (presumably) no significant strife in Mecca. Qutham had been awarded money, women & prestige for the deal, which lasted 3 years.

Then he was kicked out of Mecca, declared war on all of mankind at Al-Aqabar, and moved to Medina, where he apparently kept worshipping several gods (they're mentioned in the opening of every Sura except the 9th). Some Muslims participating in the traditional Hajj and Umra pilgrimages to Mecca which had been going on for generations.

Only 6 years later, at Hudaybaiah, did Qutham finally accept the idea that there is no god except Allah.

These changes of allegience are somewhat unflattering, I'd say.

Conservative Swede said...

I wonder what Mona Sahlin would say about this?

"I wouldn't want my children to have an Islamophobic teacher either. It's a question of credibility. I support the flogging, this will teach her better ways and to follow the Swedish educational plan."

Unknown said...

Should parents be punished for naming their children Mohamed?

Should the children be punished for voting to name the teddy bear Mohamed?

How many people were killed during the "Cartoon Jihad"?

Is there any limit to this madness?

RISE_UP said...

Off topic.(this one at least)
Something very interesting over at GCP Go read it and make your own observation. I made mine.

Henrik R Clausen said...

"Should parents be punished for naming their children Mohamed?"

Now, that's an idea, actually...

Ed Mahmoud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Mahmoud said...

Preview is indeed my friend:

Zombie is an important part of LGF. I doubt she can speak more, because Charles doesn't brook much dissent from the official LGF party line.

A snip of my comment from that GCP thread, however:

I shan’t comment further on the blatant hypocrisy of attacks on some posters who choose to remain anonymous on blogs, and Zombie. Of course she needs to remain anonymous (she is probably female, but nobody knows for certain) or she couldn’t continue to photograph for Zombietime, and after the Mohammad art exhibit over at Zombietime, her physical safety could be jeopardized.

Unknown said...

If I may veer off-topic for just a second I want to want to point out something I saw on LGF:

(Hat tip: Ashamed to be Dutch.)

How long do you figure someone commenting under the moniker "Proud to be Dutch" would last over there? Even EtNorskTroll who makes some very lucid arguments (which I do not necessarily agree with) comments under an implicitly self-deprecating moniker.

Sodra Djavul said...

islam o'phobe:
(Hat tip: Ashamed to be Dutch.)

How long do you figure someone commenting under the moniker "Proud to be Dutch" would last over there?

That truly is a shame, islam o'phobe. But it's classic leftist sentiment coming home to roost. Momentary flashes of truth rarely yield lasting vision.

Charles "turned to the right" on 9/11, as did Lex, but both are sliding back toward the same self-loathing cores from whence they sprang.

Despite my angst over all of this, and my displays of anger toward some constituents of the dull-witted lynch mob mentality at LGF, I don't think anyone should diminish the valuable work of either blogger.

But I still think we're witnessing a very natural schism between the two schools of thought, aptly described because the origins of this schism will be found well before 9/11 was even a gleam in Osama bin Laden's eye.

These are Leftist tactics. Being used in classic Leftist form against ideological opponents with whom they are unable to win an argument. This is not divine revelation granted to Charles Johnson to eradicate Nazi sentiment, this is Charles Johnson finally revealing his core.

- Sodra