…now it’s teddy bears… What’s next?

As reported by msnbc.com:

Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, protested Friday outside the presidential palace in Khartoum, demanding the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, gave her class an assignment. Exerpts from the article describing the assignment are:

The case began with a classroom project on animals in September at the private school, which has 750 students from elementary to high school levels, most from wealthy Sudanese Muslim families.

Gibbons had one of her 7-year-old students bring in a teddy bear, then asked the class to name it and they chose the name Muhammad, a common name among Muslim men. Each student then took the teddy bear home to write a diary entry about it, and the entries were compiled into a book with the bear’s picture on the cover, titled “My Name is Muhammad.”

But an office assistant at the school complained to the Ministry of Education that Gibbons had insulted the prophet by comparing him to an animal or toy.

The teacher was subsequently arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation. What she could have been sentenced to could have been up to 40 lashes, six months in prison and a fine the charge of inciting religious hatred. The reaction to the verdict and sentence? Here’s some examples put forth by the article:

They (they demonstrators) burned pictures of Gibbons and called for her execution, saying, “No tolerance: Execution,” and “Kill her, kill her by firing squad.”

…the Muslim cleric at Khartoum’s main Martyrs Mosque denounced Gibbons, saying she intentionally insulted Islam…

“Imprisoning this lady does not satisfy the thirst of Muslims in Sudan. But we welcome imprisonment and expulsion,” the cleric, Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karouri, a well-known hardliner, told worshippers.

“This is an arrogant woman who came to our country, cashing her salary in dollars, teaching our children hatred of our Prophet Muhammad,” he said.

Hardline clerics who hold considerable influence with Sudan’s Islamic government, have sought to whip up public anger over the Gibbons’ case, calling her actions part of a Western plot to damage Islam.

Let’s stop right here for a reality check. Does anyone else see the absolute absurdity & lunacy of this event?

For the proponents of this “religion of peace” to state that their religion is tolerant in light of the above event shows that they are only tolerant on their terms. If anyone cares to browse the text of the Koran (found online in multiple places on the Internet), it will become painfully clear that these proponents are either liars or have no idea what they are talking about. In many places it states that the infidel and their ideas must be killed and otherwise not tolerated.

Note that the children named the bear, not the teacher, and the parents said nothing (and I’m presuming that the parents knew what was going on). Under the logic that these clerics are spouting, shouldn’t the children and their parents be punished too? No, let’s blame the foreigner because she didn’t enforce our religious law even though she doesn’t share our belief system. This is hypocritical beyond belief.

And yet these same clerics want to preach to their congregations to love Allah and Muhammed without reservation. Stop & think for a second – what is one of the most loved toys in the world? Teddy bears. Most of us that had one as a child usually have fond memories of our beloved bears bordering on unconditional love. Wouldn’t it serve the clerics better to build on fond childhood memories rather than raise a stink over a toy’s name? No, they would much rather build on the intolerance of others and hate of anything not of their own teachings.

And speaking of teaching, who hired a foreign teacher? A private school that caters to mostly wealthy Sudanese Muslim families. Could it be that (gasp) these same families wanted to provide a more rounded education to their children than the mindless obedience demanded by government-run religious oriented schools? Horrors!!

How about the name, Muhammed? So now a cartoon cannot be drawn depicting him nor a teddy bear named after him without igniting a firestorm of protests. What about all the unworthy (by the Koran’s definition) men that are named after Muhammed? If the name means that much to the Moslem world and should only be spoken in reverence & given to the worthy, isn’t it blasphemy to give the name to a potentially sinful, nonreligious person?

A cleric made the statement that the teacher’s actions were “part of a Western plot to damage Islam.” I’m going to have to disagree with that statement – the clerics and the rabid, intolerant followers are doing a fine job of damaging Islam all by themselves.

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