The brouhaha about Gillian Gibbons is interesting, not least because it confirms there are idiots in Khartoum as well as Whitehall. The British school teacher who whilst working in a primary school in Sudan, was accused of insulting Islam by allowing her seven-year-old pupils to name a teddy bear Muhammad. Ms Gibbons deserves a smidgin of blame for her current predicament, for we all must when guests in an another country be aware of the nuances and pitfalls that might befall us. Although we should not really heap that much blame on her for not being up to speed about the idiots who work within the Sudanese state bureaucracy. It seems pretty obvious to me that the crass stupidity; or bigotry of the kafir type displayed in this case by a tiny section of the Sudanese authorities has nothing to do with Islam, but simply demonstrated that nincompoops and opportunist’s lurk within all State bureaucracies.
If I were to be charitable I would put this down to a lack of knowledge by the legal authorities in Khartoum about the intricacies of the British people’s behavior. For the humble teddy-bear is held in the upmost esteem by all British people, whether Christian, Hindi’s, Muslim’s or non believers. Far from an insult to call ones teddy after the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, it is the highest complement a child can pay. As when the child becomes an adult, the memories of their teddy will be as sharp in their minds as any living being and will stay with them for the rest of their days.
Stop any adult on a UK Street and they will immediately be able to tell you the name of their first childhood friend, their teddy-bear. I suspect having decided by democratic vote to give their school teddy the name of the Prophet Muhammad, [peace be upon him] the children in the Khartoum school thought they were paying respect to a great man. Perhaps in the security of their own bedrooms Sudanese children are little different from their UK counterparts and also regard their teddies with great affection
As to Ms Gibbons who has now been sentenced to 15 days of jail time, I hope these day pass quickly and she returns to her home safely. Whilst to lose ones freedom is never nice I’m certain she will meet new friends, as prisons have many decent and kind people within them who for all sorts of reasons find themselves doing time.