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  • 21


     
    Lashes for Teddy Bear Woman?
    Political Correctness; Posted on: 2007-11-26 10:05:46 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    British teacher faces lashes in Sudan after class teddy bear is named 'Muhammad'

    White Liberals Charged in Adoption Case

    Rob Crilly of The Times in Khartoum

    A British primary school teacher arrested in Sudan faces up to 40 lashes for blasphemy after letting her class of 7-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad.

    Gillian Gibbons, a 54-year-old mother of two from Liverpool, was arrested at her lodgings at Khartoum's Unity High School yesterday, accused of insulting the Prophet of Islam.

    Her colleagues said that they feared for her safety after reports that groups of young men had gathered outside the Khartoum police station where she was taken and were shouting death threats.

    The Unity school is a Christian-run co-educational private school that teaches both Christians and Muslims and is popular with Sudanese professionals and expatriate workers.

    Bishop Ezekiel Kondo, chairman of the school council, told The Times that the school was in dispute with authorities over taxes, and suggested that Ms Gibbons, who arrived in Khartoum in August, may have been caught up in that. "The thing may be very simple but there are people who are trying to make it bigger. It's a kind of blackmail," he said.

    Another source at the school blamed another teacher, from a well-connected Khartoum family, who had raised the issue with the headmistress but was rebuffed and decided to complain.

    Teachers at the school, in central Khartoum only a mile from the River Nile, said that Ms Gibbons had made an innocent mistake by letting her pupils choose their favourite name for the toy as part of a school project.

    Robert Boulos, the Unity director, said that Mrs Gibbons was following a British National Curriculum course designed to teach young pupils about animals and their habitats. This year’s animal was the bear.

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    News Source: The Times of London

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