Lashes for Teddy Bear Woman?
By Karl Maier and Kari Lundgren
(Bloomberg) The British teacher convicted by a Sudanese court of insulting Islam and sedition after she allowed pupils to name a teddy bear Muhammad will be deported after serving a 15-day jail sentence, the U.K. said.
Gillian Gibbons, 54, was sentenced today to serve 15 days from the day of her arrest on Nov. 25 and then will be expelled, Omar Daair, a spokesman for the U.K. Embassy in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, said today.
"We are extremely disappointed," he said. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband summoned the Sudanese ambassador to London after the verdict was announced, Daair said in a telephone interview.
Gibbons allowed her class of 6- and 7-year-old children to name the toy bear used in a school project in September. Muhammad, the name of Islam's prophet, was the most popular choice. The pupils were studying animals and their habitats. Several parents complained later to the authorities that the project had insulted Islam.
"I am very disappointed she has been found guilty," Louise Ellman, the lawmaker who represents Gibbons' home area of Liverpool, in northwestern England, said in an interview today. "Perhaps there is some relief that the sentence could have been harsher. I hope she will be released as soon as possible."
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When Gibbons still faced the lash, a British Nationalist blogger named Green Arrow made a point:
Personally in my opinion, anyone who wants to go work in a country that is ruled by Sharia Law is barking mad and that being the case should not be allowed to teach a parrot let alone children.
So I have no sympathy for the British Teacher facing 40 lashes in Sudan for naming a Teddy bear after some dead paedophile called Mohammad, who used to suffer from hallucinations.
However being reminded of the War of Jenkins' Ear, I think we should say to Sudan, you put one hand on that silly woman and we will expel every Sudanese person in Our Country, stop all your foreign aid and generally rain on your parade. But thats just me. Our Dhimmi government will do nothing. Maybe pay for the plasters afterwards.
The War of Jenkins' Ear (1739-1742) broke out over allegations of Spaniard abuse of British seamen, and led to the invasion of Spanish Florida.