The Blasphemous Teddy Bear

Renee Obsidianwords
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The Blasphemous Teddy Bear

The Blasphemous Teddy Bear

When I first came across the title of this story I thought I would read about a recall on a stuffed toy that cussed when a string was pulled.

Now that would be cool and I would want to buy one! But, it is yet another story about the intolerance that can appear in Islam.

This makes me glad to be in America!  

Source: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1687755,00.html

 Copy of story:

It probably seemed like the most innocent of ideas to the newly arrived teacher from England, still settling into life in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. She asked her class of six and seven-year-olds to dress up and name a teddy bear, and keep a diary of his outings. She hoped it would provide material for projects for the rest of the year. And it might have, except for the name the children chose for their bear: Muhammad.

Now Gillian Gibbons, 54, is spending her second night in a Sudanese prison, accused of insulting Islam's Prophet. She faces a public lashing or up to six months in prison if found guilty on charges of blasphemy. And Unity High School — one of a number of exclusive British-run schools in the Sudanese capital — has been closed as staff fear reprisals from Islamic extremists. Robert Boulos, the school's director, said the incident had been blown out of all proportion, but added that the school would remain closed until January to let ill feelings blow over.

"This was a completely innocent mistake," he said in an office decorated with sepia photographs dating back to the school's colonial heyday. "Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam."

Police raided the school, where Gibbons also lives, on Sunday.

"We tried to reason with them but we felt they were coming under strong pressure from Islamic courts," said Boulus. "There were men with big beards asking where she was and saying they wanted to kill her."

A similar angry crowd had gathered by the time she arrived at the Khartoum police station where she is being held.

Unity, founded early in the last century, is one of several British schools run along Christian lines in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. Its high brick walls shut out the dust of everyday Sudanese life, transporting the visitor into the shady courtyard of an Oxbridge college or English private school. Many of its pupils come from well-to-do Sudanese families keen for their children to get the best education that money can buy. But Sudan is ruled by religious conservatives. Sharia law was introduced in 1991; alcohol is banned and women must wear headscarves. Convicted criminals are routinely flogged or executed.

The bizarre turn of events that led to the teacher's arrest began in September, soon after she arrived in the country, according to colleagues who have rallied in her support. Her young class was due to study the behavior and habitat of bears, so she suggested that pupils bring in a teddy bear to serve as a case study. A seven-year-old girl brought in her favorite cuddly toy and the rest of the class was invited to name him. After considering the names Hassan and Abdullah, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of Muhammad — the first name of the most popular boy in the class.

"No parents or teachers complained because they knew she had no bad intention," said Boulos. Until last week. Parents from another class raised concerns with the school. Then Sudan's feared police came calling at the weekend. Gibbons' colleagues said they feared a disgruntled member of staff may be using the issue to cause trouble.

Bishop Ezikiel Kondo, chairman of the school council, said: "The thing may be very simple, but they just may make it bigger. It's a kind of blackmail." Khartoum has exploded with anger at accusations of blasphemy in the past. Last year angry demonstrators denounced cartoons of the Prophet that appeared in Danish newspapers. And there have been protests at the actions of Zoe's Ark, a French charity accused of trying to smuggle children out of neighboring Chad.

Now everyone is waiting to see whether religious leaders or politicians will take their supporters onto the streets this time. Most parents arriving at the school gates were supportive of the British teacher. One mother, whose seven-year-old son was in Gibbons' class, said her family had not been offended by the name. "Our Prophet Muhammad tells us to be forgiving," she said. "So she should be released. She didn't mean any of this at all."

 

 

 


Nero
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I am pretty sure that the

I am pretty sure that the hindus did the same thing over "Yogi" bear. lol j/k This is yet another example of why it doesn't pay to help foreigners. Morale of the story: stay at home. Everyone else is batshit crazy.

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Gives me an idea for an

Gives me an idea for an Islam blasphemy challenge - name a pet dog or cat "Mohammed" and post something about it including a picture. I think a dog would be better because of the way Moslems see dogs, and Mohammed was supposed to have liked cats. Actually a pig would probably be good too!

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Another reason not to visit

Another reason not to visit muslim countries, lol.


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that'll teach her to try to

that'll teach her to try to help people. no good deed goes unpunished. but it was also kind of stupid on her part to go somewhere without knowing the laws.

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I think we should name a

I think we should name a blow up doll Marry and invite the Holy Spirit to knock it up.

Ok you hypersensitive PC dorks, this post is intentionally made to tick you off, to show you how absurd reacting emotionally to "name calling" is. Dont like it? Then have me arrested just like the Islamist zealots do for offending their god.

It is just as rediculous to me when an atheist cries "hate speech" when some stupid moron equates atheists to Hitler and wants them arrested.

Here is my point. People are either going to like you or they are not. You cannot control the emotions or thoughts of other people, you can only control the way you react to things you dont like to hear.

Merely being offended is not a reason to silence others. Even without the issue of religion in our daily lives, we have friends, family and co-workers and people we know say offensive things to us. 

I dont have my co-worker arrested for calling someone else I like an idiot. And I wouldnt have someone arrested(no matter how much I might like to punch someone) if they called my mother a whore.

I am responsible for how I react, I cannot forcably rearange the nuerons or thoughts in someone elses head. I can live above the pettyness of others and walk away from morons who say ignorant things. I can fight back with my own voice.

Allah with a bomb in his turbin, Marry bleading out of her ass on South Park, calling an atheist a Hitler lover, is going to offend someone. But SO THE F WHAT. People need to grow up and realize that creating taboos about blasphemy and criticism is the fastest way to screw yourself out of your own voice.

This is a perfect example of PC on steroids and I warn Americans, blacks, gays and Christians and atheists from taking that "dont offend me" PC crap and use law to inforce it. What happened in Sudan and happens all over the Middle East, can and will happen in America if we use goverment to protect our emotions rather than use our own voice.

"That doesnt happen here" is a complacent attitude. What it fails to take into account is that the past was not always the same and the future can change.

"Blasphmey laws are the first sign of tyrany"(forgot the source) So in order to maintain my right to say, "Jesus is fiction", which is considered offensive to Christians, I must, from an empathy standpoint as a human, maintain the rights of all, even the idiots who equate atheists to Hitler.

It is not from a evidentary standpoint by any means. Merely an understanding of human phycology. We all, as humans, want to have control over our own thoughts and dont like feeling like others are dictating the thoughts in our head.

That still leaves us, as humans, free to use persuasion(sp) or ridicule to make a point to detractors on either side.

This is an example of where the western worldd could head if they continue to insist on not offending anyone. The problem people seem to forget is that the powers that be may not be the powers that agree with them. The "dont offend me" attitude is what Hitler used to prevent competition to the state. The "dont offend me" attitude is is what is used by Islamic goverments to maintain Muslim theocracies.

Ending bigotry should not include creating taboos or demanding the silence of detractors. It is quite the reverse. Allowing for blasphemy and criticism and ridicule keeps everything in the open and allows all sides of any given issue to maintain a ballance so that a facist state cannot arise.

The extreem left and the extreem right are BOTH capable of creating a facist state, and the road to that state starts with laws demanding that no one be offended. Sudan, and this example SHOULD SERVE AS WARNING. 


 

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Idiot Muslims offended over Teddy Bear

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7114439.stm

Quote:
 

British officials are trying to secure the release of a British schoolteacher arrested in Sudan for letting her pupils name a teddy bear Muhammad.
Gillian Gibbons, of Liverpool, may face blasphemy charges for insulting Islam's Prophet. A conviction could mean six months in jail, 40 lashes or a fine.

Her colleagues said she had made an "innocent mistake" by letting the six and seven-year-olds choose the name.

British embassy officials have visited Ms Gibbons, 54, in Khartoum prison.

The toy was named in September as part of the class's study of animals and their habitats. But several parents made complaints to the authorities which led to Ms Gibbons' arrest on Sunday.

The school has now been closed until January for fear of reprisals.

Fellow teachers at Khartoum's Unity High School told Reuters news agency that they feared for Ms Gibbons' safety after receiving reports that men had started gathering outside the police station where she was being held.

The school's director, Robert Boulos, said: "This is a very sensitive issue. We are very worried about her safety. This was a completely innocent mistake. Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam."

Mr Boulos said Ms Gibbons was following a British national curriculum course designed to teach young pupils about animals and this year's topic was the bear.

Ms Gibbons, who joined the school in August, asked a seven-year-old girl to bring in her teddy bear and asked the class to pick names for it, he said.

"They came up with eight names including Abdullah, Hassan and Muhammad," Mr Boulos said, adding that she then asked the children to vote on a name.

Twenty out of the 23 children chose Muhammad as their favourite name. Mr Boulos said each child was then allowed to take the bear home at weekends and told to write a diary about what they did with it.

He said the children's entries were collected in a book with a picture of the bear on the cover and a message which read, "My name is Muhammad." The bear itself was not marked or labelled with the name in any way, he added.

One Muslim teacher at the independent school for Christian and Muslim children, who has a child in Ms Gibbons' class, said she had not found the project offensive.

"I know Gillian and she would never have meant it as an insult. I was just impressed that she got them to vote," the teacher said.

The country's state-controlled Sudanese Media Centre reported that charges were being prepared "under article 125 of the criminal law" which covers insults against faith and religion. No-one at the ministries of education or justice was available for comment.

In Liverpool, a family spokeswoman said Ms Gibbons' children, John and Jessica - both believed to be in their 20s - were not commenting on her arrest. It is seen as an insult to Islam to attempt to make an image of the Prophet Muhammad.

Cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad printed in several European newspapers sparked violent protests around the world in 2006.

 

 

I was particularly disgusted by the detail that there were mob of angry guys stalking the police station over it. Teddy Bears are serious business. Good job Sudan, your violent superstition has driven away a perfectly good teacher from your shit country. Furthermore, the school where she taught has been closed until January "for fear of reprisals." Congratulations, you're depriving kids of an education because you're offended by a teddy bear!

 


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You know you've got a

You know you've got a rational world view when your entire religion is this threatened by teddy bears and cartoons.

 Let's just discuss this over some nice bacon sandwiches and see if we can't come to a nice resolution... oh wait..


Jacob Cordingley
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British Teacher charged with blasphemy in Sudan

This has made headlines here in the last few days. So fucking stupid. Because her students called the class teddy-bear Mohammed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7118245.stm


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Are the students going to

Are the students going to get 40 lashes as well, or just the teacher since she made the teddy-bear naming a democratic process?

 

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I think the rrs should start

I think the rrs should start making teddy bears with mohamed on its tee-shirt to sell. Smiling


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Zombie wrote: I think the

Zombie wrote:
I think the rrs should start making teddy bears with mohamed on its tee-shirt to sell. Smiling

 

Awesome idea Smiling Maybe 3 Teddy bears on the front of a tee shirt, All three have a

"Hi my name is" sticker one named Mohammed one Jesus the other Teddy !

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Some parts of the world are

Some parts of the world are about 200/300 years behind the rest of us.  We once had blasphemy laws in the US. 

Although no one in English speaking nations would name their son Jesus it is common in Spanish speaking countries.  Go figure.

Come to think of it, if Jesus was a Jew why does he have a Spanish name? Laughing


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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/30/world/africa/30sudan.html?hp

According to this article, she was found guilty and sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation.

Looks like I know what vacation spots to avoid Laughing out loud

Your god's silence speaks loud and clear


latincanuck
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    Now they apparently

    Now they apparently 600 plus islamists that are demanding her death, yes people the a religion of peace that is demanding death because a teacher allowed 6 and 7 year olds to name a teddy mohammad, fuck mohammad i say, fuck islam too, nothing but an ass backwards, mentally retarded religion, far worse than christianity and judiasim (at least in neither of these religions have they asked for my death when insulting their views/god/messiahs/prophets) in the long run. This people is why one must fight constantly against those of religious faith, this can and has happened in the past, and present and we must fight against it for to stop idiotic, mentally retarding religious views from spreading.

    I want to see how many muslims will speak against what is happening in Sudan. Yes a corrupt religion, that started by force and by war has nothing to offer to todays civilization, any ancient religion has really nothing to offer to todays civilization, our moral system is far far different than from then.

    Aww well stuff like this pisses me off, and i cannot understand why muslims get pissed off because they are profiled at airports, by police and by the media in general, i guess when they have their heads in the sand they can't see squat. 


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Funnily enough the British

Funnily enough the British government has given £250 million in aid to Sudan since 2004. I wish my tax pounds didn't go to shitholes like this. Infact I've paid my share for Trident and not seen it in action, which I consider a waste. Perhaps Khartoum could be the first target. Sticking out tongue

I really despise these cretins who demand death and I'd love to see them get a taste of their own medicine.  The only thing to do is not to buy from, go to, or give aid to these cesspits of countries until they can learn to be civilised. 

 

 


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I want to see how many

I want to see how many muslims will speak against what is happening in Sudan.

Probably about the same number of Jews who spoke up when Rabbi Kahane was commiting terrorist acts in the US.

Probably about the same number of Americans who spoke up when our government was complicit in one of the worst genocides (on a population basis) since WWII. I am talking about East Timor.

Apathy is a terrible thing.

 


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I will readly admit to the

I will readly admit to the rightfull trend to bash the tribalism of the Middle East.

But, in western society as I have stated over and over, Christianity is not dead as far as ability to opress, merely dormant due to secular goverment. If you remove the goverments of the west that protect the public from theocracy by an insistance of not basing laws on one sect, or one religion, but based on comon consensus.....if you remove that leash preventing religion running western government, over time, we will end up looking as tribalistic, divisive and barbaric as the societies criticised RIGHTFULLY in this thread.

In rightfull condemnation of tribalists Islamist nut cases, we must not forget that there IS a Christian push, if so far only religated to the voting booth, if left unchecked, will set up a future in the west that if any one picks on Jesus, those in charge will behaive in the same mannor as what we see in the Middle East today.

My point is not to stop attacking Islam. My point is to point out human history. Right now we are looking at a region of the planet that is not used to the same leash that Christianity has been in the west. It is good that we criticise morons who think by blowing themselves up they will get a place in heaven. But their short term SUDDEN attention grabbing, takes away the focus from the long term goal of "play nice now, kick ass later" approach of Christianity in the west.

We must never forget weither it is through bomb or vote, that these clubs seek one thing, to be the alpha male where law is based on their narrow selfish view. 

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help me out here.  if

help me out here.  if islam bans any depiction of muhammed, and apparently naming anything muhammed is a crime, why is every third muslim named muhammed? 

 

i'm half convinced that the entire screwed up religion is simply a case of a bunch of people spending too much time in the sun and being irratible because they spend their entire lives with sand in their crack.   

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On an NBC Nightly News

On NBC Nightly News tonight, they showed news footage of the huge demonstration in Sudan that demanded the teacher's execution. Many were carrying weapons. One man looked into the camera waving a huge machete. Yahoo News reported that the number of demonstrators was over 1,000 and many were chanting, "Kill her! Kill her!"

This is so absurd it boggles the mind. The fact that this type of primitive thinking and barbaric behavior continues to plague our planet into the 21st century is frightening. Especially given the fact that some of these people are seeking weapons of mass destruction.

This is another example of how religion fucks with the brain.

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Let's put Muhammad Ali in

Let's put Muhammad Ali in jail, because he dared to insult the prophet by naming himself Muhammad!!!


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I've asked the question of

I've asked the question of a couple of Muslim friends (one of whom is named Mohammed. We call him Moe.)

Apparently, the view is held by many Muslims that naming your son Mohammed counts in your favour when yo shuffle off and your soul is judged.

It's OK to do this because like the other Abrahamic religions, Islam holds humanity to be seperate and superior to less intelligent members of the animal kingdom.

 Yesterday, two Muslim members of the British House of Lords travelled to Khartoum to lobby for the teacher's release - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7123420.stm

One wonders how much success they will have and if they will bring up the Darfur issue

Stop that... It's silly.


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Gauche wrote: that'll teach

Gauche wrote:
that'll teach her to try to help people. no good deed goes unpunished. but it was also kind of stupid on her part to go somewhere without knowing the laws.

While this whole issue borders on absurdly ridiculous - I take that back; it crossed that line from the get go - she really should have taken the time out to learn the culture before she went there.  If I was dumb enough to travel to a Muslim country, I'd make damn sure that I knew what all the laws were lest I end up buried up to my neck in sand with people chucking rocks at my head.   

Apparently there are some British-Muslim delegates that are currently in Sudan trying to secure her release.  And all over a fucking teddy bear.  

I've decided I'm going to name my toilet Muhammad...  

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Sadzaeater wrote: It's OK

Sadzaeater wrote:

It's OK to do this because like the other Abrahamic religions, Islam holds humanity to be seperate and superior to less intelligent members of the animal kingdom.

Such as teddy bears, for example.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


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Nero wrote:I am pretty sure

Note to self: check posting date before responding

Nero wrote:
I am pretty sure that the hindus did the same thing over "Yogi" bear. lol j/k This is yet another example of why it doesn't pay to help foreigners. Morale of the story: stay at home. Everyone else is batshit crazy.

Ditto

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)