"Islam Insult" teacher in Sudanese Court

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Beta Freak
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"Islam Insult" teacher in Sudanese Court

Post by Beta Freak »

A British teacher has appeared in court in Sudan charged with insulting Islam by calling a teddy bear Muhammad.

Gillian Gibbons was arrested on Sunday after a complaint was made to the Sudanese Ministry of Education that she had allowed her primary school pupils to name a class teddy bear Muhammad.

The 54-year-old, looking tired and distressed, was not handcuffed. Lawyers have said that if convicted, she could face 40 lashes, a fine, or one year in jail.

British embassy representatives met her from detention and accompanied her into the courthouse but were not allowed into court for the closed session.

The prosecutor-general said Mrs Gibbons, whose case has drawn international condemnation, can expect a swift and fair trial under Sudanese law.

Sudanese state media said Mrs Gibbons was being charged with insulting Islam, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs.

The defence has called several eyewitnesses including colleagues from Unity High School in Khartoum and a teaching assistant who was inside the classroom during the naming of the teddy bear, a defence source said.

Fellow teachers said they did not believe Ms Gibbons had intended to insult Muslims and had made an innocent mistake in endorsing a name chosen by the school children.

Downing Street has expressed surprise and disappointment at the charges against Ms Gibbons.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband is due to meet the Sudanese ambassador Omer Mohamed Ahmed Siddig to discuss the high-profile case.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said: 'We are surprised and disappointed by this development and the Foreign Secretary will summon as a matter of urgency the Sudanese ambassador to discuss the matter further.'

Mr Brown's spokesman said the purpose of the meeting was 'so we can get a clear explanation for the rationale behind the charges and a sense of what the next steps might be'.

'We will consider our response in the light of that,' he added.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said he was 'appalled' at the decision.

He said: 'This is a disgraceful decision and defies common sense.

'There was clearly no intention on the part of the teacher to deliberately insult the Islamic faith.

'The children in Ms Gibbons' class and their parents have all testified as to her innocence in this matter.

'We call upon the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to intervene in this case without delay to ensure that Ms Gibbons is freed from this quite shameful ordeal.'

© Independent Television News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.
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Absolutely ridiculous, shows how pathetic some people are. Its clear that she wasn't trying to be racist.
What are your thoughts on this? (Btw, if any racial comments are made, this thread will be locked and the poster warned.)
Last edited by Beta Freak on Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gnome
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Post by Gnome »

Absolutely ridiculous
I know.
I dont see it racist.

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Post by empireum »

Agreed. Totally over the top. I know why I am a die-hard atheist.

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Post by Bender »

empireum wrote:Agreed. Totally over the top. I know why I am a die-hard atheist.
Can you explain your position to me, as the concept of atheism is pretty foreign. If you don't want to post it, you can PM me, or ignore this question.
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Post by betaluva »

this has to qualify as "the stupidest thing i have read in 2007"
Last edited by betaluva on Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Vista Ultimate R2 »

It's completely crazy, yes - all it does is give people a bad impression of Islam, non-extremist Muslims already suffering from the generalisations applied to their religion because of what a few extremists who call themselves Muslims are like.


Fireware wrote:
empireum wrote:Agreed. Totally over the top. I know why I am a die-hard atheist.
Can you explain your position to me, as the concept of atheism is pretty foreign. If you don't want to post it, you can PM me, or ignore this question.
Atheism is just someone that doesn't follow any religion, which would describe me too. Possibly it's more common in Europe than the US, I don't know.



Religion is always a dangerous subject to have on the forums as people have such strong views on it, especially if there's any indication that their religion is being insulted. It does seem to lead to a lot of problems in the world because people feel so strongly about it, and I tend to be a bit cynical about it like believing that it was often a way of controlling people in the past (and even today in some parts of the world), but that's just me, I don't think we should really discuss this as religion discussions do always get out of hand.
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Post by Jeff »

This (the story) is completely stupid.

BTW, I am religious, but atheism doesn't bother me because I am surrounded by it everyday. It's pretty common in the us too.
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Post by flashstar »

I don't think that I've ever met someone who was atheist. Maybe I just don't get out enough.

However, I personally believe that religion is a good thing in general. I can't imagine believing that when you die, you just cease to exist.

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Post by happy dude »

She obviously didn't mean it - I think all she should have to do is write up a simple apology, didn't mean to offend, and not to do it again.

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Post by betaluva »

why should she say sorry? , she didnt do anything wrong.

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Post by happy dude »

Correction - she didn't mean to do anything wrong.
People now want her killed by firing squad.

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Post by longview »

happy dude wrote:Correction - she didn't mean to do anything wrong.
People now want her killed by firing squad.
That's silly, they just want to whip her a couple of times to release the anger built up against the west and women.
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