Daily Revolt

November 30, 2007

Teacher Convicted for Muhammad Teddy Bear in Sudan

This is frightening. Will the world succeed in standing up to fanaticism:
A Sudanese court convicted a British teacher Thursday of insulting Islam for letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad and sentenced her to 15 days in prison, avoiding a heavier punishment of 40 lashes. The teacher wept in court, insisting she never meant to offend.

The sentence and quick seven-hour trial were aimed at swiftly resolving the case, which had put Sudan's government in an embarrassing position — facing the anger of Britain on one side and potential trouble from powerful Islamic hard-liners on the other.

The defense said the case was sparked by a school secretary with a grudge. But it escalated as Muslim clerics sought to drum up public outrage against what it called a Western plot to insult Islam's Prophet Muhammad and demanding Gibbons be punished.

[...]Gibbons, 54, was found guilty of "insulting the faith of Muslims" and sentenced to 15 days in jail, followed by deportation, said Ali Mohammed Ajab, a human rights lawyer on the defense team. The charge is a lesser offense in the article of the criminal code under which she was tried, which includes several possible charges.

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