Blasphemy Bear Season 4: Jumping the shark
December 1, 2007
Another chapter in the ongoing saga of stupidity that wouldn’t die:
A British teacher jailed in Sudan for insulting Islam by allowing her class to name a teddy bear Muhammad has been moved to a secret location for her own safety.The dramatic move was made after thousands of weapon-wielding protesters gathered outside the presidential palace in Khartoum to demand a harsher sentence.
Harsher sentence? For naming a teddy bear?
Q. Is it actually possible for this story to become any more stupid?
A. Oh yes.
Massing in central Martyrs Square for an hour, the hordes burned pictures of Mrs Gibbons and chanted: “Shame, shame on the UK,” and “No tolerance: Execution,” and “kill her, kill her by firing squad”.
Riot police kept the mob, who had been ferried in on pick-up trucks after Friday prayers, from the presidential palace.
Has the whole world gone mad?
Meanwhile, Mrs Gibbons’ son, John Gibbons, 27, from Liverpool, said his mother Gillian was “holding up quite well” as she serves a 15-day prison sentence.
Revealing her first reaction to her jail sentence, he said: “One of the things my mum said … was that ‘I don’t want any resentment towards Muslim people.’ She doesn’t want people using her and her case as something to stoke up resentment towards anyone, towards Sudanese people, towards Muslim people or whatever”.
And fair enough – to a point. It is not Islam as a religion, or the Sudanese people who are responsible for the insanity that is being perpetrated on her – but rather the ridiculous laws that labeled her act as a crime, the Judiciary that tried and sentenced her, and the cretinous extremists that are calling for her death for crying out loud.
You can’t blame all Muslims and you can’t blame all Sudanese, but these particular Sudanese Muslims are making themselves look like a mob of violent, intolerant, xenophobic lunatics. No help required.
EDITED TO ADD: Video of the protests and comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Federation of Student Islamic Societies describing the sentence as “absurdly disproportionate”.