Monday, December 03, 2007

"Mohammed teddy bear" teacher gets the lash — from me

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Crowd thanks Gillian Gibbons
for teaching their children.

My sympathy for Gillian Gibbons, the teacher from England sentenced
in Sudan to jail for naming her class teddy bear "Mohammed," has suffered a power outage. I have no time for dhimmitude and not much for gross stupidity.

"Thousands of people wielding clubs and knives marched through Khartoum after Friday prayers denouncing what they termed the lenient sentencing of a British teacher for insulting Islam and calling for her to be shot," the Telegraph reported. "'Those who insult the Prophet of Islam should be punished with bullets,' the crowd shouted after Gibbons, 54, was jailed for 15 days on charges stemming from naming a teddy bear Mohammed. Authorities in Britain and Sudan refused to reveal where Mrs Gibbons … was serving her sentence for fear of rioting there. "

Think Mrs. Gibbons and her kin took offense? No, no. Just a little misunderstanding. Her own doing, really, for not being sensitive enough.

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In another story, the Telegraph says:
The British teacher jailed in Sudan for naming a teddy bear Mohammed has said that she wished she could stay in the country. … Despite street protests against her by hundreds of angry demonstrators, some waving swords, Mrs Gibbons expressed gratitude for her treatment.

"I've been given so many apples that I feel I could set up my own stall. The guards are constantly asking if I have everything I need," she said.

Mrs. Gibbons, I am glad to hear they have comforted you with apples. But you do not have everything you need, including one of the most important: self-respect and dignity. And a carload of righteous anger. I can understand that, although you are under house arrest and supposedly being treated well, this may not be the time to fully express outrage. But you do not have to fawn over your captors and go out of your way to assure the world that the threat to your very life that has arisen over the name of a toy bear has no connection with Islamic fanaticism.

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In a telephone call to her son John in Liverpool, Mrs Gibbons said: "I don't want any resentment towards Muslim people."
Count yourself lucky, madam, that the British Foreign Secretary, the British ambassador, and two members of Parliament are trying to get you off the hook. How do you think it would have gone for you otherwise — if, say, you were from some obscure African country, or Sudan itself?

dhimmitude from another British teacher in Khartoum:
Colleagues I chatted to this week agreed that the whole affair has more to do with Sudan than it does with Islam. “I have a lot of friends who are Muslim, and I did understand the Islamic culture before coming here, but I was not prepared for this,” one woman teacher told me.

She thought many Sudanese just have no idea about the rest of the world. “They tell you what to do, and they don’t listen to the views of anyone else,” she said.

For me, the past few days have really driven home that just having a general appreciation of Islam is not always enough to avoid causing offence.

Well, colleagues, if you weren't so busy abasing yourselves to your Muslim overlords, you might have noticed something not too long ago about crowds in London — you've heard of it? — calling for infidels to be beheaded for publishing cartoons of Big Mo. Nothing to do with Islam, of course; says more about London. Let this teddy bear flap be a learning experience for you. Don't fail to dial up your general appreciation of Islam to the "Full Servitude" mark.

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What would a person in the British diplomatic service a hundred years ago, dealing with international treaties and other state enterprises of great pith and moment, have thought if he could have looked forward in time to see future diplomats in a frenzy trying (while facing an "uphill struggle") to rescue an Englishwoman from imprisonment caused by a row over a teddy bear?

These newspaper articles also demonstrate that the English have given up their own spelling gaol in favor of the American jail. If you needed one more sign of weakness, there it is.

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zazie said...

please, forgive my using a French phrase about this post : Alors là, chapeau!
I do wish I could write as well and as bittingly when it is necessary!

Rick Darby said...

Qu'est-ce que ca veut dire … "Alors la, chapeau"? Well then, hat?

Eh bien, merci Zazie!

Anonymous said...

Money quote time; “I have a lot of friends who are Muslim, and I did understand the Islamic culture before coming here, but I was not prepared for this,”!
Um, if she understood the Islamic culture *cough* like what's written in the koran *cough* she would have been prepared for that.
Or maybe not have gone to that Islamic hellhole in the first place.

zazie said...

I suppose the nearest to "alors là, chapeau!" would be "tip of the hat!" ; anyway it is meant to sound like a compliment mingled with admiration....Your post deserves it ; this "teacher" (non? Sans blague? = you're kidding) is asking for ill-treatment ; after all, she may be a masochist....

Anonymous said...

Fuck all them,why insult the poor bear,

Unknown said...

All the Muslim population always gave full respect to all the messengers of God including Abraham, Issac , Jacob,Moses, Jesus ,Muhammad and thousands other.