From the Times of London:
BRITISH TEACHER FACES LASHES IN SUDAN AFTER CLASS TEDDY BEAR IS NAMED “MUHAMMAD”
A British primary school teacher arrested in Sudan faces up to 40 lashes for blasphemy after letting her class of 7-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad.
Gillian Gibbons, a 54-year-old mother of two from Liverpool, was arrested at her lodgings at Khartoum’s Unity High School yesterday, accused of insulting the Prophet of Islam.
Her colleagues said that they feared for her safety after reports that groups of young men had gathered outside the Khartoum police station where she was taken and were shouting death threats.
The Unity school is a Christian-run co-educational private school that teaches both Christians and Muslims and is popular with Sudanese professionals and expatriate workers. …
Teachers at the school, in central Khartoum only a mile from the River Nile, said that Ms Gibbons had made an innocent mistake by letting her pupils choose their favourite name for the toy as part of a school project.
[The school director] said that he had decided to close down the school until January for fear of reprisals in Sudan’s predominantly Muslim capital.
“This is a very sensitive issue. We are very worried about her safety,” he said. “This was a completely innocent mistake. Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam.” …
Under Sudan’s Sharia law, the punishment for blasphemy is 40 lashes, although the teacher could also be fined or jailed for up to six months. …