Media Blog

NRO’s MSM watchdog.

Britain’s Most Popular Paper Urges Readers to “Put a Teddy in their Window to Show Support for Gillian”


Many in the British press are aghast at the almost complete lack of reaction by the British Foreign Office over the outrageous jailing of British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons in Sudan on the charge of insulting religion and inciting hatred, after her class of 7-year-olds named their teddy bear “Mohammed.”


Gibbons, a teacher with an impeccable record who went to Sudan to help local children, is now being held in a crowded cell with 20 hardened criminals in Khartoum’s notorious mosquito-infested Omdurman prison.


The jail was originally designed for 50 people, but now houses up to 1,400.


Yet the British Foreign Office said, “We are treating the issue as a consular matter. This issue should not be seen as part of a diplomatic or political dispute.”


Some commentators, noting that the inaction over the teddy bear incident follows similar inaction after Iran kidnapped 15 British sailors several months ago, said “great” should now be dropped from the name Great Britain.


“Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher would never have put up with this nonsense. The SAS would already have been dispatched to free Gillian Gibbons,” noted one commentator. “The British today are doing precisely nothing.”


Meanwhile, Britain’s most popular newspaper, The Sun, notes on its website at the present time that “ten thousand people, some carrying knives and sticks, have marched on the capital of Sudan calling for the teacher jailed for naming a teddy bear Mohammed to be shot.”


The Sun is also urging people to “put a teddy in their window to show their support for Gillian.”


In America, at least one moderate Islamic group, the American Islamic Congress, called on Gibbons to be released and launched an online letter-writing campaign.


But the hypocrisy and double standards of other Islamists knows few bounds. The SimplyIslam website, for example is selling a teddy bear named Adam.


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review