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First they came for the cartoonists


Mohammed may now be the most popular name (by far) in the world for boys, but naming your teddy bear Mohammed is a no-no.

Woman held in Sudan over teddy name
Monday November 26, 2007

A British teacher has been arrested in Sudan for letting her children name a teddy bear Mohammed, the British Embassy said.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, was detained on Sunday on suspicion of insulting Islam’s prophet. The teacher let her class of seven-year-olds choose the name as part of a school project.

A spokesman for the British Embassy in Khartoum said Ms Gibbons taught at Unity High School in central Khartoum. He said: “The children chose the name because it is very common here.”

The Guardian adds:

The school’s director, Robert Boulos, said Gibbons had since been charged with blasphemy.

Boulos said Gibbons was following a national curriculum course designed to teach young pupils about animals and their habitats. This year’s animal was the bear.

Gibbons, who joined Unity in August, asked the class of mostly seven-year-olds to name the toy.

“They came up with eight names including Abdullah, Hassan and Mohammed. Then she explained what it meant to vote and asked them to choose the name.” Twenty out of the 23 children chose Mohammed.

Radio reports from Khartoum in the last hour say that that an angry mob has gathered outside the police station where Gibbons is being held, demanding that “Islamic justice” be administered.

Remember the protests over these cartoons?

If convicted, she will receive 40 lashes as well as a prison term.


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