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Charlotteman

A Western teacher in trouble in Sudan

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Gillian Gibbons, a British teacher, was just convicted in Sudan for blasphemy. Her crime was to allow her students in Khartoum to name a teddy bear Mohammed.

She was arrested and thrown in jail, and potentially faced being publically beaten with a whip 40 times. Yesterday, authorities in Khartoum gave her a reduced sentence of 15 days in prison, and expulsion from the country.

The sentence released a firestorm of protest in Sudan's capital and hundreds of riot police were called. Brandishing clubs, the street masses chanted for the death of Gibbons---many demanding she be executed by firing squad.

I see this as Part II of the Islam vs. the West struggle (Part I being the cartoon controversy in Copenhagen a while back) This latest event frames the struggle well. Something Westerners would find harmless, many Muslims react to with savage anger.

This Muslim mindset of complete intolerance is something that the West had better wake up to. Our Western culture is based on freedom of expression, and freedom of speech----bedrocks we are proud of. But many Muslims see this as proof that we are "infidels".

Such a polarity of thought between the two makes it appear that Muslims and Westerners might as well be inhabiting two different planets. Many people say there is no "West vs. Islam" struggle. I think that is wishful thinking. I see fundamentalist Islam as an extremely dangerous movement. If devout Muslims go bonkers over a cartoon and a teddy bear, how can we hope they will join the Free World any time soon?

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You have to keep in mind though that, as with Christianity, only a small percentage of Muslims are fundamentalists. Fundamentalist Christians get just as outraged at "desecration" of their religious symbols as do fundamentalist Muslims, but in both cases the vast majority of people don't give such matters much attention. Really the only significant difference is that the fundamentalist minority has succeeded in seizing power in a number of Muslim countries. This is a serious problem, but not an insurmountable one.

What I don't get about this case is that, despite being the name of the prophet, Mohammed is also a very common given name in the Muslim workd. Why the outrage over naming a teddy bear with an extremely common name, like "John" in our own culture?

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What I don't get about this case is that, despite being the name of the prophet, Mohammed is also a very common given name in the Muslim workd. Why the outrage over naming a teddy bear with an extremely common name, like "John" in our own culture?

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This Muslim mindset of complete intolerance is something that the West had better wake up to. Our Western culture is based on freedom of expression, and freedom of speech----bedrocks we are proud of. But many Muslims see this as proof that we are "infidels". ....

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I watched 60 minutes last night about the 15 year old boy in Dubai who was raped by 3 men. They treated this kid as a criminal for ingaging in homosexual acts! You can say all you want about how we have our extremists and have had a history of intolerance, but the Middle East seems to be at least 50 years behind us in human rights, probably closer to 100 yrs. This would be like having Fred Phelps family and beliefs running our country and influencing our laws, courts. 99 percent of the people in this country finds Phelps to be an abhorent man, that's the biggest difference.

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Gibbons was pardoned by the president of Sudan today and flown out of the country, escorted by a British delegation.

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I watched 60 minutes last night about the 15 year old boy in Dubai who was raped by 3 men. They treated this kid as a criminal for ingaging in homosexual acts! You can say all you want about how we have our extremists and have had a history of intolerance, but the Middle East seems to be at least 50 years behind us in human rights, probably closer to 100 yrs. This would be like having Fred Phelps family and beliefs running our country and influencing our laws, courts. 99 percent of the people in this country finds Phelps to be an abhorent man, that's the biggest difference.

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There have also been recent reports of a woman in Saudi Arabia who was gang raped by seven men----and she was tried and charged with adultery. She received 200 lashes with a whip and a prison term.

And of course gays are still being executed in Iran (by being pushed off tall buildings) The way women and gays are treated in many Muslim countries is an absolute disgrace.

We in the West worry about Islamic terrorism, but we forget who receives the true wrath of Islamic terror---citizens in the Middle East. No freedom of speech, no freedom of expression, or religion. In many muslim countries, the admission of atheism is dealt with by execution. Yes it's horrible that the West must live in fear about what some muslim extremist might do, but just imagine the fear Middle East citizens must live with everyday.

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The dynamics of most Muslim nations and human rights is appalling. The problem is as many others have mentioned, extreme fundamentalist clerics have taken hold of most of these governments and orchestrate the laws by their intrepretation of the Qu'ran. Hence the term for Islamic law. Most women, homosexual/bisexuals, and religious minorities will be prosecuted for the slightliest of offense (social or legal).

On topic, Sudan has a long history of just been a hotbed of foolishness. If no one has forgotten Darfur is in the very country, so it doesn't take much to realize that Sudan is a country that has some serious problems.

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On topic, Sudan has a long history of just been a hotbed of foolishness. If no one has forgotten Darfur is in the very country, so it doesn't take much to realize that Sudan is a country that has some serious problems.

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It's interesting and baffling. A teddy bear gets named Mohammed, there's outrage Sudan. While yet, there's thousands and thousands of Muslim men nam Mohammed. I really don't get it. Didn't follow this story too closely, but did the teddy bear get named after their prophet, or was bear simply named Mohammed and people thought it was name after their prophet?

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