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Respecting the beliefs of others is more important now than ever

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by heyabbott, Nov 27, 2007.

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  1. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    KHARTOUM (AFP) — Sudanese authorities said on Tuesday they were stepping up an investigation into a British teacher held for allegedly insulting Islam's prophet by allowing children to call a teddy bear Mohammed.

    As mother Gillian Gibbons spent a second full day in police custody, Justice Minister Mohammed Ali Mardhi was quoted in the local press as ordering General Prosecutor Salaheddin Abu Zaid to take personal charge of the case.

    "This lady was arrested because of a complaint under Article 125 of the penal code and the investigation is continuing," Abu Zaid told AFP.

    "Questioning started yesterday and is continuing today. We are also questioning witnesses and, if witnesses bring new elements to light, the charges could become more serious," added the prosecutor.

    When the investigation concludes, the case will be referred to the courts where a judge will decide her punishment if charges are pressed, said Abu Zaid, unable to say how long the process would take.

    Punishment under Article 125 -- publicly insulting or degrading any religion, its rites, beliefs and sacred items or humiliating its believers -- is a maximum of six months in jail, 40 lashes and a fine.

    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he felt "very sorry about what has happened to Gillian Gibbons" but understood she had not yet been charged.

    He told reporters in London that British authorities were in touch with Sudanese police to "ascertain that (Gibbons) is safe and well and to clarify the position so that she can be released soon."

    Although the affair aroused scant attention in the Khartoum media, some dailies speculated that the British mother in her 50s could be charged with sedition, a far more serious charge than insulting Muslims.

    "The police are still investigating. She has been questioned and they are following up other bits of the investigation," a British embassy spokesman said.

    "We're discussing the matter with the Sudanese authorities and offering consular assistance."

    The private Christian-run Unity High School in Khartoum where Gibbons had worked only a few months since leaving England in July published a statement apologising to all Muslims and saying the teacher had been sacked.

    Ali Sadek, a spokesman for Sudan's foreign ministry, played down what he called an "isolated" incident.

    "Unity High School has already apologised to the parents and all Sudanese people for the teacher's behaviour and reaffirmed its respect for the religion and culture of Sudan," he was quoted as telling the official SUNA news agency.

    Sudanese officials have closed the fee-paying school, founded in 1902, until further notice, one teacher told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    Gibbons was detained after parents complained she had allowed six-year-old boys and girls at the expensive English school to name the bear Mohammed, although Gibbons has told British officials she never meant to cause offence.

    For devout Muslims, any physical depiction of Mohammed is blasphemous and strictly forbidden.

    Gibbons was understood to have worked as a deputy headteacher at a primary school in Liverpool, northwest England, before coming to Sudan, Africa's largest country and a former British colony.
     
  2. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I give up. 'Yab's right. Since other countries don't respect freedom of speech, support torture and don't support due process, we should just join them and do the same. Makes perfect sense. Eye for an eye, baby. It's the way the world should work. Now where's that red button. We got some blowin' up to do.
     
  3. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Exactly. If lawlessness seems too hard to stop, why not live that way too?

    'Yab...don't you think we have a responsibility to set a better example, given how the U.S. touts itself as "the best" in so many respects? Just a thought.
     
  4. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    Maybe I'm dumb when I ask this, but did she know that she was breaking a law by letting the kids name the Teddy Bear Muhammad?
     
  5. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Good question, and one which will probably get lost in the coming debate.
     
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I'm sure she knew it was forbidden, but she probably didn't realize one of the little bastards would rat her out.
     
  7. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    C'mon guys, even I know projecting the image of Mohammad is verboten in Islam and the closest I've ever been to Khartoum is attempted haiku.

    If I were actually in Khartoum, where they live under Muslim law, I think I might want to cross my T's and dot my I's on that particular slice of dogma.

    Not saying the reaction isn't over the top, but why provoke it?
     
  8. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Bubbs, I think we're in agreement that it probably was a pretty stupid thing for this teacher to do. And if she breaks the law, she needs to face the consequences. There's plenty of stupid laws in the U.S., but it doesn't mean it's OK to break them.

    Our beef isn't with her, or the Muslims, necessarily, but with 'Yab.
     
  9. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    That's right, I'm the one who is going to whip a teacher for naming a Teddy Bear and I'm the one that's going to whip the rape victim for having sex outside of marriage.
     
  10. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    we get it. you hate anyone not white and not judeo-christian. you've made it clear. now move on.
     
  11. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    I'm not too fond of Christians, still haven't gotten over the Inquisition and the Holocaust
     
  12. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Thank God you don't shoot weapons very often, 'Yab, because you are so far off the mark with that glib little statement, you might hit an innocent bystander.
     
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