Last week I wrote about the British schoolteacher who faced prison and flogging in Sudan because her schoolchildren named their class teddy bear “Muhammad”.
Today comes the news that the British government has persuaded the president of Sudan to pardon her. So now her ordeal is over, to the extent that the ordeal can be over for anyone who has spent ten days in Sudan’s prison system, all the while facing the possibility of a flogging and even death at the hands of an enraged mob of Muslims.
According to the AP:
Sudanese President Pardons British Teacher Jailed for ‘Muhammad’ Teddy Bear
A British teacher jailed after she allowed her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad was released Monday hours after Sudan’s president pardoned her, a British embassy spokesman said.
Gillian Gibbons’ conviction under Sudan’s Islamic Sharia law shocked Britons and many Muslims worldwide. Hard-line Muslim clerics in Sudan accused her of intentionally seeking to insult Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, and the case angered some Sudanese, sparking a protest where demonstrators called for her execution.
“She is in British Embassy custody and is with the deputy British ambassador,” embassy spokesman Omar Daair said. He would not give her exact location or say when she would leave Sudan.
Gibbons, 54, was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in prison and deportation for insulting Islam because she allowed her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad — a common name among Muslim men — in a class project on animals. The trial was sparked when a school secretary complained to the Education Ministry that Gibbons aimed to insult the Prophet Muhammad. Her time in jail since her arrest Nov. 25 counted toward the sentence.
Well, at least she got away. Like the Libyan nurses, she had to be pardoned in order to escape Islamic “justice”. No one was ever forced to admit that what she did was hardly a crime.
But consider the next part of the story:
– – – – – – – – –
Lord Nazir Ahmed, who met with al-Bashir earlier Monday along with Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, said the case was an “unfortunate misunderstanding” and stressed that Britain respected Islam.
He hoped “the relations between our two countries will not be damaged by this incident,” Ahmed told reporters at the presidential palace after Monday’s meeting.
Ghazi Saladdin, a senior presidential adviser, said al-Bashir insisted that Gibbons had a “fair trial,” but he agreed to pardon her because of the efforts by the British Muslim delegation.
In the written statement released by Sudanese presidential palace and read by Warsi to reporters, 54-year-old Gibbons said she was sorry if she caused any “distress.”
“I have a great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone,” Gibbons, who was sentenced Thursday, said in the statement. [emphasis added]
Everybody involved is falling all over themselves to demonstrate how much they respect Islam, the great religion of peace, whose adherents are so reasonable and thoughtful that an enraged mob of them wants to kill a woman over the name of a teddy bear.
Whence this “respect”?
This fawning dhimmitude is what we’ve come to expect from our politicians, our diplomats, our media people, and our academics. But ordinary people now seem to be prey to the same condition.
One expects hostages to say these things in the midst of their captivity. But after they are set free…? This is the Stockholm Syndrome gone mad.
The appropriate statement after one’s release from such imprisonment would be something like this: “I have nothing but contempt for the barbaric and cowardly people who did these vile things to me, and I shall never again set foot in that backward hellhole known as Sudan.”
Don’t you wish that you could hear words like this spoken publicly, even once?
It’s as if everyone in the West has been possessed by the PC Demon. We need a visit from the Exorcist with his little black bag.
How did Her Majesty’s government react?
In Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was delighted by news.
“Common sense has prevailed,” Brown said in a statement released by his office.
That’s a polite word for it.
How about this instead: “We have notified the Sudanese government that if any more incidents like this occur, we shall have no choice but to take the appropriate measures.”
No, not bloody likely.
On Friday during a rally in Khartoum, thousands of protesters, many armed with clubs and swords and beating drums, burned pictures of her and demanded her execution.
Sudan’s ambassador in London, Khalid al-Mubarak, insisted Monday that the demonstrations “were an argument from the fringe.”
I beg to differ. These demonstrations were hardly from the fringe; they were from the heart of Islam.
There are Muslims for whom I have great respect. Some of them I know personally, and their character and integrity have earned my respect.
But I have no respect for the religion of Islam. None. Not an iota.
Nor do I respect its manifestations as expressed in public institutions, governments, and Arab tribal culture. For these I have nothing but contempt.
Respect must be earned.