Thursday, November 29, 2007

And this is not fun anymore...

The British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, has been found guilty in Sudan of insulting religion after she allowed her primary school class to name a teddy bear Muhammad.
Gillian, 54, from Liverpool, has been sentenced to 15 days in prison and will then be deported.
She had been accused on three counts of insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs. And what the Western world is still reacting peacefully while for example the OIC didn't make a statement, yet.

Instead of condemning these kind of ridiculous sentences it has to do something about inciting real hate, hate preaches, planned suicide attacks, and undermining the civil societies by imams in the UK, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Argentina etc. And the state ideology of Turkey don't left any space for manoeuvre either. The Secr. General of the OIC is a Turk and it can do more than it did...until now.
Calling a teddy beer 'Muhammad' are kidding; the Sudanese government doesn't have anything else to do? Darfur? It is a sad sad time for dialogue.
And what shall we do with all the men who are named 'Muhammad'? All 250 lashes?


Dimitris said...

This nonsense about 'sensitivenes' has to stop. Muhammad was a prophet not a God, so no blasphemy.
Looks like the Muslim world is confused..((

mirdifderya said...

I am sorry but, why she has to call anybodies prophet 'Tedy Bear Mohammed' anyway in the first place?

I disagree with 15 days in prison and deportation on the other hand deportation needful, she can't survive there after this words.. As a Teacher she suppose to be more careful what's she teaches witin a muslim country to her students, starting from respecting peoples religion!

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Than: for Christians, Jesus is the son of God. But for Muslims, he is just simple a messenger. Which is the greatest insult you can put forward towards Christians. Shall we put every Muslim in prison who just says: Jesus is a simple man, just a messenger?
Shall we hang each Muslim who preach hatred agains Christians?
'Being insulted' is not exclusive a 'feeling' for Muslims.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Let me give you another example. Some Muslims in West Europe want Sharia law introduced there. Do we have to deport them all to their countries of birth?
It's all about 'tolerance'. It's all about 'acceptance', that other people might have a different 'world view'...
Btw, the children made the decision, and one of the parents complained. Now the school is closed.

mirdifderya said...

Hans you didn't get my point, she shouldn't say any word and be more carefull what she says for any of the phophets aspecailly in countries like Sudan.

You can say what ever you like in Europe where you can get your freedom of speech, like in Denmark:)

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

OK. When Turkey joins the EU, do we all have to read the q'uran, in case that a MP 'insult' a Turk or and his/her religion. You know how quick Turks are insulted..))
My point is: freedom of expression is a human RIGHT. Signed by all countries of the UN. That we have to obey. What she 'did', is nothing. The children made their choice..))
Yes, I am happy that we, in Europe, Latin and Nort America, big parts of Asia, Oceania, have the right to express our selves.
Facebook is banned in Syria..((

mirdifderya said...

Still Hans, You do not understand my point, I am saying she shouldn't call anybody 'teddy bear' especially in Sudan where it's 3rd world country, you do get harsg punishments.

Yes.... she should be more careful what she says to anybody's prophet.

I do not understand the fact that I do learn respecting peoples religion, It can be Christian, Jew, Hindu, this is your belief, if you call anybody prophet Teddy bear, person will take it as a insulting.

If I call you fat face it's same thing. Respecting people. Why in Europe kids gets more buling or insulting but in 3rd world or growing,developening countries you don't?

Christians can taking the Mickey out of Muslims all the time, and calls it freedom of speech! but I haven't heard any Saudis, Jordanians or any others joking about Christians or even jews although they hate them.

Again this is my opinion whether you agree or don't, I do respect yours. please do mine!!:)

VLR said...

I do agree with Derya that the teacher should have taken some precautions when implanting a British method in a Sudanese school. The idea is nice: caring for somebody or something, giving it a locally common name so the children can identify with it. But calling a teddy bear Muhammad, well, she should have known that is asking for trouble. (I wonder why she took a teddy bear anyway. Bears are nowhere indigenous anywhere in Africa and Arabia. But that ‘s another story) I am sure she didn’t want to ask for trouble. It all looks quite harmless. But that’s the point: she SHOULD have known Sudan is not Britain. And you can’t implant a British method in another country just like that. There are always a few grains of English colonial thinking in British charity.

But there are double standards from the Sudanese side as well: Probably the Sudanese want English teachers to teach their children. Either because they neglect education themselves, or because some parents think it is chic to have their child taught by an English teacher. They should have taken precautions as well. The Sudanese who allowed this should have known they imported - on purpose - teachers with a different cultural background. If they want that, they should have done some research into British teaching methods and they should have instructed the British teachers in Sudanese sensitivities.

So, who is allowing this so called blasphemy in the Sudanese education system? That would be the Sudanese authorities, wouldn’t it? So maybe the Sudanese education minister should be sentenced as well?

Anonymous said...

Hans, you are wrong. Derya, you are right.

Just because it's ok for one to call Jesus whatever does not make it right to call someone else something else.

That's the problem with the world. It's OK for us, therefore it should be OK with you . . .

However silly and ridiculous the Sudanese sentence is . . . the fact is that common sense should have ruled here.

The teacher should have known better, having lived there for some time.

It would be akin to naming a stuffed animal Ataturk in Turkey by you, if you believe you can do that in Holland to a figure mightier and holier than Ataturk.

It's all about respecting sensitivities.

As to your point about Muslims in europe who want to turn Europe into Saudi Arabia, Europe should do whatever the 'legal' system allows. It shouldn't be tit for tat.

And one wrong does not make the other right.

Like I wrote in my blog about this, I would not be ordering a beef cheeseburger when in downtown Mumbai either . . . just because I like them well done here in the United States, unless of course I am disrespectful, and looking for trouble . . .

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Derya, when I respect someone's opinion this doesn't mean that I agree.
Coming up with Saudies for not 'insulting' Christians...pardon me: you can not practice Christianity there. Iran are torturing their Bahai's, in fact in every Muslim countries Cristians are disscriminated and or prosecuted! With the exeption of Indonesia.
Metin, thank you for being the referee..)) But you can order in Hindu India a beefburger, they have 100 million muslems there..))
About sensitiveness, give me a break, I can not hear the word 'insult' anymore..))

Anonymous said...

Hans . . . don't you have spell check?

But what you really need is a 'common sense' check . . .


VLR said...

Come on Hans. Don't compare it with other countries and other places. Look at what happened in Sudan. Apart from the Sudanese authorities being sensitive etc. etc. etc., i really think the teacher should have known better (In fact that is why she is a teacher). Surely, apart from using the ominous teddy bear, she could have used some other creativity to meet the same educational ends, couldn't she?

On the other hand i still maintain that the Sudanese authorities are also to blame by allowing British teachers in their schools.


mirdifderya said...

VLR I totally agree, you will find lots of English or American educational schools in many countries outside Europe with English/American/NZ/Australian teachers.

Like my kids school, which is IB program with mainly teachers background comes from international experience, even it's their first time in UAE, they can't dare to say Teddy Prophet to any other religion, first of all, Headmaster who is British herself will kick her out from the school, as most of the school students are all international you do not want to offend anybody within the Muslim world. You can talk or rise your opinion within your friends or ect. But not force/ imposed to your students. You are a TEACHER, suppose to teach kindest not hatred.

On the other hand Hans you can't say; problems don't happen except Indonesia, when I was living there, I didn't see that, why the hell Muslims were demolishing Chinese/Christian owners shops then? About Muslims, Hindus or Christians in India wow don't come to there, I know many Indians they hate each other or brutal within the country that no foreign newspapers hears about anything..

At the end Hans we can't compare Europe and 3rd world countries working school environment.. If you are working in SUDAN then she should be careful what she says otherwise discussing what Sudanese government did to her nonsense.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Metin, no I don't have a spell check...what's your point?.))
You are more fun to talk on the phone than chat..))
Bertus, I am only tired about all the protests: today Indonesia were Muslims were protesting against condooms on World Aids Day...all these 'sensitivities'.
Derya, I had for long time a relation with a girl from Indonesia, and we have tons of Indonesians in the Netherlands. Yes, lately, especially Sulawesi, became the scene of brutality. I know the kast system in India and their Sikh-Hindu.
But yes, you are right, we can not compare 3 world countries with Europeans. But culture relativism is a disease these days..
Bertus, I am an anthroposoof *maybe this explain a little my point of view (Bahai, Sufism, Buddhism and Christianity together)

VLR said...

I do understand Hans. But the problems about condoms in Indonesia are different from the problems about a teddy bear in Sudan. I really feel Derya has point.

And if you really want me to be cynical: stupidity of mankind can be a problem in any country. Just create a common enemy....


VLR said...

.....has A point.... I mean

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Geert Jan Keutelaer said...

Metin, you are wrong. Others here right. This is a political issue. And the Sudanese government? There are more important 'issues' than a teddy beer: Darfur. Regarding sensitivities. We have a law in the Netherlands, a constitution. If some Muslims don't like our freedom of expression: leave.
The laws are i.e. not simular with the USA, where everybody can scream what they want.
I just read an interview here in the UK with a professor, born in Sudan. He explicit said: I am a Muslim and have more freedom of expression here in the UK than in any other Muslim country.
Remember: Europeans are not threatening everybody with law suits because our 'sensitivities'.
Ataturk maybe holy in Turkey, not in Europe.

Metin said...


Once again stop misinterpreting my comments to your dissatisfaction.

I am not arguing that Muslims don't have more freedoms in Europe, or that you could insult Ataturk outside of Turkey.

I am talking about when you come to visit a foreign place, you should respect their 'laws,' culture, and be respectful of their sensitivities, no matter how ridiculous they may be.

You should try to change the laws before you stop obeying them.

I cant come to your country and go faster than the speed limit, then get in front of the judge, and ridicule not knowing your laws, or how u respect people on the road. My claims of, in my country there is no such respect, in fact it is encouraged to drive erratically, will not excuse my sentence.

Yes, Sudan is wrong for the ridiculous laws and sentences and the discrimination and the behavior and the stupidity, etc, etc.

It still does not excuse the stupidity of the teacher who should've known better . . .

oh well . . . i hear she is released now . . . maybe she'll receive a heroes welcome in Britain, where they could nominate her for the position of improving relations with the stupid Muslims . . .

Btw, I don't consider Ataturk holier than thou either, but when I go to Turkey, I don't disrespect him or the country by naming my dog Ataturk.

I would hope that Article 301 and other taboos (about Ataturk and other things) would be eliminated. And then I would be free to name my teddy bear whatever I want.

I might even name him Geert Jan . . .

Gunther said...

Gentlemen: the ridicolous part of this discussion is that it's all about how superiour Islam is, and how stupid we Christians are not by knowing all the 'laws' of these back ward muslim countries.
Metin, you talk like a schizofrenic Turk who is still haunted by the censors of the Turkish government. Be serious, or make good jokes. My dog will get some puppies: I will call him/her M.A. Metin Ataturk..)) Come over to file a complain since you are too to sensitive, although I appreciate your approach...let bickle in court, at least I learn to know your face...then)

Anonymous said...



Have your people talk to my people . . . and we'll do lunch!

Oh . . . was the teacher Christian? I thought she was British . . .


Gunther said...

My people speak several language.
He, we are a group of people with different cultures, and ethnic back ground. Do you have that well in your beloved OC and your blind racist Turkish country.
Stop playing the fool!
Happy that my teacher was not an exported Imam, send by your state to control Turks abroad...((

Anonymous said...


Obviously, you are not familiar with American lingo! My fault to 'assume' you knew what I meant . . .

And I am as Turkish as you are a Martian . . .

Oh btw, do you still believe in Santa Claus??

Why do you insist on commenting on a Turkey based blog?? Do you have a love/hate relationship with Turkey? At least in my case, I have some Turkish blood in me . . .

I don't get it about your teacher and 'my' state???

Were you abused as a child? You sound like you got issues . . .


Gunther said...

Metin, at least you have humor, I don't find that many Turks here in Germany who Talk Like you..))
He, I was pissed of yesterday late, no Kebab place was open anymore..))
I suggest: a meeting with you, Geert Jan, Hans and me.
I bet you, we know more about your countries (USA and Turkey) than you know about us..))
And like our 'small neighbor' Hollanda, we start drinking beer during lunch, any problems with that..))

Geert Jan Keutelaer said...

Gentlemen, this is an perfect opprtunity to have a beer with some brothers, what do you think Metin? I don't smash your head in pieces, maybe I will hug you the whole evening..))

Anonymous said...


I am all good having beer with the brotherz . . .

so long as we get some sistaz to join us . . .


Geert Jan Keutelaer said...

I will take care about the sistaz..
...if you pay the bill..))
Have to hurry, It'd St. Nikolas in the Netherlands.