Mohammed, that is.Â A British schoolteacher has been sentenced by a Sudanese court to 15 days in jail for allowing her young Islamic students to name a teddy bear “Mohammed.”Â Apparently the court could have sentenced her to a fine and forty lashes.Â Both the British and US governments have condemned the verdict.Â Riots have broken out in Sudan by good ol’ regular Muslims calling for her to be executed by firing squad.Â That’s right, a firing squad.
When areÂ Muslim leadersÂ going public to decry this gross abuse of the glorious, peacefulÂ religion of Islam?
Why are there notÂ demonstrations in the streets of Kabul, Riyadh, Cairo (and London for that matter), by Muslims determined to show the world that theirs is not a backward, violent, dangerous religion?
The events in Sudan underscore that civilization is not at war with a mereÂ handful of extremists, but with an overall culture that holds tolerance and freedom with contempt?Â (And I don’t mean “war” only in the sense of military conflict, althought it obviously has and will continue to come to that.)
Say what you will about the Christians, I can’t imagine any major Christian leader who wouldn’t go public ASAP if some nutcase – let alone a duly established court! – threatened lashes or death against someone who named a teddy bear “Jesus”.
[Update 12/6/2007 – Ms. Gibbons, the unlucky blasphemer, has been pardoned by the president of Sudan and sent back to the UK.Â Pardoned, not exonerated.Â But at least she’s out of the hell-hole and hopefully has learned a valuable lesson.]