Uusally I reserve my political rants for my Mulligrubbers blog, but this story was too bizarre not to share with you all. I thank Malach for bringing it to my attention-
(CNN) -- Sudan has arrested a British teacher for insulting faith and religion, the British Foreign Office said Monday. Gillian Gibbons, 54, is being held by police in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. Numerous media reports say Gibbons was arrested after allowing her class of 7-year-olds to name a teddy bear "Mohammed."
That could be seen as an insult to the Prophet Mohammed, the reports said.
Gibbons asked the children to pick a name for the bear as part of a lesson on animal habits at Unity High School, the Press Association said. A British Embassy spokesman in Khartoum was quoted as saying the naming of the bear did not cause immediate trouble. "The children chose the name because it is very common here," the spokesman told PA. This happened in September and the parents did not have a problem with it." Unity director Robert Boulos told Reuters news agency that Gibbons was arrested Sunday at her home on school grounds after a number of parents made a complaint to Sudan's Ministry of Education. Boulos told Reuters he had decided to shut the school until January for fear of reprisals.
Well, you name a teddy bear, you gotta take the consequences.
Blasphemy is punishable with 40 lashes under Islamic Sharia law, Britain's Press Association news agency reported. "This is a very sensitive issue," Boulos was quoted as saying on Reuters.com. "We are very worried about her safety," he added. "This was a completely innocent mistake. Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam."
And now one more snippet, from yesterday's New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, abour our "pals" the Saudis-
One of the most talked about stories in the Middle East last week came out of Saudi Arabia, where the government affirmed the sentence of 200 lashes for a 19-year-old Shiite girl who was sitting in a car with a male acquaintance last year when they were attacked by seven men who gang-raped both of them. The Saudi Justice Ministry said the young woman deserved 200 lashes and six months in prison, even though she had been raped, because she was guilty of “illegal mingling” — sitting in a car with a man who was not related to her.
Am I being overly critical, or are these people, um, nuts? I mean, like, nuttier than a Snickers bar. Religion is one thing, and this isn't a knock against the Islamic religion, but against certain people, and entire nations, who have lost all sense of perspective. We certainly have our own Christian nutburgers right here in America, including the Holier-Than-Everyone Fred Phelp'sers, the people who "Thank God for 9-11" because it was His punishment for not stoning all gays to death. The difference is that our nutburgers do not (yet) run the government and write the laws. In Sudan and Saudi Arabia they do.
C'mon folks- either get a grip or go back to your home planet.