Not a Teddy Bears' Picnic
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Can Islam be blamed for the travesty of justice in Khartoum by which a British teacher has been found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to jail for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammed?
In my view this is a political situation more than a religious one. As far as I can determine, not one Muslim organization outside of Sudan has supported this as a case of "insulting the Prophet" and many have voiced strong disapproval.
What we have is an incident blown out of proportion by a government trying to distract attention from the organized genocide of its citizens in Darfur, a government striking back at the West for raising the issue of genocide and for the West's protection of the non-Muslim southern Sudan. The so-called conservative clergy who are fanning the flames against the poor teacher are in the pay of the government. The press in Khartoum which is making this a front page issue is controlled by the government. The loudspeaker trucks driving around the city inciting the populace are doing so with government support.
This is only an issue because the Sudanese government wants it to be so. Protestors are in the streets demanding the woman's death are only doing so because the government has told them that she insulted the prophet. The government is using Islam, not following it.
Who has really insulted the Prophet here? Who has really insulted Islam? The government of Sudan, that's who.
The Patriarch's Teddy Bear Collection
- Clockwise from the little guy, lower center: Joseph Smith, Buddha, Jesus, Moses, and... mmmm... uh... that other guy.