Monday, December 3, 2007

Sudan Pardons "Teddy Bear Teacher"

You'll recall that Gillian Gibbons, a teacher who committed what was probably an honest mistake, naming a teddy bear used in a class exercise Muhammed (based on the students' votes, BTW!), was convicted of inciting religious hatred. Her sentence was 15 days in prison and deportation.

Even worse, after the initial sentence, Sudanese protesters called for her execution! Definitely a case of overkill (no pun intended).

Apparently there exists some sanity in the government (or at the very least, the U.K. managed to push hard enough), as she was pardoned today by Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

Now why go through the trial if you were just going to end up doing this anyway? I mean, what a waste of money and effort. We in the U.S. would never do ... oh wait ... (yes, yes, I know, just a commutation; give me a break).

At any rate, Gibbons has been released and will soon be leaving the country. Might I say this whole "event" has certainly cast a poor light on Islam (again) and no doubt will make any other prospective teachers think twice about teaching in Sudan.