Thursday, November 29, 2007

The WaPo Glosses Over A Story

Today the Washington Post finally mentioned the lashings in an article in the print edition--on page 18. Before today, however, the story was not properly being covered.

Graphic from this essay by Mustang of Social Sense

The November 28, 2007 Washington Post story of Gillian Gibbons, the British schoolteacher arrested in Sudan for allegations of blasphemy over her young students' naming a teddy bear Muhammad, omitted the possibility of her receiving 40 lashes if she is convicted. To date, this particular story in the Washington Post is the only such coverage in the print edition, although these items from news services have appeared on the Washington Post's web site.

The article in the November 28, 2007 print edition of the Washington Post also omitted the following snippet from Reuters:
KHARTOUM, Sudan - A British primary school teacher has been arrested in Sudan, accused of insulting Islam's Prophet by letting her class of 7-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad, her school said on Monday.

Colleagues of Gillian Gibbons told Reuters they feared for her safety after receiving reports that young men had already started gathering outside the Khartoum police station where the Liverpool woman was being held.

Teachers at Unity High School in central Khartoum said Gibbons, 54, made an innocent mistake and simply let her pupils choose their favorite name for the toy as part of a school project.

Police arrested Gibbons on Sunday at her home inside the school premises, said Unity director Robert Boulos, after a number of parents made a complaint to Sudan's Ministry of Education.

Boulos said she had since been charged with "blasphemy," an offense he said was punishable with up to three months in prison and a fine.

A spokesman from the British Embassy in Khartoum said it was still unclear whether Gibbons had been formerly charged. "We are following it up with the authorities and trying to meet her in person," he said.

Boulos said he had decided to close down the school until January for fear of reprisals in Sudan's predominantly Muslim capital. "This is a very sensitive issue."...
Apparently, Ms. Gibbons didn't understand the implications of the cartoonifada.

The Washington Post article did, however, contain the following insightful information:
..."We don't have any teddy bears over here, so in Sudan, for us, it is a fierce and dangerous animal," Khalid al-Mubarak, a spokesman for the Sudanese Embassy in London, told the BBC.


In Liverpool, the city's Anglican bishop and top Muslim leader issued a joint statement calling on Sudanese authorities to show mercy.

"We, as Christian and Muslim leaders in the city of Liverpool, appeal to the Sudanese government to show compassion in the name of God the most merciful and release Gillian Gibbons," said the statement from the Right Rev. James Jones and Akbar Ali, chairman of Liverpool Mosque.

The Danish cartoon controversy that began in late 2005 led to violent protests around the globe by Muslims outraged over the perceived insult to Islam. The Sudanese case has not led to similar protests.

"I don't consider it to be blasphemous," said Humera Khan, a member of al-Nisa, a Muslim women's organization in London.

In an interview, Khan said that in addition to the issue of reverence for Muhammad, Muslims generally do not give human names to objects or animals. "Our relationship with inanimate objects and animals is not as sentimental as in the West," she said.

Khan said Gibbons "should have been more aware" of the cultural sensitivities in the country where she was living. But, she said, the Sudanese "government shouldn't have been so stupid, either."...
"Stupid" is the word for insulting Islam by the naming of a teddy bear, all right.

Can you imagine Christians reacting is such a manner if a teddy bear were named "Jesus"? As a Christian, I might not like the possibility of disrespect of my Savior, but I surely wouldn't even consider punishment. In fact, I don't think that I'd even take offense.

Why are some Muslims so easily offended? Superstition? Reliance upon legalism? Something else?

And why did the the one "featured" story in the Washington Post omit the most outrageous part of what could happen to Gillian Gibbons?

Note: Mustang's satirical essay is HERE. Some of the comments are quite interesting.

This morning, I found the following on the topic. Excerpt:
...The West is being conditioned by such incidents; it joins the response to the Danish cartoons, the threats to the Pope after his Regensburg lecture, and the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the protests against his knighthood. Europe and the UK in particular adopt a de facto standard of self-censorship which elevates Mohammed and Allah to a plane which Jesus and Jehovah long since ceased to occupy. And the more violently the Islamists react to each offence, the more richly they are rewarded by the appeasing politicians, bishops, cardinals and popes.


So let the campaign begin here that not only bears, but sloths, gannets, sheep, camels, lemmings, rats, skunks and pigs can all be called Mohammed, for the name is not sacred, and has been debased a million times by thousands of Islamists like Mohammed Atta who manifest abundantly the worst characteristics and attributes of many such creatures.
The West is being conditioned right into voluntary dhimmitude.


Jason Pappas said...

Good coverage here at IBA. I was very brief on my blog due to time constraints. Thanks's AOW and everyone else. This is an outrage.

Always On Watch said...

Yes, it is an outrage.

What will happen to Ms. Gibbons? I'm worried about her. As a teacher, I feel that I have a bond with her.

WC said...

If the British Lion found its gonads they would send an aircrft carriier off the coast of Sudan and say they will drop a bomb on every government building for every lash the women gets.

Epaminondas said...

The proper reaction would be quietly privately, "It would be most wise of you to fail to press charges, and while deciding on this to release her to the embassy staff,....MOST WISE"