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Religion

More religious insanity: Death to the creator of “Mohammed the Teddy Bear”

I haven’t said much about Gillian Gibbons, the unfortunate schoolteacher from Britain who fell afoul of religious fundamentalism in Sudan when she did a class exercise in which her class picked a name for a Teddy Bear. Unfortunately, the name the children picked was Mohammed. Because of Islamic proscriptions against making an “image” of Mohammed, she was arrested for “inciting religious hatred,” in what has to be one of the most idiotic consequences of extreme religious belief that I’ve seen. She could have received a sentence of 40 lashes but was “only” sentenced to 15 days–in a hellish Sudanese jail. You’d think that would be enough for the fanatics.

You’d be wrong:

Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad.”

The protesters streamed out of mosques after Friday sermons, as pickup trucks with loudspeakers blared messages against Gillian Gibbons, the teacher who was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in prison and deportation.

They massed in central Martyrs Square, outside the presidential palace, where hundreds of riot police were deployed, although they did not attempt to stop the rally.

“Shame, shame on the U.K.,” protesters chanted.

They called for Gibbons’ execution, saying, “No tolerance: Execution,” and “Kill her, kill her by firing squad.”

And I’m supposed to “respect” the religious beliefs of fanatics who want to execute a woman for letting children give a name to a Teddy Bear that happens to be the name of their Prophet exactly…why?

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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