Category: WTF? World News.
Poor Gillian Gibbons. If you haven’t heard this one, you’re in for a double-shot, espresso eye-opener. Gillian Gibbons, a British citizen teaching in Sudan, was sentence to 15 days in jail and deportation. Her crime? She let her elementary class name the class mascot, a teddy bear, Mohamed.
This has set off a chain of events that include:
- The British ambassador’s apology to the Sudanese government
- Statements from British Muslim groups decrying the sentence
- Relief by some that she wasn’t given a harsher sentence which included 40-lashes
- Riots in Khartoum demanding that she be put to death
The newest factionalization of Islam is at hand and the players are lining up geographically. Historically, Eastern and Western minds have drastically different views of the world and this proves Islam is not immune.
Western Muslims, like those in Britain, are baffled by the verdict. Some groups have issued statements requesting clemency for Gibbons. Eastern Muslims, like those in Sudan, are equally baffled. Some of them are demonstrating that the punishment isn’t harsh enough. They are even demanding Gibbons’ execution.
Clearly, religion is only one component shaping one’s view of the world. Customs adopted from the local society, read “country”, frame our image of the world. With that as a disclaimer, I’ll freely admit to being of a Western mindset. In turn, I’m appalled at the verdict. I’m even more enraged that Gibbons was even charged.
What kind of law, civil or religious, makes naming a teddy bear a capital offense? One of the ironic twist of the story is the Sudanese ambassador is named Omer Mohammed Ahmed. You can name a person after Mohamed, but not a teddy bear? My Western brain is spinning on “WTF?”
You know what? I’ve just named my slong Mohamed. That’s right. Henceforth, you must refer to my wedding tackle as Mohamed. If you add, “Piece be upon him,” that would be great. As I type this, I know there is an offended Muslim somewhere who is getting a fatwa issued against my faithless action. I fully expect to be scooped off the street in a windowless van, only to have my lifeless body, possibly sans-Mohamed, tossed on the side of the highway. That kind of rational behavior always converts the infidel.
Bring it on. This ain’t Sudan. Here we have the 2nd Amendment. You guys in the van are in for a surprise. In addition to little Mohamed actually being my package, big Mohamed is packing. In the East versus West game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, bullet beats fatwa every time.
Tune in next week when we’ll play “Name My Nuts.” Your advanced suggestions are welcomed.