British teacher gets jail in teddy bear case
By Times Wires
Published November 30, 2007
The British teacher in Sudan who let her 7-year-old pupils name a class teddy bear Mohammed was found guilty Thursday of insulting Islam and sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation. Under Sudanese law, the teacher, Gillian Gibbons, could have spent six months in jail and been lashed 40 times. "She got a very light punishment," said Rabie A. Atti, a government spokesman. "Actually, it's not much of a punishment at all. It should be considered a warning that such acts should not be repeated." British officials were furious. "We are extremely disappointed," said Omar Daair, spokesman for the British Embassy in Khartoum. Daair said Gibbons' sentence would include time served, which means she will spend 10 more days behind bars before being sent to Britain. The case started in September when Gibbons, 54, began a project on animals and asked her class to suggest a name for a teddy bear. The class voted resoundingly for Mohammed, one of the most common names in the Muslim world and the name of Islam's holy prophet.
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[Last modified November 30, 2007, 01:30:46]
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