Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Teddy Bear's Picnic

Finally, it seems that the British Prime Minister has had something to say of note. Welcoming the release of the British teacher, Miss Gibbons, by the Sudanese authorities he said, “Common sense has prevailed.” It might have been more encouraging had he been able to say the same of his own government but that would be expecting too much, I suppose.
Once again the Muslim community has got an undeserved black eye on account of the actions of a small percentage of their community. Every human faction has more than its fair share of loonies and I doubt that Muslims have any more than most.
But whilst the initial reaction of the government of Sudan was deplorable, nobody seems to have questioned the common sense of Miss Gibbons.
Surely to goodness she was not so unaware of the significance of the name Muhammad that it did not occur to her just how inappropriate naming a stuffed animal would be?
Children are routinely named so as a compliment to the prophet, the same can hardly be said of a stuffed animal modelled on a former president of the United States.
Even the excuse that it was named, not after the prophet but a boy in her class, hardly flies. Surely it would be inequitable to have selected one boy's name over another?
Quite why anyone from Liverpool would want to go and work in the Sudan is another question. In 1885 General Gordon found it extremely inhospitable and, in terms of attractiveness, Liverpool wins by a short head.
I hope that when she returns to teaching in Liverpool and the same subject arises, pupils will vote to call their stuffed animal, Jesus Christ.
“Oh no, dears,” I'm sure she'll say, “that would be most inappropriate.”


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