Saturday, December 1, 2007

Assignment #11

Sudan teacher arrested over teddy bear

A 54 year old British teacher has been arrested in Sudan. She is accused of insulting Islam's prophet by allowing her class to name a teddy bear Mohammed. Gillian Gibbons could face several months in jail if she's convicted of blasphemy under Sudanese law.
Gillian Gibbons' colleagues at Unity High School in the Sudanese capital said they feared for her safety. They said there were reports that young men had already started gathering outside the Khartoum police station where she's being held.
The 54 year old teacher was arrested at her house on Sunday afternoon. State media said she was being charged with blasphemy after allowing her class of 6 and 7 year olds to choose their favourite name for a teddy bear they were using as part of a school project. The pupils voted to call the toy Mohammed.
The school said Miss Gibbons had been following a British educational course designed to teach the children about animals and their habitats. She was taken into custody after complaints to the Ministry of Education.
Unity High School's director, Robert Bulos, insisted that the teacher had made an innocent mistake but he said he was concerned it could have serious consequences. As a result the school has decided to close until January. British Embassy officials in Khartoum are visiting Gillian Gibbons in custody.

Questions:
1. Why do you think the reaction from the government is so strong?
2. Do you think the teacher was not aware of the possible results?
3. What does this story make you think about?

For the real article, check out the BBC website:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/newsenglish/witn/2007/11/071126_sudan.shtml

2 comments:

William said...

Well, Miss Gibbons should be careful of what she's going to say, and I think everyone should be careful, too. Think about the consequences that may happen after you done something.

And there's another point. Respecting others is also important. Mohammed is in the Islamic religion, and Miss Gibbons should respect the believers. This story teaches or reminds us to respect others and be careful of saying something. There is something to learn in here.

little girl with broken heart...:( said...

It might because Sudan's society builts on their religion. They repect their God as they be responsible to their lives.(I think so.)

I don't know how long the teacher has been in Sudan, so I can't tell if she awared.
In my point of view, name an animal doll as a God's name has nothing wrong. It's her own education way. She didn't hit the children or ignore a certain kid....,etc. She didn't do anything will cause the people concern more seriously in the western education. As she's a British, I think the goverment should show more respect to foreigners' different ways of doing things.

However, (also for answering the third question)we can't only blame the Sudan's goverment. (especially at knowing nothing about Sudan's culture)
When we're in a foreign country, this kind of situation might happens. To be more careful and sensible will be the better way.