Friday, November 30, 2007

Those Wacky Sudanis

As you've probably read today (e.g. this NYTimes story) the government of Sudan has convicted British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons of Crimes Against Islam for allowing her 7 year old students name a teddy bear Mohammad (which, according to the Wiki, was chosen because its the name of a boy in the class). The punishment for Gibbons could have been death or whipping, instead she got 2 weeks in jail and deportation.

Today, hundreds of Sudanese protesters called for Gibbons' execution.

Now, I won't take the time to explain why this situation is disgusting. It does underscore just how dangerous it is to be a first grade teacher. Parent teacher conferences with radical Islamicists must be tense. I can imagine that there's heavy grade inflation.

But the real issue is that the people of Sudan are asking their government to execute this woman for her crimes against Mohammad. Because we all know he needs all the help he can get. However, this is also the same government that's in part responsible for the genocide in Darfur.

As the State department, uh, states:
The Sudanese government’s disastrous decision to arm, direct, and pay Northern Arab tribes, now called the Janjaweed, as their proxies in the war against Darfur’s rebels led to genocide and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and the destruction of their villages and livelihoods
I just find that you need to have your priorities *seriously* out of whack when you consider a crime against a Teddy Bear to be of graver concern than ethnic cleansing.

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