Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What's in a name? (Updated)

::: Update ::: The teacher is found guilty and is sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation :::
I heard briefings on this story yesterday, but have since read more details thanks to the coverage of the AP, CNN, and BBC amongst others.

Sudanese state media said on Wednesday that Gibbons faced charges of insulting Islam, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs.

Hmm, this is what concerns me, how is letting a group of children vote on a name to give to a Teddy Bear insulting to Islam, how does it incite hatred or show contempt for religious beliefs? I find it ironic that this incident is cause for outrage especially in Sharia States such as Sudan, Saudia Arabia, Nigeria and Iran when so many acts of violence, hatred, avarice, gluttony, sexual liberality, etc. is perpetrated daily by individual males with the name Mohammed world wide. Why not then say, the name Mohammed therefore is designated for the Prophet only.

Thankfully though the only people who are outraged are Islamic Extremists and we know they’re only a small minority of the larger Muslim population. In fact this is what one British Muslim Group had to say:

"This is a disgraceful decision and defies common sense. There was clearly no intention on the part of the teacher to deliberately insult the Islamic faith," said Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of the MCB.

Moving away from the specifically Religious ‘Justifications’ behind this terrible act, some interesting insights are provided by the Guardian as well:

The Sudanese government has conceded several points to the international community recently in agreeing to allow UN and AU troops into Darfur and southern Sudan, but the Sudanese are deeply uncomfortable with having foreign troops on their soil. In this climate, it is easy and tempting for the Sudanese politicians in Khartoum to whip up anti-foreign sentiment against a teacher to disguise their loss of sovereignty elsewhere. One can only hope they realise just how much damage is being done by their irresponsible actions soon and defuse this insane situation.
It behooves me though, and I would be remised not to mention that this is not the only woman suffering at the hands of a radical theocrotized government. Let’s not forget the woman in Saudi Arabia who is set to receive lashes because she was brutally raped and beaten while out with a man that wasn’t her family member because she really brought that on herself you know… By the by, I wonder why there hasn’t been an outcry from the moderate Muslims on behalf of the Girl from Qatiff as there has been over this Anglo-woman in Sudan. That’s very disheartening.

And of course I couldn’t finish this post without quoting a little Shakespeare:
O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

::: Update ::: The teacher is found guilty and is sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation :::

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