Do not call your teddy

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  • #1
wolram
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Mohamed.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/article3198874.ece [Broken]

A British primary school teacher in Sudan is facing 40 lashes and up to a year in jail for allowing her pupils to name a teddy bear after the Prophet Mohamed. Gillian Gibbons has been imprisoned under strict blasphemy laws for showing "contempt and disrespect against the believers".

I think a short prison term is the outcome.
 
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  • #3
Evo
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So, is it against Islamic law for a person to be named Muhammad? If it isn't, who's to say the bear isn't carrying a normal every day name? I thought Muhammad was a common name.
 
  • #4
wolram
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There are three people called Mohamed in this factory.
 
  • #5
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So, is it against Islamic law for a person to be named Muhammad? If it isn't, who's to say the bear isn't carrying a normal every day name? I thought Muhammad was a common name.

Well, the entire issue was that some (a lot) Islamic fundamentalists thinks that she, by allowing students to name the teddy bear Muhammad, make a depiction of the 'prophet' Muhammad, which is, according to the Qur'an, blasphemy (well, not really; making it of Allah is and then Islamic scholars extrapolated it to fit the prophet too).

So, therefore, she 'insulted religion' and some people want her to die.
 
  • #6
Garth
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So, is it against Islamic law for a person to be named Muhammad? If it isn't, who's to say the bear isn't carrying a normal every day name? I thought Muhammad was a common name.
Muhammad, and its various spellings, is reputed to be the most common boys name in the world.

She did not call the teddy bear Muhammad, there was a competition in her class for the name and the 6-year-old Muslim children chose Muhammad as their favourite. Her 'crime' was to allow their choice.

Had she disallowed it what is the betting she would have been arrested for anti-Islamic prejudice?

The real blasphemy, i.e. the bringing of the name of God or Allah into disrepute, is the action of those who publicise to the world that you want somebody to die in the name of that God for such an 'offence'.

Garth
 
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  • #7
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7116401.stm

"Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, was arrested on Sunday in Khartoum, and could face charges of insulting Islam's Prophet after her class named the toy.

But one boy said: "The teacher asked me what I wanted to call the teddy. I said Muhammad. I named it after my name."

The Sudanese Embassy in London said the situation was a "storm in a teacup"."
 
  • #8
Evo
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Well, the entire issue was that some (a lot) Islamic fundamentalists thinks that she, by allowing students to name the teddy bear Muhammad, make a depiction of the 'prophet' Muhammad, which is, according to the Qur'an, blasphemy (well, not really; making it of Allah is and then Islamic scholars extrapolated it to fit the prophet too).

So, therefore, she 'insulted religion' and some people want her to die.
It seems rather obvious the whole thing is preposterous. Sometimes I think we live in a world of knowledge and enlightenment, then I read the news.
 
  • #9
Astronuc
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Let the children be children. There is certainly something wrong with the adults in Khartoum who have a problem with this. What the children did is apparently common enough out there in the world. The problem seems to be Gibbons heritage.

Those calling for violence against Ms. Gibbons are the true blasphemers - against humanity and all else.
 
  • #10
Danger
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I agree that it's absurd. What disturbs me is that I can see the same thing happening to a teacher in Mississippi or Kansas who allows her students to name a bear 'Satan'.
 
  • #11
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I agree that it's absurd. What disturbs me is that I can see the same thing happening to a teacher in Mississippi or Kansas who allows her students to name a bear 'Satan'.

Actually, it is not so absurd after all; it follows rationally provided that one accepts the premises.
 
  • #12
Danger
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It's the premise that I find absurd, not the action itself, so I kind of agree with you.
 
  • #13
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Are these people just looking for something to be offended by, or what. :rolleyes: It is the worlds most common name and the second most common name in the UK.

Every other Mexican boy has Jesus either as his first name or among one of his multiple names.
It drives the cops nuts because they like to switch all or parts of their names with cousins, but Christians aren't offended by it.
 
  • #14
wolram
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It seems that they want to be apart from the rest of the world.
 
  • #15
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I have a classmate named Mohammed... What an oddly moronic, easily offended world we live in...
 
  • #16
wolram
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4690224.stm

In the UK we suffer guys like this, note what the judge said.

You are entitled to your views and in this country you are entitled to express them, but only up to the point where you incite murder or use language calculated to incite racial hatred. That is what you did."
 
  • #17
EnumaElish
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I agree that it's absurd. What disturbs me is that I can see the same thing happening to a teacher in Mississippi or Kansas who allows her students to name a bear 'Satan'.
That's somewhat easier to argue against, in a technical sense.

Islam prohibits idolatry. As far as I understand it, one cannot be a true muslim if he or she paints people's portraits or sculpts busts or faces, because that would be committing idolatry in an Islamic sense (representing objects of faith/love/etc. through inanimate objects). In that narrow technical sense, it is okay to write on an inanimate object like a teddy bear "I love Mohammad" or "Allah is great," or whatever, because that does not idolize the prophet or Allah in an inanimate object.

There is enough religious dogma that can be used to incite hatred toward almost anything and anyone.

For Sudan this may be one way of getting even with the "outsiders" who have been pressuring them on human rights and Darfur. Also a convenient excuse to divert attention from things that matter, like human rights and Darfur.
 
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  • #18
morphism
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When will the human race grow out of religion? Or at least, the more absurd aspects of religion...
 
  • #19
DaveC426913
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It is the naming of artificial idols (idolatry) that is offensive. It is not the naming of people that is offensive.

(I wish people would understand what it is they're judging when they pass judgement.)


And by the way, idolatry is also one of the Ten Commandment no-nos.


I'm not sayin' it was right. I just get so tired of seeing how black-and-white the world is to some people.
 
  • #20
Moonbear
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If the name was offensive, why not just have one of the religion teachers come in and explain why and ask the children to rename the teddy bear?
 
  • #21
wolram
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I guess a psychiatrist would diagnose some kind of mania, if they did these people are ill.
 
  • #22
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It is the naming of artificial idols (idolatry) that is offensive. It is not the naming of people that is offensive.

(I wish people would understand what it is they're judging when they pass judgement.)


And by the way, idolatry is also one of the Ten Commandment no-nos.


I'm not sayin' it was right. I just get so tired of seeing how black-and-white the world is to some people.

Close, but no cigar. Islam does not have the ten commandments (though they appear throughout the Qur'an in various forms). The real issue is that you cannot make depictions of the prophet, even though no real scriptural support exists.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4674864.stm

There is no specific, or explicit ban in the Koran on images of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad - be they carved, painted or drawn.

However, chapter 42, verse 11 of the Koran does say: "[Allah is] the originator of the heavens and the earth... [there is] nothing like a likeness of Him."

This is taken by Muslims to mean that Allah cannot be captured in an image by human hand, such is his beauty and grandeur. To attempt such a thing is seen as an insult to Allah.

The same is believed to apply to Muhammad.

Islamic tradition or Hadith, the stories of the words and actions of Muhammad and his Companions, explicitly prohibits images of Allah, Muhammad and all the major prophets of the Christian and Jewish traditions.

More widely, Islamic tradition has discouraged the figurative depiction of living creatures, especially human beings. Islamic art has therefore tended to be abstract or decorative.

If something is black-and-white, I'd say it is the fundamentalists view.
 
  • #23
Garth
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The real issue is that you cannot make depictions of the prophet, even though no real scriptural support exists.
But you can call a child Muhammad??

If a child then why not a teddy named after the child??

Garth
 
  • #24
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But you can call a child Muhammad??

If a child then why not a teddy named after the child??

Garth

To name a child Muhammad is one of the greatest sacrifices, and some think that naming their child after the prophet will make them go to heaven automatically. Apparently, assigning the name to a teddy is equal to depict the prophet, and thus blasphemous. It is right up there with apostasy in some areas.

But then again, I never said that it made sense.
 
  • #25
Astronuc
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Since when is a term of endearment the equivalent of idolizing? It think that is the key issue here.

The kids are not worshipping the teddy bear, nor are they idolizing it.


Having affection for something/someone is considerably different than idolizing or worshipping something/someone.
 

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