Sudanese authorities said teacher had insulted prophet Muhammad by allowing her 7-year-old pupils to give his name to a toy bear
In one of the worst spin jobs in international history, a spokesman for the Sudanese Embassy in London told the BBC that, “We don’t have any teddy bears over here…”
This from the Washington Post:
LONDON – British officials were working Tuesday evening to secure the release of a British schoolteacher arrested in Sudan on allegations of blasphemy after children in her class in Khartoum named a teddy bear “Muhammad.”
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that he felt “very sorry” for Gillian Gibbons, 54, of Liverpool, and that officials were working with the Sudanese government “so that she can be released soon.”
In a case echoing last year’s controversy over Danish newspaper cartoons lampooning Muhammad, Sudanese authorities said Gibbons had insulted the prophet by allowing her 7-year-old pupils to give his name to a toy bear.
“We don’t have any teddy bears over here, so in Sudan, for us, it is a fierce and dangerous animal,” Khalid al-Mubarak, a spokesman for the Sudanese Embassy in London, told the BBC. “The cultural background is very different. That is a very important point.”