Those goddamned insensitive bears have gone too far!
Here is an article about a British teacher thrown in jail in Sudan for naming the class teddy bear "Muhammad." Evidently, the teacher thought it would be a fun and educational experience for her class to adopt a stuffed animal and give it a name. After a democratic process in which the children chose the potential names and voted, the class decided to name the bear Muhammad (after a kid in the class whose name is Muhammad) which, in addition to being the name of the founding prophet of Islam, is one of the most common names in the Muslim world. It's a very cute idea.
Except you're in freaking Sudan.
So now the teacher is facing a good old fashioned public lashing.
Far be it from me to comment on the social workings of another country, but I see a grave injustice here that I feel must be pointed out. Namely: what about the children.
The kids picked the name. They chose it twenty votes to three. You don't hear anything about twenty little heathen children being thrown in jail and given public lashings. What the hell is up with that? I say, if you're going to beat the school teacher with a rod, you should have to beat the twenty kids as well. And beat them savagely too. They have an entire lifetime of potential blasphemy ahead of them. Better to get that out of their system now before they grow up and name real bears after Muhammad. Wouldn't that be awful!
Or the teddy bear for that matter. Why not punish the teddy bear? What better way to send a message than burning the blaspheming pile of fuzz in a public place? Set up a pyre right in front of the government palaces in Khartoum and have a good old fashioned bear burning. That'll teach them all.
Because it's finally time for Sudan to send a message to all the stuffed animal infidels in the world; to all the little children lurking in the dark corners of the country waiting for the opportunity to illegally name things; to all of the fifty-year-old British school-marms out there who are stupid enough to try and make a difference in the world. They should send a message that in Sudan they don't let people name cute and cuddly stuffed animals after the most revered and respected religious leader of Islam, or all the other sports icons or ordinary people named Muhammad out there either. Maybe you can get away with that shit on the murky, reasonable yet slightly foppish island of Britain, but not here. Not in Sudan.
Now that's the kind of message that really demands respect.
Nat Topping! I found this blog through Ryan Belgrave. I find it unfathomable that we have both been living in Chicago, such a quaint small town, all this time and have not run into each other. Perhaps fate feels that the sun has set on our acquaintanceship from our MRP days, but I think fate is wrong. My email is email@example.com. Send me an email- I'd love to see one of your shows or get together and catch up.
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