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Sudan’s Prez Pardons ‘Teddy Bear’ Teacher

From those defenders of the faith at the Washington Post:


Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir (R) receives two British Muslim peers for talks in Khartoum, including British Muslim Lord Nazir Ahmed (L) from the upper house of parliament.

Sudan’s President Pardons British Teacher

By Kevin Sullivan
Monday, December 3, 2007

LONDON, Dec. 3 — A British school teacher jailed in Sudan for two weeks after allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad was freed Monday following a pardon by the Sudanese president.

President Omar al-Bashir’s pardon of Gillian Gibbons allowed her to leave prison before the end of her 15-day sentence, and ended a diplomatic tangle, resulting in what British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called a victory for common sense.

Bashir pardoned Gibbons, 54, of Liverpool, after meeting with two Muslim members of Britain’s House of Lords, Nazir Ahmed and Sayeeda Warsi, who had traveled to the predominantly Muslim African nation to lobby for her release…

“This case has done quite a bit of damage to how the Sudanese government will be perceived; they have done their country no favors,” said Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, the county’s largest Muslim organization. He called Gibbon’s release “wonderful news.” …

“This has certainly given ammunition to those who never miss an opportunity to portray Muslims as intolerant,” Bunglawala said. “We only hope that the actions of Lord Ahmed and Baroness Warsi and the whole British Muslim community can mitigate against the damage done by the Sudanese authorities.” …

“I have been in Sudan for only four months, but I have enjoyed myself immensely,” Gibbons said in a statement read for reporters by Warsi. “I have encountered nothing but kindness and generosity from the Sudanese people. I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone, and I am sorry if I caused any distress.”

Gibbons said she was looking forward to seeing her family and friends but “very sorry that I will be unable to return to Sudan.”

“I was extremely happy working in Unity High School and there I had made some wonderful friends,” the statement said…

Good news.

Gibbons said she was looking forward to seeing her family and friends but “very sorry that I will be unable to return to Sudan.”

Ms. Gibbons sounds like she is a slow learner.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, December 3rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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