Gillian Gibbons and Samina Malik

26 11 2007

Gillian Gibbons, a British school teacher working in Sudan was arrested yesterday for naming a teddy bear. It is reported that she allowed 6 year olds at the expensive English school to name the bear after Prophet Mohammed (saw). According to the Sudanese law a non-Muslim could face a maximum penalty of lashes, prison, a fine and deportation if found guilty of Blasphemy. (More on this at the bbc)

To some this may just be an innocent mistake, a mistake made by a 54 year old school teacher. But can she be excused for ignorance? I believe, anyone taking up a teaching profession or else in an hostile region like Sudan must at least make some effort to understand the sensitivities of the people. This level of ignorance can conveniently be interpreted as hatred by those waiting to be offended and being a minority means they are guilty until proven innocent. At least that was the case with the 23 year old Muslim girl charged with ‘Terrorism” for possessing a book, here in the UK.

Samina Malik, is a young Muslim woman who worked in a stationary shop. Her crime, she wrote poems under the alias ‘Lyrical Terrorist’ of somewhat graphical nature and out of sheer curiosity downloaded some articles from the internet. As a teenager she wrote love poems according to her viewpoint of life at the time, later her purpose of life or viewpoint changed as she turned to Islam and so did her subjects of poetry. Reading and watching atrocities against Muslims day and day out, she wrote poems to express her anger like most other anti-establishment teenagers. However, what she did not know was that one day her very writings will put her behind bars for six years, for unlike most other teenagers who are into violence, she is a Muslim.

Can we assume that both women have made innocent mistakes and they had no real intentions of harming anyone? They became victims of their own ignorance or should they be treated as guilty until proven innocent due to their minority status?? There are high chances of Gillian Gibbons facing deportation only… depending upon Sudan’s inability to withstand pressure from the West because she is a British national in Sudan. Whereas Samina Malik has no such chance, being a Muslim in Britain she is accused of embracing an ‘evil ideology’ according to Blair, where ‘all terrorists are Muslim’. But there is a striking difference between Sudan – a war torn third world country facing serious humanitarian crisis with no rule of law, and Britain.

further readings on Samina Malik case:

An attack on liberty

Think no evil? are you serious?

Terror Stricken

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12 responses

27 11 2007
World Samina Malik Day December 6th « Clattery MacHinery on Poetry

[…] Islamics: Gillian Gibbons and Samina Malik posted by Shukran […]

27 11 2007
Observor

‘Guilty until proven innocent’ applies to Muslims only and not only because they are a minority. hmm

see also:
http://freesaminamalik.blogspot.com/

28 11 2007
Tia

Thanks Clattery MacHinery and Observor for the links.

30 11 2007
Shahrzad

I really dont have any idea about this event yet. That’s funny that they arrest somebody for what is in her mind.
I heard she is Abu Hamza’s fan. What do you think about this man? Abu Hamza?! Can you give me some info about him.
And may you give me the password of protected post?
Thank you πŸ˜‰

1 12 2007
Tia

Shahrzad people here are being arrested for very silly, but I would also say irresponsible things. Shaykh Abu Hamza was very open about his views which eventually got him in trouble, but that’s not the issue here with regards to Samina Malik. I also heard she was his supporter, but that’s not a crime because if it is than they must start with the neo-nazis and those who continue to support and share Hitler’s views. For example, over at Amal’s blog, http://confusedaboutlife.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/92/

check your email for pass πŸ™‚

2 12 2007
Hasmita

Interesting turn of events with gillian Gibbons case with the so called Muslm ‘Peers’ gone to her rescue. i don’t have a problem with that and I think punishing her for this is stupidity. but now, i also think there may be a bigger political agenda behind it`1

2 12 2007
Tia

sis, I too am begining to question this whole incident and the British involvement in Sudan may have other motives. Also, isn’t it surprising that those coming out on streets are only referred as ‘religious hardliners’ or something? We know when mass demos/rallies are organised esp in Muslim countries a particular gourp or groups tend to speadhead it and display thier names in order to be credited. This seems as fishy as the unclaimed ‘terrorist’ attacks!

btw what you think of the new blog look? I miss the old one 😦

3 12 2007
Hasmita

maybe it has to do with the british rolein the darfur crisis?

the old blog was simple and easy to get used to, this one got the vista look and the banner goes witht the blog except the pen sitcking out the top corner πŸ™‚

5 12 2007
Nina

“Teddy bear row”, “teddy bear Teacher”, “teddy bear Mohammed”… I am getting sick of these headlines. One white British woman in trouble in Africa sparks hysterical media hyperbole, while British nationals and citizens are incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay with no hope of a fair trial or release. I wonder why the Muslim ‘peers’ haven’t rushed to secure their release? At lease Ms Gibbons had a trial , a sentence and a date of release, and it really shows how much of a difference one’s colour of skin makes.

It should be clear by now that this teddy incident has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the illegal Sudanese regime which stands accused of murdering thousands of it own citizens in Darfur. The genocidal regime and the silent West, together managed to distract international attention away from the deaths of thousands. Now that Ms Gibbons is back home, can we please focus on real problems in Sudan??

5 12 2007
Tia

Spot on Nina. Thank you.

16 12 2007
Idetrorce

very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
Idetrorce

23 05 2009
LomzOmia

emm. thank you ))

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