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Friday, 30 November 2007



I heard some reports on Radio 4 suggesting it was not so much a punishment as a way of gaining some political leverage in exchange for her early release.

Dean Ayres

Hi Rooney, thanks for stopping by.

I hadn't picked up on the suggestion that Sudan might have taken this action to gain leverage. It makes a warped kind of sense. Whether it was for leverage or retaliation, it is totally unjust that Ms. Gibbons has been jailed in part because of the wider political situation, and of course tragic for her.

ex teacher

I taught that age range children many years age and it is unlikely that they would have suggested naming a teddy bear something offensive, particularly as the bear was going to be taken home. I think there is more to this story than we have been told

Dean Ayres

Are you suggesting that Ms. Gibbons or the children were deliberately trying to cause offence?

'Muhammad' is a common name among Muslims, and I doubt the children would have been offended by the using it as the name of a bear.

I remember in my mid-twenties meeting a Spaniard named 'Jesus' (the 'J' is pronounced like 'H') and wondering what his parents were thinking, naming him after the Son of God. But he later told me that Jesus is a reasonably common name in some parts of Spain, where no-one would think twice about it. Just as today in Britain, most people would name their child 'James' without consciously thinking that they were naming him after the brother of Jesus.

I strongly suspect that the children (who were too young to have an overdeveloped outrage gland) and Ms. Gibbons (a non-Muslim), didn't think twice about the appropriateness of the name they gave their bear.

ex teacher

I’m saying that the pupils are old enough to understand their culture but not old enough to conspire to get their teacher into trouble. It would be like reading a story about a group of seven year old Jewish children who voted to make a ham sandwich to take home for tea.

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