Monday, December 03, 2007

Sudan Pardons Gibbons

While this is characterized as a victory for common sense, I think there's more to it than that. Gibbons was freed earlier this morning, and is ostensibly on her way back to Great Britain.

Her life is forever changed by this experience, and not for the better I'm afraid. Islamists have a very long memory and her life is still in danger despite the pardon.
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-Bahir’s pardon of Gillian Gibbons allowed her to leave prison before the end of her 15-day sentence, and ended a diplomatic tangle with 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.
While Muslim groups in the West may want to portray this as a misunderstanding, the Islamists have a different take.

Bryan at Hot Air has a similar take; noting that Gibbons was forced to leave (pretty much for her own protection) because the Islamists weren't going to stand down anytime soon, and were going to demand her death until someone finally succeeded. Sudan didn't apologize for their wrongheaded treatment, nor did they exonerate her.

Gibbons notes that she's sorry that she has to leave Sudan. She was teaching kids, which is an admirable thing to do.

However, her life is seriously in danger - if she stays, and even if she leaves. Those death threats aren't going to stop at the Sudanese border.

Was a grudge to blame for this whole mess? It appears that way:
The two sources said Sarah Khawad was fired as the school's secretary in November after an employment spat and threatened to shut down the school.

The sources said Khawad did not appear to have a vendetta against Gibbons, but hoped that by bringing the teddy bear incident to the education minister's attention, he would close down the school for anti-Islamic teachings.

The private school was shut down after the controversy came to light last week. It is unclear if it will reopen.

Although there is no ban in the Quran on images of Allah or the Prophet Mohammed, Islam's founder, some Muslims consider likenesses highly offensive.

The sources said they have confirmed the account with Gibbons.
And Gibbons was the poor soul who got hammered hardest by Khawad's claims and belief in adhering to a strict Islamist education.

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