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British teacher quizzed over teddy "insult" to Islam

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British teacher quizzed over teddy "insult" to Islam


A British teacher has been questioned in Sudan over claims she insulted Islam by letting her class of children name a teddy bear Mohammed.

Gillian Gibbons, who taught at the Unity High School in Khartoum, was arrested on Sunday after complaints from parents.

If convicted, the 54-year-old faces 40 lashes, six months in prison or a hefty fine.

An Imam at a local mosque said Gibbons’ actions were insulting: “Islam respects other freedoms and gives people ample space to express their opinions. In return we ask that other beliefs and religions respect our opinions and deal fairly with us.”

Gibbons had asked her class of seven-year-olds to choose their favourite name for the bear. 20 out of the 23 picked Mohammed.

The director of the school has closed it until January, fearful of reprisals in mainly Muslim Khartoum.

British embassy officials have visited Gibbons, who is said to be in good spirits.

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