If She Should Have Known Better, Then So Should We

Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher jailed in Sudan for naming a teddy bear Muhammed, was released yesterday, after Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir pardoned her following talks with two British Muslim peers. In a statement, Gibbons had this to say: "I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone and I am sorry if I caused any distress. I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends but I am very sorry that I will be unable to return to Sudan and work in Unity High School as the teacher of 2X." Throughout this insane episode, I've been disturbed by the opinion, held by many, that Gibbons somehow brought the whole thing on herself. That as a Westerner in an Islamic country she should have known better. Or that we're all at fault for not being more understanding of Islam. It's precisely that kind of thinking that allowed September 11th and 7/7 to happen: turning a blind eye to Islamic extremists and letting them get on with it; allowing some warped sense of Western guilt to eclipse the fact that backward, medieval societies like Sudan oppress women and gays, and are the antithesis of a liberal, tolerant society. The war on terror supposedly targets those who harbour terrorists. But Britain, the US and others play a big role in fostering the threat of Islam. We have to stop pandering to its extremes, apologising for the hate it nurtures and the oppression it gives rise to. It's cold comfort that Gillian Gibbons has been released - she's just one woman. Who's going to help the thousands of black African Darfuris, the murders of whom the bearded Arabs of Sudan have orchestrated...?

1 comments:

NBG700 said...

Wow your blog is awsome, you actually know what your talking about you just keep getting better and better

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