Teacher Held for Teddy Bear Blasphemy

Briton in Sudan faces 40 lashes over bear named 'Mohammed'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2007 7:25 PM CST
Unity High School in Khartoum, Sudan. Seen from the outside, this is where Gillian Gibbons was teaching until the prophet-bear debacle.   (Unity High School)
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(Newser) – A UK teacher in Sudan may get 40 lashes and a 6-month sentence over a teddy bear named "Mohammed," the Telegraph reports. Sudanese cops nabbed Gillian Gibbons yesterday for blasphemy after she let her elementary school kids name the bear after Islam's prophet. School director Robert Boulos, who has closed the school for fear of attacks, said Gibbons used the bear as a teaching tool.

Parents reportedly grumbled to Sudanese officials when they heard about it. Now the UK is trying to intervene, and an angry mob has gathered outside the station where Gibbons is held. "We are very worried about the kind of conditions she is subjected to," said one of Gibbons' former neighbors. "Being held in a police cell in Khartoum must be a horrendous experience."