Dear Arab World: Take Sudan and other Neighbors to Task for Distorting both Islam and democracy today!?
By Kevin Stoda
Let me recall the following!
--In the early 1990s there were democratically held elections in Algeria. Islamic extremist sponsored candidates won. The West refused to support the Islamicist protests when the results of the elections were thrown out. Civil war ensued in Algeria.
--A few years ago in Palestine, Hamas won the elections. This time again the West boycotted the results of those elections. Civil war ensued in Palestine-fully dividing the government and the state into two separate lands.
--Now, in Sudan another anti-election trend is joining the ones that occurred in other Arab countries over the last two decades
Alright-civil war has been going on in Sudan long before this tiny election in Khartoum this last month. But, it's the anti-democratic lesson being taught children (the future) that is of concern here.
This particular election was for children.
Where did it take place?
In an elementary school classroom in Khartoum in Sudan!
The class was being taught by British Gillian Gibbons. She was simply "following a British National Curriculum course designed to teach young pupils about animals and their habitats. This year's animal was the bear." In addition, the lesson teaches the children to take responsibility for their environment by allowing them to participate in a campaign to name the mascot of the year--a teddy bear in this case.
The children nominated several names and then votes were cast. The 6- and 7- year old students overwhelmingly chose the name, "Mohammed." Upset parents and Islamicists have raised Cain with the Ministry of Education. This anti-democratic trend culminated last week in the arrest of Gillian Gibbons under the charge of blasphemy.
BLASPHEMY, MOHAMMEDIN WORHSIP OR ANTI-DEMOCRATIC?
Well, once again, (at first glance) it seems that someone has attacked the name of Mohammed, the main prophet of Islam. Is that the issue? No, this is not nor should it be the issue. The issue is how Islam and Arabs wants to be perceived by the rest of the world.
The response by police, Islamicists and other authorities to Gillian Gibbons' innocent usage or misuse of the name Mohammed is like providing the West and all-NON-muslims an excuse to say once again that those Muslims claim to worship A llah but actually they worship saints and Mohammed.