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Friday, November 30, 2007

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There is a LOT of discussion about this on international forums, and I spent some time reading what was being said this morning. It's interesting... a ton of Muslims all over the world are outraged over this, but not the way you'd think.

With very few exceptions, none of them think the teacher should be punished in ANY way. And the outcry over the "calls" for her execution is enormous - Muslims all over the world are furious about the way this is portraying their faith. The posts I've read today are almost all in support of Gibbons - the STUDENTS named the teddy bear by voting, and Gibbons merely abided by her STUDENTS' wishes. I saw a lot of feedback from Muslims who said that the whole thing has been blown totally out of proportion - and they accuse the Sudanese of turning the affair into a political statement rather than a matter of religious misunderstanding.

I've read many of the articles and I tend to agree. The demonstrators who are calling for Gibbons' execution are doing so as a way to thumb their noses at the British - not because of the actual incident, although they are using the incident as fuel for their fires. The BBC interviewed several of the demonstrators and all of them, without exception, said that they wanted Gibbons shot as a "lesson" to the British - not because she named the teddy bear Muhammed.

Again, we have an example of a minority screwing things up for the majority. The international media coverage isn't helping because it's only giving them a platform to spew their hatred and distorted views.

The BBC website has some great international forums on their website... if you have a chance, check out what's being said. Most Muslims all over the world don't want anything to do with this mess and are deeply embarrassed.

Thank you for writing about this topic. My blood is so up about it I could spit nails. I'm sooooo sick of being asked to be "tolerant" of this particular religion and that it's such a beautiful and peace-loving faith, and not all Muslims are radical or fanatical, but there sure seems to be a HELLOFALOT of this type around the world. EXECUTED FOR NAMING AN INANIMATE OBJECT AFTER THIER PROPHET??? For Christ sake, how many people, especially in Spanish speaking countries, are names after mine?? Linda, couldn't agree more with your comment:
"Look, Allah is not HER god. Mohammed is not HER prophet. And quite frankly? I don’t believe the rest of the world, all the people who do not follow Islam, necessarily need to play by their religious rulebook." That's what it's come down to - I'm suppose to respect THEIR religion, to the point of being expected to FOLLOW their rules, but someone of my faith would not be tolerated in their country and most likely would be killed. Sorry, I'm so done with this.

I agree - the more I read and the more interviews I watch, it really does seem to be another example of "a few bad apples".

Unfortunately, as in the case in every religion, there are loud extremists - and we all know that in this day and age, the squeaky extremist gets the klieg light.

Linda -

Unfortunately, we have the media to thank for this. And, unfortunately, closed-minded people will choose to judge the Muslim faith based on the actions of a small minority rather than the vast millions who practice the faith every minute of their lives in peace and love. Just like Christians, Jews, Hindus, Taoists and Buddhists... etc.etc.etc.

Our task, as a global community, is to look beyond the "klieg lights" of media coverage and vocal minorities, and educate ourselves about the TRUTH of things.

Our task, as a global community, is to open our minds and hearts to the differences between each other. To learn about each other. To appreciate the differences. To respect each other and our differences. And to love and care for each other as human beings.

"closed-minded people will choose to judge the Muslim faith based on the actions of a small minority rather than the vast millions who practice the faith every minute of their lives in peace and love."
Small minority? Uh, Iran is a pretty BIG country, just in itself, not to mention the VAST number of radical/extremist Muslims around the world. I respect your standing up for this religion time and again, and IF there are these vast million who practice every minute of their lives in love and peace, they need to start "squeaking" since the media only covers the bad apples.

Katy - Are you aware the most of the regular folks in Iran are not Muslim extremists? That most folks in Iran no longer support Ahmadinejad - including the religious leadership of Iran, who have told him repeatedly to STFU? Iran, for the mast part, is a progressive country, where women go to University and have careers and you rarely, if ever, see the burqua? Even hijab are worn back on the head with hair showing (or not at all) and men walk around in short sleeves.

The media will never focus on people who live peaceably as long as stories about people living peaceably don't win Pulitzer Prizes or make their ratings shoot up. It's up to us, as consumers of media, to tell them to shift focus.

As long as people are watching shows like Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight and Jerry Springer - not to mention FOX News - the media will continue to serve up shit on a golden platter and try to convince us it's foie gras.

If you're eating it, you're guilty, too.

No, I don't know that the majority of folks in Iran are not extremists - all i know is that the extremists elected the current president, who IS, and unless the election was fixed (and I'm one to believe it could be done), then he was elected by the MAJORITY. As for the rest of the country, yes I know that Muslim women attend univerities, etc, etc. I never said they didn't. My comment was only to the fact that you stated that these extremists are a small minority, and I mentioned Iran, only because I couldn't spell Af·ghan·i·stan (had to go to dictionary.com). There are also ALOT of these Muslim extremists in France, Iraq, India, Turkey, and Russia.
As far as my news sources, I guess you assume I'm an idiot, because I don't watch or consider Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight and Jerry Springer to be "news" programs. I check websites of and watch CNN, Fox, CSB, local news websites, etc. and base my opinions on the general collection.

Katy - I do not assume that you're an idiot. I was speaking about the media in general - and, I apologize that it came across otherwise - when I said, "If you're eating it, you're guilty, too," I was using the general "you" and not addressing you, specifically. After re-reading what I wrote, I can see that it came across that way, and that was NOT my intention. I am very sorry about that.

My disgust about the media is a general disgust - they play to the average American who doesn't take the time to learn truth and facts, settling instead for "spin" and sensationalism. That creates intolerance on both sides and does no one any good.

Lori: Thanks for clearing that up, apology accepted!
You know, there is one Muslim woman, who have just recently been reading alot about and have a lot of respect for and would love your thoughts on her and the situation in Pakistan - - the ex-Prime Minister Bhutto. What I've read and seen of her so far, I've been quit impressed.

Benazir Bhutto is an amazing woman, and I've always admired her. She's strong, fierce and passionate about her country and democracy. If she can get things cleared up with Musharraf (who's been a prime candidate for Asshat Of The Year lately), Pakistan might have a chance... but it's going to rely a lot on Musharraf and the Pakistani military.

The Taliban HATES Bhutto (actually, she scares the crap out of them), which makes her golden in my book.

Lori, I share your disgust for the media. Have you watched the documentary Out Foxed? Hubby & I watched it coincidentally last night. Very interesting. The most amusing statement to me was when one man spoke up to say the most dangerous thing about this media propaganda is that most people don't realize they are being subjected to propaganda. At first, I thought "WHAT?!?” But you know, he's right. Most folks need to seriously get their heads out of the sand, pay attention and take some time to educate themselves on a few facts. It's sad how the general public in our wonderfully advanced “highly educated” technologically developed society is led by the nose without ever looking up to ask questions!

Thanks, I totally agree, she is amazing, and to use a word my son now loves, "balls-y!" And I agree with your summation of Musharraf. I haven't heard a peep about Bhuto though, since Musharraf stepped down as the head of the military. Is she still under house arrest?

Yeah, they're called Democrats!
(ok, folks, just a joke - couldn't resist!) :-)

Kristi - My husband and I watched "OutFOXed" a few months ago and, I have to admit, I was stunned. I knew FOX was right-wing but I had no idea they went so far to deliberately slant their "news." My opinion is that Rupert Murdoch is a scumbag from Hell. He's on the same level as Michael Moore - the other side of the scumbag coin.

I followed this also. It was a teddy bear! I mean, come on, I know that it can be taken as idolatry and such, but seriously? imatation is the best form of flattery? it's not like she named a stuffed pig mohammed.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3940765&page=1

Excellent article on ABC's website.

And an update - Gibbons has been pardoned and will be headed back to England today!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/04/world/africa/04sudan.html

Ahhhhhh... and now the story BEHIND the story finally comes out.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/12/03/sudan.school/

What a crappy thing to do - and I love the fact that this bitch tried to get support from parents at the school and was turned down flat.

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