Wail, bash head against screen, scream, howl, sob.
Oh teacher, what if you went into a foreign land? What if you taught a class of tots, say seven years old, about animals, and gave them a cute teddy-bear to pass around, take home and write about? Say, oh teacher, what if you let the tots think up names for it, and then vote on the best?
Oh teacher, how do forty lashes, a large fine, or jail time sound as a payment for that?
BBC news tell of a teacher facing just that: the poor woman’s class had voted, 20 against 3, to name the bear Muhammad. Apparently the parents did not approve. And apparently the victimless crime of blasphemy is still actively reported in Sudan.
I know that Muslims hold the name and non-likeness of Muhammad dear. I am entirely willing to let them, by themselves, refrain from naming or portraying him in any way; what consenting adults do in private is no business of mine. However, there just is no reason for anyone else to be held to the same law.
And why don’t they stone the 20 children that voted for Muhammad? Oh, wait, they need them, as without innocent minds raped into accepting dogmatic lies there would be no religion, any religion.
Can you tell I’m a bit angry about this?
PS : Most modern democracies still have laws against blasphemyish actions. Maybe Neo-Nazis should start a religion, too? Just a thought.
PPS : I have just decided that the plush Cthulhu sitting in my bookshelf shall from now on, whenever I feel like it, be named Muhammad Unspeakable. The Unspeakable part is too rude to be said here; it also blasphemes against every god ever conceived, from Thor to Jesus, so it would be too long to write here too.
PPPS: Before I finished this post, the news came that the unlucky woman has been given 15 days of prison and a deportation. Meanwhile, hundreds of devout, deeply religious believers wave sticks outside, woving to fight, and accusing the lady of “the pollution of children’s mentality”. If they need examples of children with poisoned minds, they should get an effing mirror.
4PS : The BBC article above has a comment on this as a “case of cultural misunderstandings”, which is frankly bollocks. This is a case of people not having thick enough skins. Just having a bigly huge imaginary friend shouldn’t be enough to have all your whims made true with sticks and stones, and nice people shouldn’t be tolerant of the excesses of the non-nice ones just for the sake of being tolerant. The axiom “do what thou wilt” loses its charm when one starts hurting other people.