One of our favorite readers—Skip Rope—said something very interesting on our post about the Troublesome Teddy. He said:
"In researching Muhammad, he tells his followers to be forgiving. It was an oversight by the teacher that did not hurt anyone. I imagine the teacher will be a bit more sensitive and aware of the customs in her new hometown."
We agree with Skip on this one. We believe that this was an innocent teacher, and didn’t deserve to be sent out of the country for such a small thing as naming a teddy bear Mohammad. She was simply stating to her students that she would let them name the teddy bear whatever they wanted. The students were the ones who truly chose the name—and they should have known better considering they were probably born and raised in Sudan. Their parents should have taught them better.
But there is another side to the story.
The teacher should have known better about the criticisms towards the sacred customs of the people of the Sudan. Before making her decisions, she should have realized—or researched—if this was really appropriate. Being a teacher, she should have learned about the laws against criticizing Mohammad.
Do you think that teachers have a higher responsibility for knowing the culture of the country that they teach in than an ordinary tourist or visitor? Is it shocking that a teacher made this "innocent mistake?"
Leave us a comment to share your thinking and join us again on the Blurb.
Drama Queen and Dance Star #1
Image retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/photoessay_2813_images/1204070750_M_teacher6.jpg on December 14, 2007.