A UK teacher in Khartoum, Sudan, was arrested recently because she had called her classroom teddy bear Muhammad. After her arrest, she learnt that she could possibly face punishment of up to 40 lashes.
The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, might be charged with insulting religion. However, a Sudanese government official at the embassy in London has hinted that she will likely be freed and cleared of all charges. Sudanese embassy in London said Tuesday.
If Ms Gibbons would receive full punishment, she could be looking at the inside of a prison wall for six months or take the fourty lashes. But embassy spokesman Khalid al Mubarak told reporters "My impression is that the whole thing could probably be settled amicably long before we reach stages like these."
The teacher was incarcerated after complaints from one of her pupil’s parents. He accused her of naming the bear after Islam’s prophet and founder.
Muhammad is a common name among Muslim men, but giving the prophet’s name to an animal would be seen as insulting by many Muslims.