There has been lots of hand-wringing over the jailing of a British subject, Gillian Gibbons, for the offense of permitting children in her class in Sudan name a teddy bear Mohammad. Fortunately, she won’t be receiving the original punishment of 40 lashes but she will be in jail for 15 days before being sent back to England. An editorial in the Telegraph has the right idea:
‘[T]he jailing/deportation sentence on Mrs Gibbons demands at least the recalling of our ambassador to Khartoum and the imposition of sanctions on leading members of a regime which has for so long been allowed to defy the outside world with impunity.”
The blog posts relating to the editorial were fascinating, overwhelmingly indicating that the British people would like a less supine response: A sample: “By failing to stand up to the disgraceful treatment of a Briton abroad, Brown and his fellow appeasers have now made it all the more dangerous for British people to travel, work or live overseas. It now appears that a foreign government can treat British citizens in whatever way it chooses to, without the risk of repercussions. What a spineless country we seem to have become.”
You’d think the odd rad feminist here and there might say a word or two against the treatment of Gillian Gibbons, as clear an example of violence against a woman as I’ve seen lately. But so far, no outrage.
THIS JUST IN: Bravo for Project 21, a conservative-leaning African-American organization, which is condemning the “uncharacteristic silence” of movement feminists on the plight of Gillian Gibbons:
“Deneen Borelli, a fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network, is condemning the jailing and likely deportation of a female British teacher in Sudan because she allowed the children in her class to name a teddy bear ‘Muhammed.’ Borelli is also critical of American feminists for their uncharacteristic silence on this issue.
“‘It’s shocking that the Sudanese government considers the mere naming of a stuffed animal as a violation of its constitution and a punishable offense,” said Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. ‘The overreaction by the Sudanese government should not go unchallenged by the U.S. This is especially true when our tax dollars in foreign aid are effectively used to support these extreme actions.’
“When queried by Fox News about their reaction to the Gibbons arrest on November 28, a spokesman for the National Organization for Women (NOW) said the group was monitoring the situation but would not be issuing a statement or taking an official position on the matter. This is contrary to past international activism by the group in countries such as Mexico and Afghanistan, the support of a United Nations treaty on women’s rights and cosponsorship of an International Women’s Day delegation to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela last year.
“Speaking on the condition of women in Sudan in 2004, NOW president Kim Gandy said: ‘The U.S. government must demonstrate its commitment to the freedom and safety of women by demanding that the U.N. do more to put an end to the atrocities in Darfur [Sudan]. And we must speak out [on] behalf of all the women and girls affected by violence around the globe.’
“Tammy Bruce, a former NOW official in Los Angeles, told Fox News: ‘The supposed feminist establishment is refusing to take a position in this regard [on the Gibbons arrest] because they have no sensibility of what is right anymore. They’re afraid of offending people. They are bound by political correctness.'”
The piece from which this comes will be up on the group’s website momentarily.