Execution. And the West continues to tiptoe around these madmen, instead of calling madness what it is. Muhammad Teddy Bear Madness Update from the Evening Standard (thanks to all who sent this in):
A major security operation was under way today as a British teacher charged with inciting hatred and insulting religion was brought before a court in Sudan.
Trucks protected by armed police transported Gillian Gibbons from her cell at the CID headquarters in Khartoum where she had been kept in custody following her arrest on Sunday for allowing pupils to name a school teddy bear Mohammed.
Security was also tight at the city’s court building as fears that extremists might stage a kidnap attempt ran high.
Mrs Gibbons, looking tired and distressed and wearing a dark blue jacket and blue dress, was not handcuffed.
Reports have suggested she could learn her fate by 5pm today.
Before the hearing began the public and press were cleared from the court room but only moments later the case was adjourned for two hours.
The prosecutor-general said Mrs Gibbons, whose case has drawn international condemnation, can expect a swift and fair trial under Sudanese law.
Fair trial? On a charge that is ludicrous? Sudan should be on the receiving end of international condemnation at this point. That it isn’t is just more testimony to the madness of our age.
Mrs Gibbons faces 40 lashes and a year in jail after after being charged with insulting Islam. Reports today suggested the complaint against her had been made by a secretary at the school.
She was charged after behind-the-scenes political moves to avoid a court case collapsed amid growing Islamic anger in the east African country.
A Sudanese official said it was “unlikely” that Mrs Gibbons would be convicted.
A powerful Sudanese newspaper urged authorities to call a hardline Islamist leader linked to Osama bin Laden to give evidence at her trial, to stress how offensive the case was to Muslims.
Extreme Islamic groups said Mrs Gibbons “must die” and urged Muslims to hold street protests after prayers tomorrow.
At least there are some calls for sanity from Muslim groups in the West:
The Muslim Council of Britain said it was “appalled” at the decision by Sudan….
One lawyer said that if Mrs Gibbons pleads guilty and makes profuse apologies, she could emerge with a “relatively minor penalty”, such as a hefty fine or a jail term equivalent to the four days she has already spent in custody.
But he warned that rising anger in Sudan, as news of the case spread, might affect the court’s decision….
Mrs Gibbons technically faces three charges – insulting Islam, inciting religious hatred and contempt for religious beliefs – each of which carries a maximum penalty of 40 lashes and a year in jail. But it is believed she will stand trial on only one….