Teddy Muhammad
December 15, 2007 12:29 PM   Subscribe

The elementary school teacher arrested in Sudan for naming a teddy bear "Muhammad" was charged with fifteen days in prison and deportation to Britain. In response to the incident, an American group has started a line of plush bears called The Infamous Teddy Bear MuhammadTM. Additionally, $1 from the sale of each bear goes to support U.S. troops. [Previously]
posted by lunit (58 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: The Teddy Bear product thing is kind of lame and banal mean-spiritedness, and the rest of this is just recapping updating on the still-open thread that you linked. Probably better to just drop this as an update comment there than start a huge argument here. -- cortex



 
(This is my first FPP.)
posted by lunit at 12:30 PM on December 15, 2007


There's nothing more American than intentionally pissing people off.
posted by Pants! at 12:34 PM on December 15, 2007 [9 favorites]


I really don't understand why people go and work in countries like this. You will be thrown to the wolves in a second if the religious fundamentalists get pissed off at anything you do. This woman only got off so lightly because Sudan can't go wantonly pissing off Britain and they know it - if she'd been from somewhere else with less political heft, something a lot nastier would have happened.

Why would you want to go a place that doesn't respect you or your culture?
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:34 PM on December 15, 2007


It's a good thing that waterboarding is not torture.
posted by gum at 12:35 PM on December 15, 2007


Why would you want to go a place that doesn't respect you or your culture?

Why would any place want you if you don't respect them or their culture?
posted by smcniven at 12:37 PM on December 15, 2007


I want to be able to exercise my freedom of speech to say the word 'bomb' in an airport but I can't.
posted by tapeguy at 12:38 PM on December 15, 2007


an American group has started a line of plush bears called The Infamous Teddy Bear MuhammadTM. Additionally, $1 from the sale of each bear goes to support U.S. troops.

This totally isn't going to add fuel to the fire. Nope.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:39 PM on December 15, 2007


Mine is the last post on this doomed thread.
posted by LarryC at 12:40 PM on December 15, 2007


this is stupid
posted by bhnyc at 12:40 PM on December 15, 2007


Christ, what assholes.
posted by nowonmai at 12:40 PM on December 15, 2007


Bad event, bad response.... and LarryC was wrong.. I'm the last post...

Bear Blue
posted by HuronBob at 12:41 PM on December 15, 2007


smcniven: Why would any place want you if you don't respect them or their culture?

Well, I'm fine with that. If I don't want to be there, I don't care if they want me around. We can sit and glare at each other from over the border.

But realistically? Because Sudan is not exactly a country that rewards intellectualism or education, and thus does not have the local experts necessary to tend to their own technology.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:43 PM on December 15, 2007


Mitrovarr, many people have a hard time believing that there are legitimate differences between cultures, or that these differences could turn out badly for them. They are rose-colored glasses types who believe that because their culture is relatively tolerant other cultures must therefore be tolerant as well. Many of them view their own culture as fundamentally flawed and evil, but look at other cultures--even long-developed cultures with deep histories--in idealized terms. There are real, honest to God American activists who view Islamic cultures as tolerant and enlightened, only unpopular due to slander. They don't understand that "evil" is universal in human society.

Actually, a ton of these types view their own socities (Britain, the US, France, Canada...) as intolerant and will assert without a qualm that other cultures are actually "more tolerant." It's laughable.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:43 PM on December 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


certain groups are seeking exaggerated deference toward their members and their icons as a calculated strategy of placing themselves above the same level of criticism other groups and their icons get, as if to make us walk on eggshells when we speak of them; when this happens, it is meet and right to mock them until they get the message.
posted by bruce at 12:44 PM on December 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Take *that* crazy Muslims!
posted by mazola at 12:46 PM on December 15, 2007


That's fine and all but are they Made In The USA?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:50 PM on December 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


s/charged/sentenced/

"Christ, what assholes"

The teddy bear vendors, or the Sudanese?
posted by Manjusri at 12:55 PM on December 15, 2007


The teddy bear vendors, or the Sudanese?

He said "Christ, what assholes", not "Allah, what assholes."
posted by eriko at 12:58 PM on December 15, 2007


There's nothing more American than intentionally pissing people off.

Especially if there's a buck to be made doing it.

Respect is a two-way street, period.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:00 PM on December 15, 2007


Good thing they money goes toward the troops, who are fighting against the forces of Islam everywhere.
posted by Hildegarde at 1:03 PM on December 15, 2007


Idiotic -- all around. But the Neo-cons should have known better. Especially since the teacher is still in jail over there, and aggravating the situation would actually be pretty bad for her, don'tcha think?

But, we can't let little concerns like people's welfare get in the way of making a little holiday scratch off Muslim hating neo-con types.
posted by delmoi at 1:04 PM on December 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I have a little plush wolf perched on my monitor here which, if pressed, I could begin referring to blasphemously. I mean less "pressed" than "remunerated", really. Anything to support the troops.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:05 PM on December 15, 2007


Especially since the teacher is still in jail over there...

She was released and sent back to Britain.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:05 PM on December 15, 2007


"Especially since the teacher is still in jail over there" ...erm. no.
posted by The Carolingian at 1:07 PM on December 15, 2007


Dear America:

Here in the People's Glorious Democratic Republic of MeFitania, we have a little thing we like to call "wendell," after an early pioneer of our Glorious Republican Popular Democracy. As in, "This will not wendell."

Wise words. Study them. Learn when they are used. Learn how true they are. And go, and gratuitiously provoke no more.

Seriously. Don't make us come over there and debate circumcision at you.

Love and kisses,
The Blue
posted by eritain at 1:07 PM on December 15, 2007


And she didn't name the bear Muhammad, she allowed her students to name the bear Muhammad.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:08 PM on December 15, 2007


This is going to do wonders for america's populatory in the Muslim world when this ends up as a news piece on Al Jazeera.
posted by Octoparrot at 1:10 PM on December 15, 2007


Mitrovarr: There's been some talk that it happened because the government of Sudan wanted to piss off Britain. Britain has been loudly condemning the Sudanese government over the Sudan's support of the Janjaweed militia. Also important to remember is that the actions of the Sudanese government in the Teddy Bear case were greeted with condemnation or indifference by the rest of the Muslim world.

The American version of the bear is just stupid. A teacher who went to the Sudan to help educate Muslim children makes an innocent mistake and winds up being arrested and used by the Government as part of a diplomatic row. In response to this a group of Americans, convinced that naming a teddy bear Muhammad is an insult to Islam, mass market a toy named Muhammad and use the proceeds to help support troops occupying a Muslim country. Sudanese fanatics have the fact that they're dirt poor, heavily indoctrinated, and poorly educated to explain why they act the way they do. What's the American's excuse for being assholes?
posted by Grimgrin at 1:12 PM on December 15, 2007


Shit, I'm still pissed off they're naming bears after Teddy Roosevelt! Gimme a chance to catch up.
posted by not_on_display at 1:13 PM on December 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


The teddy bear vendors, or the Sudanese? / He said "Christ, what assholes", not "Allah, what assholes."

The whole lot of them; my choice of prophet notwithstanding.
posted by nowonmai at 1:14 PM on December 15, 2007


Man. Everything I have ever expressed about dumb, knee jerk americans* is true. The only way to make this any more of a bad idea is to actually get the troops to drop thousands of these into Sudan and the other Muslim countries.

Oh, and spit in their eye/shit on their mosque. Yep. That's about all there is left to show less respect...

Much as the original issue was ridiculous, this reaction is deliberately and pointlessly inflammatory.




(*as in: "there is a subset of americans that very much fit this category)
posted by Brockles at 1:17 PM on December 15, 2007


What's the American's excuse for being assholes?
"Heavily indoctrinated and poorly educated" still comes into it, I would say.
posted by nowonmai at 1:19 PM on December 15, 2007


As an American, I demand they send me parts of these for free.

I'm told I have a right to bear arms.
posted by hal9k at 1:20 PM on December 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why should a culture get automatic respect?
posted by jeblis at 1:21 PM on December 15, 2007


There's a mosque in Regent's Park. Is there a Cathedral in Jeddah?
posted by A189Nut at 1:24 PM on December 15, 2007


Why should a culture get automatic respect?

It shouldn't, as long as you don't demand respect from them. Respect !=love or admiration, BTW.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:27 PM on December 15, 2007


Didn't her students actually name the bear?

Oh, and what Delmoi said.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:30 PM on December 15, 2007


A189Nut: There's a mosque in Regent's Park. Is there a Cathedral in Jeddah?

Yeah, they have a couple of McDonald´s and Burger Kings there. i kid, i kid
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:30 PM on December 15, 2007


Hmmm wonder how many parcel bombs they are going to be sent?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:30 PM on December 15, 2007


As I remarked elsewhere; "Muslim!" Now available in Insult Form.
posted by adamvasco at 1:32 PM on December 15, 2007


It's true. You hang out in a country where violence is common and fundamentalism flourishes, and sooner or later you end up dead.
posted by tkolar at 1:32 PM on December 15, 2007


But where do they send the dollar from the "I have my dick in the crucified Jesus" teddy bear that I just bought?

Oh. I see. It's only oppressive if it offends Muslims.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:36 PM on December 15, 2007


BTW, you'll note the acquital of the guy who shot a Japanese student for walking on his property. USA! USA! USA!
posted by tkolar at 1:37 PM on December 15, 2007


benny, i've long since given up on getting any respect from some people, and i don't care. i have much more realistic expectations. i'll settle for no more olympic massacres, no more planes flying into buildings, no more bombs in train stations or nightclubs, no more suicide guys in malls with vests full of explosives and shrapnel, no more stoning rape victims, honor killings or female genital mutilation, no more video beheadings and most of all, no more of the day-to-day sullen, self-righteous, chip-on-the-shoulder sense of perpetually outraged victimology demanding special accommodations we see from some people.
posted by bruce at 1:38 PM on December 15, 2007


Oh. I see. It's only oppressive if it offends Muslims.

Weird. Haven't I seen you making fun of Christians who say their oppressed?
posted by tkolar at 1:38 PM on December 15, 2007


Do you honestly think I would make fun of Christians for being offended by the "I have my dick in the crucified Jesus" teddy bear?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:41 PM on December 15, 2007


If I got this my dog would destroy it, because she cannot differentiate between her stuffed toys and every other stuffed toy in the world.

And that's really all I need: to open the door and find a previously-well-intentioned believer in Islam staring aghast while my dog stands next to me clutching a drool-soaked, filthy bear that say MUHAMMAD across the front.
posted by cmyk at 1:42 PM on December 15, 2007


i'm buying one and putting it on a crucifix planted in a pile of beef and pork on a platter with the dalai lama's face on it

EVERYONE'S going to get offended by me

especially when i add the hot dog buns smothered in spaghetti
posted by pyramid termite at 1:45 PM on December 15, 2007


Do you honestly think I would make fun of Christians for being offended by the "I have my dick in the crucified Jesus" teddy bear?

No, but I'd the vague recollection that you are part of the "American Christians Who Say They Are Oppressed Are Ridiculous" camp.

My apologies if I've placed you on the wrong side of that argument.
posted by tkolar at 1:47 PM on December 15, 2007


Yeah, the students in her class did name the bear (not her personally). Important distinction to make - thanks BA. Sorry bout that.
posted by lunit at 1:49 PM on December 15, 2007


Amateurs!

In MY hometown, when we want to piss off the Muslims, we throw a rotting pig's head into their mosque!

Buncha pussies.
posted by briank at 1:49 PM on December 15, 2007


American Christians who say they are oppressed are ridiculous.

Also, Muslims in Muslim countries who say they are oppressed by minorities within their own countries, such as Sudan, are ridiculous. But that doesn't mean they don't have the right to be offended.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:51 PM on December 15, 2007


Offended != Oppressed, or did I get that wrong?
posted by wendell at 1:51 PM on December 15, 2007


And I'm on the right side of that argument.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:51 PM on December 15, 2007


What's the American's excuse for being assholes? "Heavily indoctrinated and poorly educated" still comes into it, I would say.

Actually, it's: "Heavily intoxicated and poorly educamated..."
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on December 15, 2007


If I purchase one of these bears for 20 bucks, then turn around and sell it for $30, have made a prophet?

Just askin'.
posted by bigskyguy at 1:56 PM on December 15, 2007


Why would you want to go a place that doesn't respect you or your culture?

Why would you go to a place where if you aren't prepared to respect THEIR culture? Idolatry is one of the biggest no-nos in Islam. A "teacher" should know enough about the culture in which she chooses to work to avoid insulting the locals. She got what she deserved - and got off easy by the standards of Sudan.
posted by three blind mice at 2:02 PM on December 15, 2007


sweet morons fighting morons
posted by zouhair at 2:02 PM on December 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


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