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Teacher Charged for Naming Teddy Bear

Posted Nov 28, 2007 10:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: A British teacher arrested in Sudan for allowing her children to name a teddy bear after the prophet Muhammad has been charged with insulting religion and inciting hatred, CNN reports.

The charges follow statements by a spokesman for the Sudanese embassy that teacher Gillian Gibbons would probably be cleared and released.

A conviction for insulting religion carries a possible punishment of 40 lashes and six months in jail, according to a CNN TV report. For devout Muslims, any depiction of Muhammad is considered blasphemous.

Embassy spokesman Khalid al Mubarak had told the British Broadcasting Corp. that he expected the case to be resolved.

"I am pretty certain that this minute incident will be clarified very quickly and this teacher who has been helping us with the teaching of children will be safe and will be cleared," he said.

Story updated to include new information on the charges. The post was originally published at 8:45 a.m.

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