In November 2007, Briton Gillian Gibbons wanted the 7-year-old students at the Sudanese primary school where she taught to learn to tell stories. So she asked the kids to take turns taking a communal teddy bear home, and then to share with classmates details of their time with the cuddly toy. But first the bear needed a name. Unfortunately for Gibbons, the children didn't pick a perfectly good moniker like Paddington or Smokey or even Winnie the Pooh. They chose Muhammad the name of Islam's Prophet. Gibbons was arrested and charged with "insulting [Islam], inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs." Crowds gathered outside the British embassy in Khartoum to call for her execution. Instead, Gibbons, after being found guilty of the charges, was sentenced to 15 days in jail and 40 lashes. She was spared the lashing when Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir eventually pardoned her after the British government lobbied aggressively for her release.
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