One thing I don’t understand about this blasphemous English schoolmistress in the Sudan, Bento; why don’t they prosecute the kids as well? Never mind the question of whether at 7 years of age they should be at least dimly aware of the importance of the name Muhammad, it is pretty clear that they are the ones who named the offending bear. I am clearly not an expert on this, but it would seem that it is not the intention of the blasphemer that is the crime, as it would be reasonable to doubt or difficult to prove that the schoolteacher knew she was offending Islam. Rather it must be the act itself which is the crime and as such must be punished no matter who commits it. In naming the bear, the children have a prima facie case to answer, at least as accomplices, surely. And of course, the bear must be put to death.
I would not expect the Foreign Secretary to have pressed exactly this issue when he summoned the Sudanese ambassador, British diplomacy is not what it was. It should not be in the power of one state to dictate laws in another, Spinoza is very clear on that in the Treatise; the sovereign should be all powerful, and so let the Sudanese leviathan do what it must. But it is another thing to ask that those laws be implemented fairly.
That’s what gets me about Sharia as it is apparently practiced; it’s so goddammed arbitrary. Stonees go unpunished if they manage to escape their stoning, and now these kids get away with a terrible blasphemy, which according to some merits the death penalty.
Honestly, Bento, if I were a cyncial man, I would think the whole issue of the bear was not actually that offensive to Muslims, but rather more political, a way of stoking righteous anger to support the government.