Muslims and the Teddy Bear
A Teddy bear has made headlines this week. At first I thought it was some kind of a commercial ploy to boost the sales of Teddy Bears but the more attention I gave to the story, which was unfolding on TV, I realized this was not an advertisement or things of that nature; rather it was real news. Then I found out that once again this was to do with some Muslims in the Middle East and I said to my self, Oh not again!
On TV, I saw angry Sudanese demonstrating in protest over naming a Teddy Bear as “Muhammad” This gesture have angered many Muslims in Sudan and some other Muslim countries. Once again, I am embarrassed, as a Muslim, having to witness another ridiculous situation committed by some Muslims. I tried to find an excuse to justify this Muslim behavior, as I used to do in the past and as many Muslims may attempt to do and try to be bias or an apologetic regarding some of the emotional, irrational and violent reactions of many Muslims towards many situations in recent history.
So I became a little delirious; I thought to my self, well should I defend the Teddy Bear, the teacher or those Muslim demonstrators. And I have tried to identify the real culprit in this saga, the new Soap Opera. Then after some difficult thinking I had to eliminate the first suspect “the teddy bear” and have realized it was not the fault of the Teddy Bear!! The Teddy Bear apparently did not call himself “Muhammad” rather a six year old child did so. In fact to be precise the name was chosen by popular vote among the class mates, according to news reports, whose ages range from 6 to 7 year old(1). Perhaps this is the only occasion where I can relate to, as a Muslim my self, which allowed Muslims in the Muslim world to vote freely; with the exception of Iraq! These angry Muslims found it offensive and took it as a direct insult to Islam to name a Teddy Bear by a name similar to that of the Prophet of Islam “Muhammad” What is really fascinating about this story is that the naming process was overseen by school teacher whose intention was to teach children a basic freedom of expression; where such principle is highly honored by Islam, but absolutely forbidden in the Muslim world. Then the children have freely chosen this name to be their favorite. In essence the act of these children is probably the best act ever was conducted in the recent Muslim history; free vote and allowing children to freely think and say what they love, in choosing a beautiful name as “Muhammad” to name the most dear symbol of love and peace to children that is “Teddy Bear” and I do not need to elaborate on what Teddy bears stands for in the psyche of all people. A Teddy Bear brings joy to all children at any time; children go to bed with Teddy Bears for comfort and a happy dreams; their cry is usually silenced by Teddy Bears. Teddy Bears bring smiles to every one. Having said this, now I think it might be a good thing to be delirious than being fully sober when it comes to some Muslim’s behaviors. Some times, words of honesty may only come out during a delusional state!!!
However some Muslims may feel uncomfortable to call an inanimate object, such as Teddy bear or any other objects which is amusing to children or harmless to anyone with a positive connatations, with the name of “Muhammad” and I fully share this concern and frankly speaking I would not suggest nor encourage my children and others to use the name “Muhammad” in this way, although there is nothing offensive about it, given the circumstances. In fact this exact scenario has occurred to me many years ago, when my child wanted to name her favorite new kitten with the name of “Muhammad” and her reasoning was that she loved Prophet Muhammad so she wanted to call her best friend at the time the “kitten” by the name “Muhammad” This is called innocence and in fact it is a positive point to be given to the prophet Muhammad and not an insult. However I did not shun my child for this act rather I advised her not to do that with an explanation and another name was chosen instead and it was over.
So what is wrong with those Muslims; they find it offensive to name a Teddy Bear “Muhammad”, given the circumstances, and do not seem to find it offensive when this beautiful name “Muhammad” is carried by many Muslim terrorists, such as the Muslim terrorist “Muhammad Atta”-leader of 9/11 terrorist attack! And they do not find it offensive when many terrorist groups call themselves after our Prophet Muhammad and other revered Muslim personalities, as it is happening in Iraq, such as “Muhammad’s Army, al-Mehdi Army, Umer’s brigade, Abu Bakr alsidiq militia-as the black banner behind the two Muslim terrorists shown in the above photo. And more sacred names are attached to many more Muslim terrorist groups in the Muslim world.
And where are those Muslims, who have protested against the usage of the name “Muhammad” but did not protest against the mass murders in Darfur which are committed by militia groups with the full support of the Sudanese Muslim government; perhaps the same government who had charged the British teacher in this case…
Frankly speaking the only person who should be offended from this ordeal is our beloved Prophet Muhammad, not over the use of his name, rather for the primitive and violent reactions, over this issue, of those who call themselves his followers.
I can’t imagine the severe psychological trauma that this ordeal has caused to the children of that school. And it has brought fear to the hearts of all the Teddy Bears in the world!!!! to the hearts of all children and to all people who loves them!!! So Teddy Bears are the latest casualties of Muslims (1), who embrace a distorted philosophy of Islam!!!! I am truly afraid for all teddy Bears from these ignorant Muslims and from the wrath of the Muslim terrorists through out the world, who would exploit this event to achieve their own agendas!!!! I advise all Teddy bears to go into hiding or to disguise themselves as “Fredi” or as “Rabbit”; or perhaps as “Usma bin Ladin” which would definitely provide immunity to Teddy Bears. I would not be surprise to hear in near future through news bulletin, in retaliation to this incident, that some Muslim terrorist group would take a Teddy Bear hostage and their demand would be to change his name to “Teddy fear” and that they would behead any child who would play with them; or they demand from their hostage “the poor little teddy bear” to embrace their version of Islam” or get beheaded, and to change his name from “Teddy Bear” to Abdul Khair” in return for his release!!!!!!
Now lets get serious, some may say that I am enjoying these words and trying to make fun of my Muslim brothers in Sudan. Well I am not; rather I am trying to sincerely expose the faulty Muslim teachings which have taken its toll against many innocent Muslims and non Muslims in the world. This story is not merely about a Teddy Bear and the misuse of the name “Muhammad” or it is an isolated incident which has been blown out of proportion, as many Muslims claim in justifying or explaining this event. I appreciate the fact that many Muslims did not condone the behavior of those Muslims over this issue and many have expressed their disapproval and found it to be ridiculous and stupid. And some Muslims may have blamed all of this on a shadowy elements, as it is usually done, such as the “fifth column” or the “illuminaties” or the Zionism or “wheverism”, excepts themselves of course!!!!! But we must not fall short in looking into the root causes of such behaviors and begin to acknowledge that there is a serious problems in our Muslim teachings. You can be as apologetic as you want and try to explain away or to condemn the irrational and violent behavior of Muslims in this case and other cases in recent history but you can not deny one important fact that such behaviors are deeply rooted in our negative Muslim cultural values which has nothing to do with Islam. And it represent another testimony to the distorted inherited Muslim teachings which have devastated our Muslim people for many years and have profoundly tarnished the beautiful image of Islam and its messenger Prophet Muhammad. The symptoms of these distorted Muslim philosophies are very evident in the Muslim violent and irrational reactions towards many cases which are perceived to be as negative toward Islam. It is alright to protest and express your disagreement towards any anti Islamic sentiments through peaceful and Islamic means but to resort to violent means as it has been through out Muslim history would do nothing but prove those negative sentiments to be true. Those symptoms of our negative Muslim teachings were clear in the case of the infamous Danish Cartoon, although a peaceful protest was absolutely legitimate and an obligation on every Muslim. And such symptoms were also evident in the Muslim reactions toward the negative statement of the current Pope which clearly have proven the Pope’s statement to be true.
So these negative Muslim teachings have caused a profound psychological consequences on the Muslim community and I need not to elaborate on the terrible effects, of these consequences, has on world peace. These symptoms, within the Muslim psyche, will continue to pop up here and there through out the world through something as silly as the Teddy Bear incident or as legitimate as the “Danish Cartoon” unless we acknowledge those negative Muslim teachings and begin to embrace the philosophy of life; which is a true representation of the philosophy of Islam, and to take it as the only gate to salvation and not through a philosophy of death; suicide bombs, intimidations, assassinations, bombing of schools, churches, Mosques, and all symbols of life.
I hope we Muslims should learn from this incident and begin to reflect upon our approach to our wonderful Islamic knowledge and true heritage.
May be due to the innocence of this teddy bear and its companion, our children, we will be able to improve our perception of Islam and the true teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
(1) For more informations regarding this issue please visit the online Wall street journal. And please not that this article was linked under the title of “teddy bear is the latest casualty of the Muslim world” at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119671959561312233.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
And you can read more on this issue at “http://news.bbc.co.uk/” and these are some excerpts: “The 54 year old primary teacher was arrested at her house in the school compound on Sunday afternoon. State media said she was being charged with blasphemy after allowing her class of 6 and 7 year olds to choose their favorite name for a teddy bear they were using as part of a school project. The pupils voted to call the cuddly toy Mohammad. The school said Miss Gibbons had been following a British educational course designed to teach the children about animals and their habitats. She was taken into custody after complaints to the Ministry of Education. BBC article, 26 November, 2007 – Published 15:42 GMT “ And in other article it reports that “Ms Gibbons was arrested after several parents made complaints. The BBC has learned the charge could lead to six months in jail, 40 lashes or a fine.”