Savage Muslim Mobs Demand Woman's Execution
They were set off by rabble rousing imams in the mosques of Khartoum, who fomented the demonstration, despite assurances from the Sudanese government just the day before that it would not take place. Riot police in Khartoum, according to press reports, did not interfere with the marchers, who also threatened Western reporters in the streets. The New York Times reported that many of the demonstrators were government employees.
Gillian Gibbons' "crime" was to allow her seven-year-old pupils in an "elite" private school to name a teddy bear after the Prophet, Muhammad. Yesterday, she was spared 40 lashes in a Sudanese court, but was sentenced to 15 days in the Khartoum prison and then deportation.
This is the kind of barbarism that will spread throughout the Middle East, if we withdraw our forces from Iraq, as the New York Times urges again in an editorial this morning that we do. Such a retreat would be a signal to the fanatics that they are bestride the world and can have their way without resistance.
There is a sad spirit of surrender in many elements of the Western press, and, as we see in the coverage of new rioting by Muslim youths in France this week, a fear of even using the word "Muslim" to describe the rioters. Instead, most of the reporters use euphemisms.
Yet, the sad truth is that Islamic fanatics bent on propagating savage attacks to enslave women are in the ascendancy, and neither the press, nor Western governments, can stick their heads in the sand like ostriches and wish that they will go away. These forces must be resisted with the armed might of the U.S., Britain, France and other countries, and it should be done before they acquire nuclear weapons, not afterwards.
At the same time, there are encouraging signs, at least in Britain, that masses of Muslim citizens and immigrants are appalled by the conduct of their fundamentalist co-religionists. The protests against what has happened this week in the Sudan have been strong in the British Muslim community, and there can be no doubt that Lord Ahmed is risking his personal safety in flying to Khartoum to try to liberate poor Ms. Gibbons.
Certainly, part of Western policy must be to do everything that can be done to support and encourage these nascent moderate forces in Islam. The world has a tremendous stake in their success.
The assault by the Sudanese authorities and the mobs against the school teacher is not an isolated act, of course, in that barbaric country. For years now, Sudanese Arab Muslims have carried out a campaign of genocide against black Muslims in Darfur, a Sudanese province, murdering them by the hundreds of thousands, while the West has protested ineffectually. Just this week, the murderers in the Sudanese government continued to try to hamper establishment of an international peacekeeping force in Darfur, calling it "anti-Islamic."
In 1898, a British army, under Lord Kitchener, invaded the Sudan and defeated forces at Omdurman which had been responsible for the murder of a British general, Lord Gordon.
It may be necessary now to finish the job Kitchener began. If any physical injury is done to Ms. Gibbons, she must be avenged, if the genocide in Darfur continues, then this government must be removed from power, replaced by an international trusteeship. We cannot afford to let these thugs continue their depredations. They are a clear and present danger.