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I wish Sayeeda well on her mission - but I don't hold out much hope that the Sudanese Authorities will listen with much (or any) respect to anything a woman has to say!

Sayeeda Warsi is being used by the highly dubious Lord Ahmed who is an Islamist operative. She is SO out of her depth in this sinister PR exercise dressed up as a mercy mission.

She needs to cut her ties to dodgy anti-Western Islamists like Ahmed, the MCB and the MAB - or resign.

What is the Government actually doing about this? Ive heard absolutely zilch about the Government reaction.

Marchers chanted "Shame, shame on the UK", "No tolerance - execution" and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad”". So what's the government to do?

Its the new rage, the Mo Bear Rage, and we need to be more sensitive.

I wish her well, but I share Sally's concerns. I wonder if she will choose to wear clothing, particularly a head covering, which is in accord with the local culture?

How do you negotiate with such a backward regime? They are only putting themselves in danger. Why anybody would want to go to such a God forsaken place is beyond me.

Common Sense is right. This case is a matter for the Government - not an inexperienced, gaffe-prone, nobody like Sayeeda Warsi. I hope that she is paying her own fare for this self-serving, publicity-seeking junket.

I truly believe that the jailing of Ms Gibbon’s is an exercise that is neither religious nor cultural, it is pure politics. The massage send to us in the West is very clear.

But on a positive note I think this issue is now as good as resolved, I will not be at all surprised if Baroness Warssi and Lord Ahmed are back within hours with a safe and unharmed Ms Gibbon (of course unharmed physically, but there will be psychological scars). Now remains who will take credit and for what, so you know very few Islamic countries will hand over a female prisoner to a man, though not a fundamentalist one.

The government is in so much trouble this is going to be “Christmas come early” and they will try and use it to bury as much as they can before they go home for turkey and mince pies.

That would be the Archbishop of Canterbury who gave an interview to a Muslim magazine and used it to fulminate against the United States.

What does come over very clearly is the general insecurity of these moslem states. How one white woman, naming a teddy bear Mohammed, in response to a childs request, represents a threat to either religion or nation state defies explanation. As for offering an insult to their god, these people really must learn some tolerance and understanding of others, which will enable them to understand that no-one wants to insult their god deliberately.
As Danny Finkelstein says, the problem lies with the revolutionary and fundamental religious leaders, who whip up public feeling, to fuel their own blend of radicalism and create a state in constant strife to make control easier.
It is the policy of takfir, to ensure that all follow the path of true belief, the own that is propounded by the extremists, on pain of being declared an apostate, and subject to death.
Frankly the FCO should declare the Sudan unstable, all UK christian subjects should leave, and full economic sanctions extended. Which should include an exclusion zone on the coast and a block of all oil exports, and any imports. The Egyptians would support such a boycott as Mubarek has had to put up with quite a lot from the Sudanese over the years, including the Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Quada/Al-Jihad promoting terrorism against Egypt. It would also offer the West an opportunity to deal with Darfur and the victimisation and genocide of the christian and animist south.

When any of the rest of you fly to a 3rd world country to try and get a fellow countrywoman out of prison, maybe then that give'll you the right to smear Warsi. As it is, the venom directed against this woman by the usual suspects is truly putrid.

Just spotted this on the BBC News headline ticker...

"LATEST: Labour peers visit UK teacher Gillian Gibbons in custody in Sudan. More soon."

"LATEST: Labour peers visit UK teacher Gillian Gibbons in custody in Sudan. More soon."

Just seen it. Typical BBC!

Founded in 1902 the Unity High School in the capital of Sudan is a school for boys and girls aged 4 to 18. Its website states: "Unity High School aims to provide all its students, whatever their gender, nationality, religion or ethnic origin, with an education of the highest quality. Emphasis is placed on enhancing and developing potential whilst encouraging self discipline and mutual respect. Above all, the School aims to lay the foundation for each individual to enjoy further study and to achieve a happy and successful life."
All children study Arabic and there is a special course of Arabic for foreigners which concentrates on speaking Sudanese Arabic. For English and Maths, children are grouped according to ability. There is also Religious education with Christian Education for Christian students and Islamic Religion for the Muslim children Most of the children are Sudanese, some have dual nationality and around 30% are expatriates.
Sudan moreover, with its fragile social and economic stability is a country harboured for many years between the ideals of democratic sovereignty in the South, which is made up of 65% indigenous beliefs and 19% Muslim (17% Christian), and the Islamic way of life and laws in the North (75% Muslim, 25% indigenous/Christian beliefs). Such tensions between these two ideals have surrounded the East and West of the globe since the days of the Crusades, yet it is this religiopolitical conundrum that Sudan now faces.
Sudan, the largest nation in Africa, and a member of the UN since 12 November 1956, has claimed over 500,000 deaths 2003/04 (2 million in two decades), and over 1million internally displaced people (IDP) from its western state in Darfur. With a population of 6 million people, ninety tribes each with numerous sub-tribal groups - there is a racial mix of blacks and Arabs. Until recently a scorched earth policy has been in place: to further ethnically subdivide the area into Arabs, and Africans through forced displacement, murder and rape.
It is a sad state of affairs that a British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, teaching Khartoum’s wealthy children at the international school, should be punished for what appears on the face of the facts, an innocent act. It is a sad state of affairs that on the face of the facts that a school in Khartoum, whose raison d’etre is to teach its pupils a broader curriculum, such as the English Language, finds itself at the centre of a Religiopolitical argument. It is a shame that Khartoum has interpreted the Qur’an in its way, rather than as a compliment to the prophet. To name a child or an inanimate object, that of the prophet, is, or should be seen as a compliment. It is and should not be seen as an insult to this religion. In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
If this teacher believed in what was seen as right under Islam, then “those who have believed and done righteous deeds and believed in what was sent down upon Muhammad, which is the Truth from their Lord, He will remit their sins and set their minds aright.’ (Sura, 47). He is indeed all forgiving, and the teacher has not sinned against the prophet as an unbeliever, but as a teacher of children under Islam, and not as a teacher intent on Jewish or Christian propaganda, as mentioned in the Qu’ran, to upset the strong beliefs of that country, albeit the Islamic North, which is already under great strain between the South of Sudan. It would therefore be a greater shame that a scorched earth policy be applied in this instance: a no tolerance policy, when Unity High School in the centre of North Sudan appears to be more flexible and accepting of others and beliefs than what is currently happing with Gillian Gibbons case.
It is a great shame that the truth regarding this case had escalated in the media and twisted in Khartoum to suggest a crime against the prophet and Islam had occurred. Politically, this saga will erupt beyond comprehension in the eastern and western world as this sole teacher finds herself weaved in this complex and fragile era of Religiopolitical Tension. As a member of the UN since 1956, Sudan again, has questioned the legitimacy of the Charter of the UN, which in the Preamble also states: ‘to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours..’ Let us hope and pray that we are all merciful and forgiving, and hope one day that all signatories to the UN uphold the principles set down, which Sudan agreed to once upon a time. Alternatively the Charter appears non binding on all.

Typical of Warsi to jump on any bandwagon going for a bit of cheap publicity. There'll no doubt be tongus wagging as to why she would go to Sudan with a dodgy Labour peer who according to a piece in the New Statesman recently was supporting her ahead of her Labour opponent at the last election. What if the Sudanese arrested these two Muslims for travelling alone together and breaching the laws of Sharia???

I'd be careful putting that picture up if I were you. There's probably been a thousand fatwas delared on ConservativeHome since this morning!

The attacks on Lady Warsi are repellent. She is a member of the Shadow Cabinet. As a candidate in a marginal seat I can attest that before her promotion and elevation she offered me every kind of help, particularly in a social justice project to assist deprived children in learning to read. Sayeeda is one of the most dedicated Conservatives I know and I think it's telling that I met her most frequently at Conservative Friends of Israel events, which she always attended. I'm very glad that as one of the party's senior Parliamentarians she has gone to Sudan to try to assist this wholly innocent teacher. Lady Warsi is a devout Muslim and a strong Conservative and I am very proud that she's out there assisting in this cross-party effort.

God help us Louise. Your childish mock outrage is worrying from someone who may be about to become an MP. We all value Sayeeda and what are well intentioned good efforts. We don't all need to see our real name in print in the hope that we may be noticed for doing so.


Have you ever disagreed with the Cameroons on ANYTHING?

Perhaps it is unwise to say too much until Gillian Gibbons is home but I hope that the government tells all British citizens living in Sudan to leave or lose the very limited protection that the British government can offer. Then I would hope the British government retaliates in a wholly disproportionate way. The idea that we continue to give aid to their bestial government would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.
Those people who attack Sayeedi Warsi from behind the comfort of a pseudonym have my total contempt. That means you 'Warsi Out' you snivelling little coward.

Louise I share your disgust at the childish insults! Sayeeda Warsi is doing her best to help resolve the situation and I can only wish her the very best of luck in a difficult mission!

I have no interest in attacking Sayeeda Warsi personally but I have a huge interest in not seeing a senior Conservative being manipulated by a shady Labour peer with extremist links and a cordial relationship with a barbaric Islamist regime.

I'd be grateful if there were no further attacks on Lady Warsi on this thread. Thanks.

I'm not generally the greatest fan of Sayeeda Warsi either. However, we should ALL wish her the very best of luck in trying to bring Mrs Gibbons home. I'm just concerned that Lord Ahmed will claim all the credit. Radio 4 news has broadcast an interview with him alone and grudgingly mentioned the fact in passing that he was accompanied by a Tory peer.

Where can I get one of the "Mohammed" teddy-bears shown as a leader to this item?

I'd really love to have one - with luck they could become as much of a 'must-have' item as "Monkey" from the ITV-digital [and later PG-Tips] ads of a few years back.

Warsi is a public figure and an unelected member, i.e. a non-MP appointed by Cameron, of the Shadow Cabinet. The Editor should not try to close down discussions of her actions or performance. If she can't stand the proverbial heat then she should get out of Dave's kitchen cabinet.

As an English woman I feel totally and utterly humiliated by the weak and groveling response of the Foreign Office to this issue. I am glad for Mrs Gibbons that someone has gone to her aid, but it makes me 'sick to the stomach' that it is the awful Ahmed person. For the purposes of good Conservative PR it seems a good idea to me that Sayeeda Warsi went as well. But really cannot we British not stand up for ourselves anymore? I travel the world flying the flag from British enterprize, these exploits do not help me do that, and make travel a more dangerous occupation.

Oh, and according to the Telegraph a group of British Muslims have demonstrated outside the Sudanese embassy on behalf of Mrs Gibbons. May I suggest that it this is so that they get some positive coverage. Supportive behavior from the 'moderate' Muslims should be encouraged at every opportunity.

As I understood it representations of anything in the heavens or the earth was originally forbidden until Sharia Law and so if fully implimented Teddy Bears would not be permitted.

In fact such things in the past were banned by some of the stricter of Reformed Evangelical or Orthodox Jewish denominations. If there were Teddy Bears saying Yahweh on then I expect there would be a similar reaction from some Jewish groups and that The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland would be in uproar if the issue was about Teddy Bears saying Jesus or God on them, all religions have their sensitivities.

We could have sent the SAS but our troops are all busy right now.

PS on a completely different topic..

Is Rockerfellar a Feminist, Sexist or Evil, I can't make my mind up.


Editor, there is nothing personal about criticising Lady Warsi.

It's just that things like this:


have been noticed about her, more than once. And it's because of things like that that people do not like her, it's not personal, but strictly business.

You're quite right that this incident is little to do with teddy bears or Mohammed and everything to do with throwing up a smokescreen to help Sudan continue to resist UN and Western efforts to halt the rape, slaughter and ethnic cleansing in Darfur.

Now, Jean-Marie Guehenno, the United Nations peacekeeping chief, has said that the obstacles raised by Sudan are putting in doubt the planned deployment of a peacekeeping force for Darfur.

Is the UN any use whatsoever?


Ahmed has been employed by the Sudanese Govt as a Consultant to find a resolution and Warsi is his sidekick. Ahmed is there to make money !!

Kareem, many of my Muslim women friends do not choose to cover their heads as do many other prominent Muslim women (the Queen of Jordan to give one publc example). It is up to the person, and not for you to dictate, how they observe the requirements of their religion. Baroness Warsi is doing something terrific here. Your snide observations about her family are completely out of order. And by the way it takes mere seconds to comment on a website!

Best of luck to both peers on their mission.

Yet Another Anon @ 22:51 yes you are quite right, Jewish people would be offended if teddy bears appeared with the name of the Almighty on them and Christians would likewise not be at all happy to see teddy bears labelled Jesus - but there is one huge difference and that is that if people did the above it would be most likely with the intention of causing offence or stirring up trouble and that was clearly not the case with what Mrs Gibbons did.
In fact it should not be forgotten that it was in fact the children who chose the name "Mohammed" for the bear - because the most popular boy in the class is apparently called by that name! The children clearly love the bear and wanted to honour it in their own childish way by giving it their favourite name!

Louise, you are quite right - I too have Muslim women friends and none of them cover their heads!

You can support mo with a teddy:


"a shady Labour peer with extremist links and a cordial relationship with a barbaric Islamist regime." -

'Common Sense', this is worse than Tory MP apologists for the barbatic Islamists of Saudi Arabia, like the idiot Daniel Kawczynski, is it?

I am glad it looks as though the teacher is going to be released a few days early.

Now can we have the same amount of attention and effort directed at the British hostages in Iraq, please?

Delighted at the news this morning that Mrs Gibbons has been pardoned and is shortly to be released!
Whether or not this was directly due to the efforts of Lord Ahmed and Lady Warsi, we do not know but all credit to them for going there and making the efforts they did.
As for Mrs Gibbons - I am sure her family will be pleased, relieved and delighted to have her back!

We all know that Sudan is a dictatorship of the worst kind responsible for mass murders in the Christian South. One question: can we really believe that these children genuinely decided to name the Teddy Bear Mohammed (don't forget, the initiative did not come from the teacher)? Or were they- more likely-incited to do so? Can we really believe that the "angry mob" was spontaneous?

History will tell, but to me the entire thing looks like a pretty obvious trick at a time when the US and the UK are getting tougher on the Sudanese regime. Public stands and the PR trip of two Muslim makes the whole thing totally pathetic.

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