Friday, November 30, 2007

Are you worried about offending our Korean hosts' cultural idiosyncracies?

It could be MUCH worse.
A British woman teaching in Sudan is facing cries for her excecution for a cultural snafu. Though it is more likely that she will be held in prison for 15 days (more for her safety than anything else) and then deported (again for her own safety). What did she do? She allowed the children in her class to name a class bear that was part of a school project after a popular student in the class.
What's wrong with that, you ask? Well, that child's name happened to be Muhammed. And in a predominantly Muslim country under Sharia Law that is evidently a big no-no. It doesn't matter that it was the kids who named the bear OR that a child in the class has the same name. The teacher is responsible according to a large number of protesters; some bearing knives, pipes and clubs, that were gathered outside the prison where she is being kept and calling for her to be excecuted by firing squad.
This is just another case of radical Islam hijacking the religion for their own twisted agenda. They want to say how this infidel intentionally named an animal/toy after the prophet Muhammed when all she did was name it after a child who coincidentally had the same name at the request of the class. Lack of cultural sensitivity aside: she is not Muslim, how could she be expected to know the ramifications of such an innocent act and what do these radicals think that the prophet Muhammed would wish to do with this person. The real wonder is why would a co-worker decide to turn her in for it.
Of course, we do not know the real intentions of this woman. Perhaps, she really did do it on purpose and this other excuse is just a way to pull one over on the Sudanese authorities. Either way, does it really justify calls for excecution?

One thing we can certainly say about our Korean hosts: for all the faults we like to try and pin on them (justified or not). It could be much worse.

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