A British female teacher in Sudan
krisi wrote: Oriani wrote: LennyeTran wrote:
I know it's not the moment but gosh, this is hilarious.
I read this morning about the "Teddy bear" and I was absolutely shocked about that :? How come those things can happen???
How about the boy who named the teddy...what happen to him? Was he castigated? (Oh my, I think we're all children here, huh! Now I'm thinking, (I'm so sorry to ask this.)
, who's the real judge?)
First of all, I’d like to express my appreciation to the teacher who was willing to teach in Sudan. I am sure it would be nicer to teach in the UK than in Sudan. If she teaches in the UK, she gets better incomes, facilities and environments. It’s very touching to know her willingness to teach in Sudan.
Secondly, some Muslim scholars agree with the Sudanese government’s decision to have punished the teacher while some others disagree.
Thirdly, personally I agree with the scholars who disagree with the Sudanese government’s decision.
Fourthly, but I can understand the decision.
First, Islam forbids people to humiliate Prophet Muhammad. Whoever does it, Muslims or non-Muslims, must be punished. That’s the basic principle.
Second, she shouldn’t have been punished. She didn’t know about the principle. A person can not be punished for what s/he does not know. In the UK, one of the UK Muslim figures says that there might be no problem for kids to name their teddy bears Muhammad because bears are not considered bad/ disgusting animals. In fact, Bears are considered cool and cute animals.
Third, but Sudanese people consider bears are not cool animals. They are fierce and cruel animals. Naming teddy bears Muhammad is a BIG humiliation as Prophet Muhammad was not a fierce and cruel figure.
Fourth, so the problem, of course, has something to do with the culture. In culture point of view, Sudanese people consider bears NOT cool animals.
Fifth, the perceptions about animals are different from one area/ society to another. Dogs for example, some consider them cool animals. Dogs can be humans’ best friends. However, they are disgusting animals for some others.
Another example is pigs. These animals are cool for some people. There are lots of doll of pigs in the market. The designs are very good. The colors, pink for example (which symbolizes love), are beautiful. Some kids use these dolls to accompany them in sleeping. But for some others, pigs are considered disgusting animals (probably due to their mouths and noses or the way they eat or other things).
Another example is monkeys. For some, it’s okay to say monkey, but not for some others. When you call somebody a monkey, it means you are challenging him/her for a fight. Calling somebody a monkey is a big humiliation for some people/ society. Somebody can fight until death to defense his/her dignity. Calling somebody a monkey is touching his/her dignity.
In some parts of India, don’t ever hurt cows. Don’t eat the meat. You could be dead. You could be killed. Cows are sacred animals for some of them. I personally like the meat though. It’s delicious. Really.
So, the point is: different fond, different fish; different area/ society, different culture.
Sixth, I read an article at EnglishClub.com/ TEFL.net saying that teachers should learn the culture of the area where s/he is going to teach.
“… Whether you are teaching in your own country or abroad, it is your job as an ESL teacher to familiarize yourself with cultural taboos. This includes topics that may be considered inappropriate…”
In my opinion, by understanding the local culture, it would be easier for teachers to explain the lessons, and they themselves would be more accepted by the local people.
Seventh, I don’t blame the British teacher who did not understand the culture about animals in Sudan. She was willing to teach in Sudan is really touching to me. But I really agree with EnglishClub.com/ IELF.net saying that teachers should learn the local culture where they are going to teach.
Eighth, this suggestion also applies not only for teachers but also for other professions. We should learn the culture of the place where we are going to work. A company prefers hiring candidates who know its company’s culture.
Ninth, I really respect the Sudanese government’s decision to have punished the teacher and finally reduced the imprisonment period of time.
Tenth, I really appreciate the British teacher who has given a good explanation to the media, especially to The BBC, that during the punishment she had been treated very well.
So, here is the logic: bears are not considered cool animals in Sudan. They are even considered fierce and cruel. And Prophet Muhammad was not fierce and cruel. And naming teddy bears Muhammad means humiliating Prophet Muhammad. And whoever humiliates Muhammad must be punished.
And finally, I personally agree with some Muslim scholars who disagree with the Sudanese government’s decision, but I can also understand the decision.
Thank you very much.