Here is what happened. As a class project, Miss Gibbons introduced her students to a cute, cuddly little teddy bear. And then she said “Now we have to give the bear a name.” All the students raised their hands and suggested names for the bear - eight names in all, including Abdullah and Hassan. To be fair, since there were so many great names to choose from, Miss Gibbons suggested they take a vote. And the winner, by a vote of 20 to 3, was: Muhammad!
Now, said Miss Gibbons, we will all take Muhammad home, one at a time, and we’ll bring him back with an essay about what we did with Muhammad the Bear when he was home with us. And so, one by one, the students took Muhammad the Bear home and wrote essays, and eventually Miss Gibbons bound all the essays into a book with a picture of the bear on the cover and the title “My Name Is Muhammad.”
Alas, the diabolical deed was stealthily uncovered by the ever efficient Sudanese police who immediately arrested Miss Gibbons and charged her with blasphemy and insulting the great prophet. She was locked away and told that her most likely sentence would be 200 lashes with a whip. Meanwhile a huge, unruly crowd collected outside the Khartoum jail bellowing fiercely and relentlessly for the immediate lynching of the western infidel.
In fact, if convicted, 54 year old Gillian Gibbons could be jailed for six months and subjected to 40 lashes. Her students have tried to claim responsibility for the act, which Britain's Foreign Service has called "an innocent misunderstanding."