The New York Times probably won't get anymore lucrative ads from the Sudanese government, at least for a week or two. They claim that the demonstrations in Sudan calling for the execution of Gillian Gibbons, the "Teddy Bear Teacher", were orchestrated by the Sudanese government itself and consisted mainly of government employees.
The protesters, some carrying swords, screamed, “Shame, shame on the U.K.!” and, “Kill her, kill her by firing squad.”
They were calling for the death of Gillian Gibbons, the teacher who was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in jail. Under Sudanese law, she could have spent six months behind bars and received 40 lashes.
Despite the display of outrage, witnesses said that many of the protesters were government employees ordered to demonstrate, and that aside from a large gathering outside the presidential palace, most of Khartoum was quiet. Imams across the city brought up the case in sermons after Friday Prayer, but few of them urged violence.
“This woman gave an idol the name of Muhammad, which is not acceptable,” said Ahmed Muhammad, the imam at a mosque in Khartoum 2, an upscale section of town. But, he added, the proper response was more nuanced: “We have to first respect ourselves, and then others will respect us.”
Well, the government of Sudan put paid to that then, didn't they? First they provoke an international incident over what is – at best – a cultural misunderstanding, then they escalate the situation by sending government workers out to call for the head of a 52 year old school teacher. Yep, a sure ticket to respect from others.