Note the AP bias not only in the headline, but in the article as well:
Briton pardoned in Sudan Islam insult
The correct headline would have been “Briton pardoned in alleged Sudan Islam insult” or “Briton pardoned in perceived Sudan Islam insult” – that headline sounds like the insult was definitive, as in, it is widely agreed worldwide that it was an insult.
Continuing (emphasis added):
KHARTOUM, Sudan – A British teacher jailed for insulting Islam after allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad was released Monday when Sudan’s president pardoned her, a British Embassy spokesman said.
The conviction of Gillian Gibbons under Sudan’s Islamic Sharia law shocked Britons and many Muslims worldwide. It also inflamed passions among many Sudanese, some of whom called for her execution.
“Shocked many Muslims worldwide”? I’d like to know the source for that assertion, because it sounds more like an opinion inserted into what is supposed to be straight reporting. Oh wait, this must have been the source of the assertion:
The case also sparked criticism from many Muslims in the West who said she should have never been arrested. On Monday, Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, welcomed the pardon.
“It will be wonderful to see her back in the U.K. I am sure she will be welcomed by both Muslims and non-Muslims after her quite terrible ordeal at the hands of the Sudanese authorities,” Bunglawala said.
Robert Spencer has some harsh words for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s response to the news of Ms. Gibbons’ release (he said, “common sense has prevailed”):
I’m not so sure, Gordon. Even if she had meant harm, you and all Western leaders should have been standing up for her. The idea that one may legitimately be imprisoned, or lashed, or even killed for poking fun at someone still remains. Do you understand how this threatens the foundation of free society? Once you declare one group off-limits for critical examination, once you declare that these people — whoever they may be — must at all costs not be offended, or if they are they’re perfectly within their rights to stone, or lash, or imprison, or kill the offender, then you have destroyed one of the foundations for free inquiry. In a free society, people with differing opinions live together in harmony, agreeing not to kill one another if their neighbor’s opinions offend them. If offensive speech had been prohibited in the 1770s, there would be no United States of America, and that is one of the reasons for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Whenever offensive speech is prohibited, the tyrant’s power is solidified. No less in this case, although the tyrant in question is of a different kind.
I wonder what the British government’s response would have been had she been punished the 6 months and 40 lashes that could have been her punishment, had the Sudanese government not decided to be “lenient” with Gibbons? I’m glad we didn’t have to find out, both for Gibbons’ sake as well as for the sake of the British government, who once again appeared weak on a national stage when it came to one of their own being taken into the custody of Islamofasict thugs, just as they did during the hostage crisis involving several of their troops being held by the Iranian thugocracy back in March.
This woman will be on her way home soon, if she isn’t already, which is good news, but I suspect her life is never going to be the same. Let’s keep in mind that the Sudanese government has not apologized for what Gibbons went through. In their eyes, she still committed a crime against Islam. And the so-called “fringe” Islamists demanding her death won’t give up easily. Whether it’s a cartoon depicting Mohammed in a way that offends Islamists, whether it’s secular Muslims denouncing radical Islam, whether you’re a non-Muslim critical of fanatical Islamists, or whether it’s something as simple as allowing your students to name a teddy bear after another student who happened to be named Mohammed, you’re an “infidel” by Islamofascist “standards” and according to them, you must be made to pay.