Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Teddy Bear Mohammed

A teacher in The Sudan is in trouble for presiding over the christening of a teddy bear as Mohammed. How farcical is that?

Thinking back to my days as a teacher in the Middle East I came close to such a thing. I was a first year teacher in the UAE. I was working on teaching percents. Now I do not know what it is like here with the teaching of percents but teaching percents was real difficult it just seemed to be a concept hard for the students to grasp. It was not just me, my colleagues reported similar difficulties.

Anyway, we were on an applications of percents lesson and our text book relied heavily on discounts for its problems and examples. Well, being new to the UAE and my first deep exposure to Islam I trotted out interest. Now, interest in Islam is haram that is to say forbidden. Not only was I discussing a haram topic, but Mohammed was the fictional character in my lesson collecting interest.

I knew not about my offense until I heard a colleague addressing us in assembly about some teacher offending his students by not just teaching interest but mixing up Mohammed into the mix.

Fortunately, I was not dennounced, arrested, and whipped. I did stop using interest as an example application of percentage.

I wonder how hard it would have been for a student to denounce me and get me arrested?

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