A teddy bear is due to appear in a Sudanese court today charged with insulting Islam. If convicted it faces imprisonment and public flogging.
The children's toy was detained after riot police surrounded a family residence in a suburb of Khartoum early Friday morning. It had been brought from England by Mustaf Mustard, a Sudanese national who recently returned from a sight seeing tour of British military installations.
Mustard gave the teddy to his nephew Abdulla but claims that when the child unwrapped his gift and pressed a button on its belly it began proclaiming, "I am Mohamed" over and over again.
Outraged, he immediately called for the police and following a dawn raid by a heavily armed swat team the teddy bear was arrested without incident.
As it was carried out of the house to a waiting police van, a group of protesters shouted slogans including, "death to kafars" and "hang Bush, hang Blair, hang bears" .
Captain Vehav Vays, chief of Khartoum's religious crime unit, said the bear was being fairly treated and had signed a full confession.
Meanwhile, the owner of a London toy shop has told TheSpoof.com that the whole incident was a fiasco of misunderstanding. "The toy does not say I am Mohamed" he insisted, "It says "I'm a bonehead!"