She had been accused on three counts of insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs. Earlier, Foreign Secretary David Miliband had met the Sudanese ambassador to discuss the case, stressing it was an "innocent misunderstanding". The prime minister, Sudanese embassy officials in London and UK Muslim organisations also expressed the hope that Mrs Gibbons would be released. However it seems that Sudan's top clerics had called for the full measure of the law to be used against Mrs Gibbons and labelled her actions part of a Western plot against Islam.
The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones - who knows Mrs Gibbons – said ''Obviously relief that there won't be the public lashing which everybody feared, but deep disappointment because this was clearly a mistake and I know that the Muslim community here in Liverpool will be as disappointed as anybody.I think, too, a real anxiety that something like this so badly handled in this way [and] won't do anything to build up good relations between the faith communities.''
would have said that this verdict while a lot milder than feared won’t do the perception of Islam any good. Too many will simply see this idiocy as typical of all muslims when it is clearly not the case. Then again I can’t imagine Sudan’s clerics giving a damn about their religion’s image. I presume that many of them are like their Saudi counterparts and have their mindsets stuck in the 7th century