Islamists call for the death of a British teacher over a teddy bear.

One of the big news stories over here in Britain at the moment is the jailing of a British schoolteacher in Sudan for ‘insulting Islam’. Her crime is that, during a classroom exercise, she asked her pupils to name a teddy bear, and the children chose the name ‘Muhammad’. As well as being the name of one of the pupils, Muhammad is also the name of the Muslim prophet and in Islam it is frowned upon (to say the least) to create idols or images of Muhammad – you may remember the furore surrounding the cartoons that some European newspapers published last year which depicted the prophet as a suicide bomber.

Though it’s obvious to most sane people that the teacher didn’t intend to cause offence when the bear was named (and she has apologised), complaints were made, she was arrested, and has now been jailed for 15 days and will be deported upon release.

That’s bad enough, but now at least a thousand of Sudanese people have demanded a tougher punishment – some going as far as demanding death by firing squad.

The reaction in the UK has been of almost universal condemnation – from Muslim leaders to politicians – and the government is trying to intervene where possible. But should the Sudanese judiciary give into the protesters’ demands, we could see a woman shot to death, over a teddy bear.

51 thoughts on “Islamists call for the death of a British teacher over a teddy bear.

  1. The feeling in political circles is this is a form of diplomacy bythe Sudanese government- they have allowed the hatred to be stirred up, pretended the prosecution is nothing to do with them, and bussed in 80% of the protesters etc, to send a message to the West.  The West has been trying to put pressure on over the Genocide in Darfur. This is the Sudanese governments reaction. Although they are fundementalist Muslim, they are using this as a smoke screen.

  2. I was going to write about this once I got home tonight, but I see that Neil beat me to it. The images of angry Muslims marching with machetes and knives demanding that this teacher be put to death via firing squad sure does blow that whole ‘Islam is a religion of Peace and Love’ line right out of the fucking water…

  3. Now, don’t get me wrong – all superstitions are equally idiotic in my NSFHO (Not So Fucking Humble Opinion).

    But MOST Muslims, are just like most Christians, most Jews and etc.  Pretty much just normal damn people with a stupid belief in a pie in the sky.  The Sunni’s, which most Muslims are, are pretty much as moderate as most Christians.  But they keep their mouths shut because they cower in fear of the minor radicals like the Shiite and Wahhabi folks.

    Thinking they are average representatives of Islam is no more valid than thinking the quacks here in the McUSA who believe all non-Christians/gays/etc should be put to death.  And hell, in the Babble . . . I mean BIBLE, excuse me, it does command you to kill any child who is disobedient, anybody who works on Sunday, and lots of other such crap.

    Good people are good no matter what they believe, bad people are bad no matter what they believe.  But to get good people to DO bad things? Religion is pretty good at that.  You can find justification for ANYTHING you want to do in either the Bible or Koran.

    I suspect the overall slaughter/torture/terrorism body count record in history is still held by the Christians.

    If folks like Pat Robertson got enough power in America, you can expect that it would be just like when the Shiites are running a region in the Middle East.

  4. I’d go along with that reasoning if it weren’t for one simple fact: The crowds that are calling for the death of this woman are, in a word, HUGE. Dwarfed only by the crowds that went on a rampage in multiple countries over a bunch of cartoons. Above and beyond that the number of supposedly moderate Muslims who speak out against the idiotic actions of their radical counterparts is exceedingly small.

    The huge numbers combined with the idiocy over what they want to put someone to death for makes it hard for me to think to myself, “Well, they’re not the AVERAGE Muslim.” For as idiotic as the average American Fundy is, when was the last time you saw hundreds of them marching in the streets armed to the teeth demanding the government put someone to death for naming their teddy bear Jesus?

  5. Again . . . let the McUSA turn into a full bore theocracy, let guys like James Dobson & Pat Robertson run the show, and I am pretty damn sure there would be just as sick and idiotic crap as the teddy bear crap happening.  The track record of Christianity is pretty horrible, piles of women and children set on fire and shit.  Waterboarding came FROM the Christian inquisitions.

    And all the moderates would run and hide. Fear sells. It sells well, its part of why AmeriKKKa is looking like toast at this point!

  6. I’m with Luddite.  The crowd reported by the BBC was only 1,000- the reporter said it has the feel of a ‘rent-a-mob’.  Remember this is a dictatorship, who are always able to generate a spontaneous demonstration, if you give them enough notice…

    The banners were pre-printed, and government busses were bringing people in. 1,000 isn’t that many- all it takes is some-one to go to the nearest university and tell the students what to do.  I bet Pat Robinson could get 10 times that at less than a day’s notice.

  7. If it’s shit stirring by the government then that’s just as troubling to me. That enough people would be willing to put on a show like that at the government’s request is not exactly a good thing.

    It would really help if more of the moderate Muslims stood up and condemned this sort of idiocy.

  8. Since it was the children who named the teddy bear – children of wealthy muslims, according to one article – you’d think they’d be upset with the parents over it.  So, it’s either a smokescreen as mentioned, or really bad ignorance.

    My first reaction when I heard about it was “WTF?!?!?! – They name their kids Muhammad.”

  9. It would really help if more of the moderate Muslims stood up and condemned this sort of idiocy

    This is a brutal dictatorship- who is going to stand up? This isn’t going to be one of those post cold war revolutions, it will be a suppression where the government points the frothing at the mouth loonies the correct way and let’s them go. This is Sudan’s government revenge for Gordon Brown publically criticising the repression in Darfur.

  10. We all have to watch for falling into splitting hairs over which religion is “better” or “worse” etc.  They all go through cycles historically and geographically of being more and less horrible. But from 9/11, to the inquisitions, to the current teddy bear idiocy and etc . . . its all because of RELIGION.  Period.  Nitpicking over WHICH superstition is more or less inhumane is completely relative according to time and place.  The overall constant is *religion*.

    I really support peoples rights to believe any stupidity they want to. There just can’t be ANY allowed crossover into political/military power.  Just as the politicians and military should stay out of governing the superstitions practice as well.

    Separation of church and state is a good idea, just a pretty rare thing in most countries.

  11. I think the sudanese are overreacting, just a tad

    This is only 1 person though, it doesnt compare to what goes on daily in oppresive cultures/regimes, some people hog the headlines (ie Maddie) wheras many barely get a mention, if at all

  12. Well the fact is that Pat Robertson, as much as he’d like to see gays stoned to death, doesn’t have unlimited political power in this nation that we are constantly told, is a Christian nation.  In our ally Saudi Arabia the Imams can have a woman flogged and imprisoned for daring to suggest that she should not face punishment for being gang-raped.

    Saying “If Robertson were in charge he’d…” is tautological; if any nutcase were in charge they do whatever they want.  But plainly our culture and its dominant religion do not give them that much power.

    Yes, Christianity has a brutal past and there’s brutal stuff in the bible.  That religion seems to have gotten a little better (not enough, IMHaO) but significantly.  Now it’s time for Islam to do the same.

    LH: “The feeling in political circles is this is a form of diplomacy bythe Sudanese government- they have allowed the hatred to be stirred up, pretended the prosecution is nothing to do with them, and bussed in 80% of the protesters etc, to send a message to the West.

    Yep.  And the message is: “We want to remain a disease-ridden backward-assed third-world craphole for as long as the world community will let us.”

  13. you’d think they’d be upset with the parents over it.

    Of course not! Muslims love to use anyone from the West civilized world as a scapegoat.

    My first reaction when I heard about it was “WTF?!?!?! – They name their kids Muhammad.”

    Yup, it’s okay for them but not for us.

    We want to remain a disease-ridden backward-assed third-world craphole for as long as the world community will let us

    Last time I checked Sudan is controlled by a pretty ruthless dictator. I’m not sure the people born there really appreciate being grouped in the circle as the asshole running the country.

    I think this specific case may be attributed to the Dictator, but in general Muslims are more violent and less civilized. I don’t think they’ve yet moved on from their tribal like culture.

  14. The Muslim belief is like the Christian belief, it is not [if you don’t cheery pick ideals and liberalize the meaning out of it] a moderate religion.

  15. Congtarulations Sudan….You’ve hit the final nail in the coffin of Islams immage being “Peacefull” and also made your country and religion the official “Laughing Stock” of the planet, maybe even indeed the whole cosmos.

    (claps mockingly) Well done…..give these men a medal for stupidity will you.

  16. Like a Muslim lawyer living in the UK (commenting on this issue from on an assignment from his firm in Saudi Arabia) has stated, “This entire issue is ridiculous. Our children name their pets Mohammed. There is nothing wrong with what this woman has done. Not even under Sharia law has she committed any crime.”

    Heard that one on the news (Al-Jazeera as a matter of fact). Saudi Arabia has some of the strictest interpretation of Islamic law anywhere in the world (even stricter than that found in Sudan), so for one of their own lawyers to say this woman is innocent, settles it for me.

    The Sudanese government is playing a dangerous game though, because if push comes to shove, you damn well better believe the UK would send in the SAS and she would be on a plane back to London lickety-split. The only reason the current Sudanese government hasn’t been put down with prejudice already is because of their ties to China.

  17. suppose I cant call my Penis “Allah” then right?

    My wife calls mine Mr Pokey, as in “Will you stop poking me in the back, I’m trying to sleep” LOL

    British Muslims have held a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in London.  They were also wielding things- Teddy Bears!

    There are a couple of Muslims in my office.  They have never tried to kill anyone, or even suggested it.  The lady is actually very quiet.  She has had to struggle against some more traditional family views about women working, BUT there are plenty of Christians in the US who take this view. 

    While trying to find how biblical Israelis dressed, I found the site of a woman who said that Christian women should stay at home, look after kids, and never wear trousers- only feminine clothes.  Plus there is the link I posted for the petition to remove the vote from women.

  18. What if a bunch of schoolchildren here in the US of A named their teddy bear “Jesus”.  Would that be a problem?  After all, plenty of hispanic kids have that name.

    SG

  19. We have a punching bag hanging in our hall, and our kids named it “Bush”.  Are we in trouble too?

  20. I am annoyed as the next person over how ridiculous this situation seems, but really, How could she be so stupid?  “I am going to go overseas to a majority Muslim nation with my head completely in the sand in regards to the potential sensitivities.”
    Does this “teacher” not watch the news for the last 7 years or what?
    This should be an object lesson for the stupid people in the world, Learn a little something about the culture and laws of the place your going to work before leaving your home country.
    I am realy having a hard time feeling any sympathy for this woman.
    I hope the British government can get her deported home before it gets worse.

  21. Here is a little guide I like to send out, and hand out to Fundy types . . . showing how loving the Christian Bible is.  Seem extreme? LOOK UP ANY OF IT, its a sick and twisted book, just like the Koran.

    —————————————————————-

    The Bible is the infallible word of our Lord. If you are a TRUE Christian, you follow these these commands:

    Who You Should Kill

    —Unruly or rebellious child. Deut 21:20-21
    —Those who curse or hit their parents. Lev 20:9, Ex 21:15
    —Worshipers of other gods. Deut 13:6-11
    —Psychics, witches. Lev 20:27, Deut 13:6-11, Ex 22:18.
    —Those who do not believe in Jesus (parable). Luke 19:27.
    —Those who work on the Sabbath. Ex 35:2 (Moses kills a gentile for this. Num 15:32-36.)
    —Those who are accused by at least two people of wickedness. Deut 17:6.
    —The children and babies of enemies. Num 31:17, Deut 20:13, Psalm 137:9, Lev 26:29.
    —Adulterers. Lev 20:10.
    —Homosexuals. Lev 20:13.
    —A woman who is not a virgin when married. Deut 22:13-21.
    —Those who are careless with murderous livestock. Exodus 21:29.

    Who You Should Hate

    —Those who eat crab or shrimp. Lev 11:10.
    —Those who sacrifice an animal to God that has a blemish. Deut 17:1.
    —Those who remarry the same person after divorce. Deut 24:4.
    —Homosexuals. Lev 18:22.
    —Those who are proud. Prov 16:5.
    —A woman who wears pants. Deut 22:5.
    —A man with long hair (Jesus?). 1Cor 11:14
    —Those who call others fools Mat 5:22

    Should we still do this stuff?

    —All OT laws still apply in NT. Matt 5:17-19

    ———————————————————-

    You don’t dare to try and FILTER and pick and choose from the word of God right? You don’t pull that nambie-pampy “out of context” silliness with passages you don’t like, but then wholeheartedly accept those you DO like? That is SIN!

    So either you are a TRUE Christian, and you’ll follow those loving commands from God. Or you are doomed to be tortured in hell forever! Oh Glory!

  22. Lordklegg – I agree that she should’ve known better, and usually I’d stand back and let them learn from their mistakes first hand, but the consequences seem a little too permanent to stand back. Also her punishment, by nature, comes after the point where she can make good use personally of what she’s learnt, so I think this has gone beyond the point where her stupidity should affect our decision

    Being stupid doesn’t make anybody good/bad in itself, so I wouldn’t use it as a measure of what sympathy someone deserves, particularly when they didn’t intend to do harm

  23. Yes, naming an object Muhammad in a pro-dominantly Muslim country isn’t the smartest thing to do. But any normal government would politely tell her that this is not encouraged and could she please change it, kthnxbye? The fact that this woman could be shot to death by firing squad over an innocent mistake, and that people are willing to descend onto the streets to campaign for it, is the scandal here.

    I’m not going to make any wide-sweeping comments about Muslims because I live in a city where, in 2001, 16% of the population identified themselves as Muslim (the third largest group after Christians and atheists), and the vast majority are perfectly reasonable people who probably wouldn’t think twice about condemning what has happened. But as usual, it is the extremist minority giving Islam a bad name.

  24. LordKlegg- some here have said ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law- I have never really bought into that. I’m not suggesting law-breakers are routinly let off, but rather that most countries laws are so complicated there are many occasions where even natives can break them unwittingly, so each case needs to be considered on its merits- this is part of the reason why western countries employ independent prosecutors.

    The teddy was introduced as a object of affection, and named by the children for someone who they have been taught to love.  There was a Sudanese Muslim Teaching assistant in the class, who obviously saw nothing wrong with the suggestion.  A British muslim expressed surprise, saying that pets are named after the prophet.  This woman thought they were naming it after one of the children.  The charges make little sense- ‘Inciting hatred against Islam’ (remember this is an object of love).  Railtrack might as well sue Michael Bond for defamation “He suggests staff keep marmalade sandwiches in their hats”

    Zilch- don’t have that punchbag in the US- inciting harm to the President is a federal offense, there is no ‘freedom of speech’ defence. You will be arrested by the Secret Service, unless you’re a Republican senator, who called for the assassination of Clinton.

  25. British Muslims have held a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in London.  They were also wielding things- Teddy Bears!

    Rock. On. 

    Makes me wish I were still over in Blighty.  I’d buy ‘em all a round of tea…assuming that they hadn’t…er…“gone native” enough to develop a taste for beer.

  26. Hussar- don’t worry, that punching bag is safe here in Vienna.  At least until Europe becomes a colony of the U.S.

    About alcohol and Muslims- the Turks drink fair amounts of raki, but of course Turkey is probably the most secular of Muslim nations.  And I don’t have statistics, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Turks here in Austria consume less alcohol than they do in Istanbul.

    It’s a well known phenomenon that refugees are often more conservative in many ways than their compatriots at home.  If Muslims don’t “go native” here, and become fully integrated, which most don’t, they tend to go the other way and hang on to their customs.  After seeing how Turks live in Vienna, I was amazed how secular and Western Istanbul was, although the ubiquitous miltary with machine guns was a trifle unfamiliar.

  27. And I don’t have statistics, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Turks here in Austria consume less alcohol than they do in Istanbul.

    Just like I didn’t drink nearly as enthusiastically after I turned 21 as I did before. maybe?  wink  Well, until my husband and I discovered the joys of homebrewing/homevintning anyway:  Then (like just about every other hobby) it sort of took on a life of its own.  But that’s another story…

  28. You Limeys do have some good brews, I’ll admit.  I’m especially partial to Black Sheep Ale, which you can’t get in Vienna, unfortunately.

    I’ve never had ginger beer- just American ginger ale, which of course is a soft drink.

  29. Zilch, LH:  Actually, I’ve developed a taste for hard cider and cysers.  I can’t even drink the fizzy syrup that Woodchuck puts out anymore.  You’d have to talk to my Dearest if you want to talk shop about beer. 

    Btw, zilch:  How come you’re in the US (according to your flag) instead of Austria now?  I mean, there’s Coca-Cola Colonialism an’ all, but…  wink

  30. Wychwood brewery do some nice stuff- Hobgoblin is their famous strong ale, but I like Fiddlers Elbow. Fullers- London Pride and ESB, as well as 1845, and if you can get them McEwans 80 and 90 Shilling (properly written 80/- and 90/-,  from the duty on a barrel) but hard to get south of the border.  I’ve got Tring and Chiltern Breweries just up the road, and Rebbelion in Marlow only 25 miles away.  Kings Head in Aylesbury Market square is a National trust property which serves the Chiltern Beers.  I sit there in a room that was well established when it entertained Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War.  For you Columbines that means I relax and read my copy of Private Eye in a room that existed while your ancestors thought going West would fall off the Edge, and there was no quick rout to China and the Indies.

  31. (double dipping now he’s reread Zilch.)

    Ginger Ale is a mixer. Ginger Beer (as in ‘Lashings of Ginger Beer’) is a far fierier drink, due to the ginger. I made it as a kid (it may have some slight alchol in, but if it does its negligible).  Lovely on a hot day with ice.

    The reason for me saying it takes on a life of its own is that over the brewing process the yeast base used to brew it- the ‘plant’- doubles in size, so you have to halve it every brew (10- 12 days) This means either starting a second process (if you time it right, batch two matures just as you drink the last of batch one, and vice versa) or get rid of it.  The traditional way of doing this is to give it to a friend so he can start brewing.  The problem of course is he then has to halve it, as do you for a second time.  Within no time every one you know is brewing Ginger Beer.  You can of course throw it, but my parents grew up under rationing, so that was very much the second option.  Occasionally you will be woken up in the night by the cap losing the struggle with the fizz.

    If you want SERIOUS ginger beer you need to find somewhere that sells Carribean food and drink. The Windies seem to regard it in the same way a Texan regards chilli- if it doesn’t melt titanium it’s not been done right.

    Instead of using lemonade (clear carbonated sweetened water flavoured with lemons- not what Charlie Brown appears to make) to make a shandy, I prefer Ginger Beer. People look at you funny, but it was the original mixer, before fizzy lemonade was invented (Does the US have shandy- a 50/50 mix of beer and lemonade?)

  32. Neil- tempting, but alas the shipping cost is half again the price of the ale.  I’ll just have to wait till I’m in Yorkshire again (this spring, if I’m lucky).

    cubiclegrrl- what’s a “cyser”?  And you’re right- I do seem to be back in the States for the moment.  That’s handy- I’ll take advantage of the worthless dollar and stock up on salsa and chips.  No, I’m afraid it’s just my new isp playing around with connections somehow.

    Hussar- are you just trying to make me feel jealous?  King’s Head looks great- lots more atmosphere than the usual “Beisl” here.  Luckily, the beer situation in Austria is not bad, even if we don’t have much English ale: there are some quite good local brews in Vienna.

    I love ginger, and I’m sure I’d like ginger beer too.  Maybe I can find some here.

  33. The problem with Holy Books and The Word of God is that men write the words, create the books.  Men are fallible.  Men make mistakes and are limited by their own points of view (create from their life experiences rooted in human cultures of specific time periods).  Hence, there is contradiction from section to section (chapter to chapter, book to book) within these holy documents due to dynamic nature of societies and their influence on the multiple authors over time. 

    I know, I know… there is the “GOD ACTED THROUGH THEM” argument.  These limited humans were supposedly capable of creating documentation without flaw, because GOD was using them as tool, like a pen.  Yet, doesn’t the quality of your pen (ink runs out, tip breaks) affect the quality of the document?  Humans are limited and flawed beings… Doesn’t it stand to reason, even used as a tool, the product in which they are used to produce would have to be limited and flawed accordingly?

  34. LH:  Very interesting about ginger beer—I’ll mention that to my partner-in-crime.  I can just see this spiraling completely out of hand, but I like ginger, too.  wink

    zilch:  Cyser is just hard cider made with honey instead of white sugar.  We keep two hives of bees, but every mead we’ve made has taken sooooo long to ferment (thereby tying up carboys) that we make the (relatively) quick-hitters like cysers or honey-based fruit wines, just so we’re not swimming in the embarrassment of riches that our ladies supply.

  35. mmm, mead- is there any good thing that you and your partner in crime do not make, cubiclegrrl?

  36. MMMmmmmmmm Mead.  When I was a Dark Age re-enactor mead was required drinking. We drank it like beer, though it’s 12-14% by volume (similar to wine) My thegn’s habit was to take the stopper out and throw it over his shoulder, into the candle shadows where it couldn’t be found with “we won’t need that again”.  He said he never saw anyone agressive on mead, just happy drunk- he opined the sugar base had something to do with that.

    Zilch- If ever you get as far south as the Home Counties we will have to try and meet for a beer. Aylesbury has well over a 1000 years of history, though much of it has been ruined by ‘modernisation’ in the 60s and 70s (“More poured concrete- yes, I’m sure that’s the answer”). (Just thought- “What have you been doing”, “I’ve just invited an American living in Austria for a beer down the Kings Head”).

    The Farmers Bar has been re-decorated in a lighter, more modern style, though it manages to stay cozy. Not only do I get the odd luchtime drink in down there, when work has been particually annoying, but my stag do ended there, where we were joined by the ladies hockey team in the courtyard.  A couple of years ago my wargame club were invited to put on a demo game as part of a beer festival/history weekend celebrating the history of the place.  We refought the Battle of Tewkesbury with 15mm figures in one of the stables, while staying suitably refreshed.

    Have you noticed MrsSEB coming in and going completely off topic by insisting on addressing the thread heading! How very dare she!

  37. mmm, mead- is there any good thing that you and your partner in crime do not make, cubiclegrrl?

    We haven’t tried our hand at anything bubbly—well, at least not intentionally.  (A chamomile half-mead blew out corks *quite* emphatically—about four of ‘em at pretty much the same time.  It was like the wine rack fired broadside at the basement wall.  More than a little disturbing, that…)

    But we’ve pulled a few clinkers, too.  There’s a blackberry wine that I’ll use to stew tomatoes, but I d—n sho’ won’t drink.  At least the pumpkin pie wine turned out alright—weird, but alright—because it made about two dozen bottles.

    I am soooo jealous of you and LH in particular, though, being able to knock back a pint in that kind of ambiance.  The best bit of our vacation in the UK (for me) was a quiet cider next to a crackling fire in an early 15th century house in York.  That was one of the most magic moments of my life, when nearly six centuries rolled away in the lull of conversation.  [Purr….]

  38. Hussar- thanks for the invitation.  I would love to chew the fat with you over a pint.  I don’t know when I’ll be in the Home Counties again, but I’ll let you know when I am.  The same goes for you, of course, if you ever happen to come out this way.  And you’re right about Mrs. SEB- I don’t know how Les can put up with such an uppity woman LOL

    About reenactment:  the best I ever saw (no, I watched from a safe distance) was in Leeds, a recreation of one of the skirmishes between the French and English around the time of Agincourt.  I had previously talked with a couple of the participants, who were reminiscing about wounds they’d received in such battles.  I had thought they were exaggerating until the fight started.  Not only were they really clashing swords, but they were really shooting arrows, with points, at one another.  One fellow had to be taken away with the ambulance, which was standing nearby.  Very entertaining, but I’ll stick with music.

    cubiclegrrl- pumpkin wine?  Now I’ve heard everything.  Yes, York is beautiful.  But you needn’t be jealous of us in the Old Countries- while there’s lots of ambience, we have our share of problems too.  Of course, if you and your hubby should be in Vienna, drop me a line.

  39. That’s of course an open invite to contact me.

    I went to the doctor with a scar.
    How did you get that?
    I got hit by a sword.
    How did you get hit by a sword?
    I was trying to get out the way of a spear.

    Though the society has strict safety rules, old hands who know each other well often do things outside the rules. Unfortunately on this occasion they didn’t see me. Even though the weapons are blunt, a sword is still a 3 ft iron bar.

    Are you sure they fire sharps (or any thing) at each other? Archery in such volleys are always (alledgedly) at a piece of rough ground that should be empty. Of course occasionally someone misses the safety script briefing…  Some ACW societies do not use ramrod, instead banging the butt against the ground.  There is historical evidence for this, but mostly its because there is then no chance of leaving a rod in a barrel by accident.

  40. Yes, they did fire arrows at each other- I saw some hit shields.  They weren’t moving very fast, because they fired from a good distance away, and I suspect they weren’t sharp, but it was still a bit intimidating.

  41. Yes, they did fire arrows at each other- I saw some hit shields.  They weren’t moving very fast, because they fired from a good distance away,

    Maybe they were using blunt tips like the ones used on flu-flus.

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