The demonstrators, many armed with clubs and knives according to eyewitnesses, came as authorities decided to move Gillian Gibbons from the women’s prison near Khartoum to a secret location for her safety, her lawyer said.
Gibbons was sentenced to 15 days of detention this week, but angry Sudanese Muslims said the punishment was not enough.
The chairman of the US-based Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Reverend Gary Cass, said in a statement obtained by BosNewsLife that the case underscored widespread persecution of Christians and other non-Muslims in Sudan.
"In Sudan, a country known for its genocide against Christians, an innocent act by Muslim school children must be result in the punishment of a Christian. Hundreds of thousands of Christians are murdered by Arab militias in the name of Islam across the Sudan, and no one has been punished," the official said."“A class of children innocently misnames a teddy bear and now an example must be made of someone, especially a Christian someone."
He said the United States should stop sending aid to Sudan, which he claims was three billion dollars since 2005. The director of the Church Alliance for a New Sudan movement, Faith McDonnell, said Friday’s demonstrations of angry Muslims against the teacher showed religious tensions remain a problem in Sudan.
"It’s no coincidence that riots by radical Islamists frequently occur on Fridays after worship at the mosques. The teachings in many of the mosques by extremist clerics fan the flames of irrational hatred," added McDonell.
"This is just another example of how the government in Khartoum is violating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) it signed with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in January 2005."
The agreement says that “Tolerance shall be the basis of coexistence between the Sudanese people of different cultures, religions, and Traditions,” the official recalled. "It goes on to say that the judicial system should observe the legal principle that non-Muslims are not subject to Sharia law."
A special commission was due to be appointed by the presidency “to ensure that the rights of non-Muslims are protected, and not adversely affected by the application of Sharia law in the capital,” but that has apparently not been done, McDonell suggested, referring to teacher Gibbons.
In Britain, meanwhile, Gibbons’ son, John, told The Associated Press news agency that his mother was "holding up well" and she made an appeal for tolerance. "One of the things my mum said today was that ‘I don’t want any resentment towards Muslim people,’" John Gibbons said, relaying part of a telephone conversation with her. (With BosNewsLife reporting and BosNewsLife Research).