The Western mind may never understand the Middle Eastern Muslim way of thinking.
Nor may Middle Eastern Muslims ever understand the way people in Western countries think.
The futility of bridging the gap is evident in a horrific case in Sudan, where a British school teacher asked the 7-year-old children in her class to name a teddy bear. One would think that would be a pretty benign and endearing exercise. But not to the Sudanese. Not when the kids vote to name the teddy bear Mohammed.
Teacher Gillian Gibbons was convicted in a closed door court hearing of inciting religious hatred. She was sentenced to 15 days behind bars, and faces deportation after she serves her term.
She was spared being lashed for her "offense."
I'm pretty good at understanding and appreciating cultural differences in our world. But this is something I will never get. And those who hail the verdict probably will never understand that in me.
All this is pretty worrisome in a world where people who feel affronted religiously by another's pronouncements or actions sometimes resort to violence.