The Jaipur police have lodged an FIR after a Class XII textbook by Rajasthan State Textbook Board, and another by a private publishing house, associated Islam with terrorism. The police have also arrested three persons for vandalising the office of the publishing house in Jaipur’s old city.
The FIR has been lodged on a complaint by Mohsin Rasheed, state coordinator of Rajasthan Muslim Forum as well as Minority Cell of the ruling Congress party, under IPC sections 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
In a chapter on ‘Terrorism, Criminalisation of Politics and Corruption’, the Class XII government Political Science textbook allegedly talks about Islamic terrorism. And on page 257, it asks: “Which one of the following is not the main objective of Islamic terrorism?” The options were: “Establishment of Muslim nation in the world; Resistance of western non-Muslim powers through violent activities; Peace in the world; Implement Islamic laws and principles in the world.” On the next page, under Short Answer Type Questions, question 5 reads: “What do you think of Islamic terrorism?”
The book has been published by Rajasthan State Textbook Board, Jaipur, for the Board of Secondary Education Rajasthan, Ajmer. The content is said to have been introduced during the tenure of former CM Vasundhara Raje (2013-18). Dr Bhanwar Singh Rathore, Associate Professor at Department of Political Science, government college, Jodhpur, has been listed in the textbook as the Convenor, Author and Translator. Rathore and about a dozen government professors and teachers, listed as members of the board and authors, have also been named in the FIR.
Answering the question in government textbook on Islamic terrorism, an answer-key published by Jaipur-based Sanjiv Prakashan said that “Islamic terrorism is a form of Islam” and elaborated on the topic.
Mohsin Rasheed said that he had bought the textbooks for the library at his home when he came across the text. “By directly associating Islam with terrorism and then repeatedly using ‘Islamic terrorism’, the books promote hatred towards Islam and defame the religion. They also attempt to provoke Muslim students and the community and hurt their sentiments. It is also an attempt to insult Muslim teachers and students by insulting their religion and humiliating them,” Rasheed said in the FIR, demanding action against all the persons responsible for writing and approving the textbook.
Meanwhile, Jaipur police have also arrested three persons, including Muslim Parishad Sansthan president Yunus Chopdar, for vandalising the Sanjiv Prakashan’s office on Wednesday.
Congress MLA from Jaipur’s Adarsh Nagar, Rafeek Khan, too raised the issue in the Assembly on Wednesday, demanding action against the publishing house. “No religion can be associated with terrorism. The religion is being unnecessarily defamed in the book,” he said. In a statement, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Rajasthan, condemned the vandalism and demanded that the objectionable content be removed from the textbooks.
In a letter to Naeem Rabbani, who is also associated with Rajasthan Muslim Forum, the publishers have apologised and said that they have asked the wholesalers to stop their sale. “They will be recalled and destroyed at the earliest,” Sanjiv Prakashan said.