The Rajasthan police have filed an First Information Report (FIR) against the Rajasthan State Textbook Board following protests over communal claims made in a political science textbook. According to a report in the Times of India, the book published in 2018, meant for class XII quotes “experts” who claim that “Islamic terrorism as a strand of Islam”.
There has been major uproar over this in the last couple of days, and civil society activists. Muslim groups have demanded the removal of ‘objectionable contents’ of the school textbooks. According to a report in The Hindu, the books which were brought out by a private publisher state that “Islamic terrorism” was a strand of the religion itself, and that it had brought havoc to the world by “suicide attacks, unlimited barbarity, blackmail, demand for ransom and heinous killings”.
The book contained a question, “What do you understand by Islamic terrorism?” The answer to this as stated in the book was that terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir was “purely religious” and was the same. The news report quoted another question seeking the answer to the “objectives of Islamic terrorism”, the options given were: “establishing a Muslim nation, implementing Islamic principles” and “fighting non-Muslims with violence”.
Strong objections were raised by the Rajasthan Muslim Forum, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Muslim Parishad Sansthan. The organisations demanded that the textbooks be withdrawn and criminal cases be registered against the writers and publishers for insulting the religion and outraging the religious feelings of Muslims. According to the news report, some activists allegedly ransacked the furniture and bookshelves at the publisher’s office situated in the Walled City of Jaipur, on Wednesday evening. Police have detained three youth in connection with the incident. According to TOI, the FIR against the Board, as well as the private publishing house was registered by Lal Kothi police on the complaint against the “objectionable content” on Islam made by the Rajasthan Muslim Forum.
It was reported that the textbook contains a chapter on “Terrorism, Terrorism, Criminalisation of Politics and Corruption”, where anonymous experts claim that “commitment to a particular religion is the main trend of Islamic terrorism.” Both the state textbook and the guidebook, which also says the same. The communal tilt by the anonymous experts, continues in the chapter that claims, “In Islamic terrorism the the terrorist has excessive devotion to Islam rather than any faction or a group.” It added, “Martyrdom, perpetrating unlimited barbarism, forcibly amassing wealth and killing and committing atrocities on innocent people ruthlessly in a most ghastly manner in the name of Allah are some of the features of Islamic terrorism.”
The TOI quotes a section titled ‘Nature of Terrorism in India,’ where terms such as “Sikh terrorist and Muslim terrorist in Punjab and J&K demanding a separate state on religious state on religious grounds” are used.
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