FIR Over ‘Islamophobia’ in Rajasthan Class-12 Textbook
The FIR was filed on a complaint by Mohsin Rasheed, state coordinator of Rajasthan Muslim Forum.
The Jaipur police on Wednesday, 17 March, registered an FIR against the Rajasthan State Textbook Board after it emerged that a Political Science textbook for Class-12 linked terrorism with Islam.
As per The Indian Express, the FIR was filed under 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) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by Mohsin Rasheed, the state coordinator of Rajasthan Muslim Forum as well as the minority cell of the Congress.
According to TOI, an FIR was also lodged against a private publishing house that produces guidebooks, for allegedly repeating the “objectionable content” on Islam.
The Contentious Book
The Indian Express reported that the contentious textbook was believed to have been introduced during the tenure of former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
A TOI report stated that the book carries a chapter on “Terrorism, Criminalisation of Politics and Corruption”, in which it quotes anonymous ‘experts’ saying that “commitment to a particular religion is the main trend of Islamic terrorism”.
Further, the chapter claims that “in Islamic terrorism, the terrorist has excessive devotion to Islam rather than any faction or group” and that “it is also believed that Islam is not violent or inhumane”.
The writer reportedly goes on to allege:
“…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.”
Further, in a section titled ‘Nature of Terrorism in India’, the book, as per TOI, uses terms like ‘Sikh terrorist in Punjab’ and ‘Muslim terrorist in Jammu and Kashmir’, and alleges that they were demanding separate states on religious grounds.
According to The Indian Express, an answer-key published by Jaipur-based Sanjiv Prakashan, said that “Islamic terrorism is a form of Islam” and further goes on to elaborate on the topic.
How the Books ‘Promote Hatred Towards Islam’
As per The Indian Express, Mohsin Rasheed, who filed the complaint, said:
“By directly associating Islam with terrorism and then repeatedly using the term ‘Islamic terrorism’, the books promote hatred towards Islam and defame the religion.”
Rasheed further said that the books 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,” added.
‘Will Recall & Destroy The Books’
Three people, meanwhile, were reportedly arrested by Jaipur Police for vandalising Sanjiv Prakashan’s office on Wednesday.
In a statement, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Rajasthan decried the vandalism while demanding that the problematic content be removed from the textbook.
According to The Indian Express, Sanjiv Prakashan said that the books will be recalled and destroyed at the earliest. Approximately a dozen government professors and teachers, listed as members of the Textbook Board and authors, have been named in the FIR as well.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and TOI.)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.