An old image of Muslim students studying Hindu scriptures has gone viral with a false claim that it shows the religious texts being published in Kolkata with the purpose of ‘misinterpreting’ them.
The image is actually from the library at Al Mahadul Aali al Islami, a seminary in Hyderabad, which houses books from all religions. The deputy director of the institute confirmed to The Quint that the picture is old and shows their students studying the books, not tampering with them.
The image was shared with the caption, “The book of #HarafPrakashani, these books are being published from Kolkata. Aggression has not stopped even today! Tricks, words and tactics. Nowadays jihadists are writing Vedas, Upanishads and Gita, their purpose is to misinterpret and defile the traditional religion. (sic)”
The image was also shared by serial misinformation spreader Madhu Purnima Kishwar.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A reverse image search led us to an article in The Hindu carrying the image attributed to photographer G Ramakrishna with the caption, “Students at Al Mahadul Aali Al Islami studying the Vedas to understand the common attributes in Islam and Hinduism. This seminary has more than 1000 books on other religions at Hyderabad. (sic.)”
The article is dated April 2014. Hence, the image is not a recent one and is from Hyderabad, not Kolkata, as claimed.
Speaking to The Quint, Mufti Omar Abedeen, the Deputy Director at Al Mahadul Aali al Islami, confirmed that the image is from the seminary’s library and shows their students studying the Hindu texts.
“This is an old image of our library, which houses all scriptures like the Vedas and Guru Granth Sahib. Al Mahadul Aali Al Islami is a unique Islamic seminary in India which calls scholars from other faiths to understand their religion,” he added.
Evidently, an old image of students studying Hindu religious texts has been falsely shared as Muslims publishing misinterpretations of the Vedas.