Of course, depictions of Muhammad are verboten to begin with, but given women’s status in Islam, maybe that’s why making Muhammad in any way “feminine” is taken as that much more of an insult. “Nepal bans school book after Muslim outcry,” from Indo-Asian News Service, June 21 (thanks to Twostellas):
The Nepal government Monday banned a school textbook after growing outcry by Muslims over an ‘objectionable’ illustration depicting Prophet Mohammed as a woman-like figure and containing ‘erroneous interpretations’ of Islam.
It would be interesting to see what the problem was with the image that got it tagged as “woman-like.”
This is the first time in Nepal, which has enjoyed religious harmony despite being a Hindu kingdom till 2006, that the government has banned a book after protests by Muslims.
The education ministry issued a statement asking schools not to teach from the controversial textbook – ‘A modern approach to social studies’ – brought out by New Nepal Publication.
It said that the book was not authorised by the department that supervises all school textbooks and added that it should not be taught in schools.
All school books authorised by the government respected religious and cultural sentiments, it said.
The first objections were raised by Muslim Association Nepal that called a press conference in the capital last week to object to the controversial book as well as two others.
Mohammad Nizamuddin, senior vice-president of the association, told IANS that the books gave wrong information about Prophet Mohammed, erroneously describing him as the ‘founder of Islam’.
‘We Muslims believe Allah created the universe and that the Islam religion existed since creation,’ Nizamuddin told IANS. ‘Because many people did not know this and other things about Islam, Prophet Mohammed came as the messenger of Allah to explain things to people.’
Not only is it radical historical revisionism, but a demand for textbooks to accept a matter of Islamic faith as fact.
The now banned book, meant to be taught in class 8, also carried an illustration of Prophet Mohammed looking like a woman.
Islam forbids idolatrous depictions and there is no authentic historical record to establish what Prophet Muhammad looked like.
Two other books have also come under fire for similar transgressions.
These are ‘Nepal Social Studies’ published by Athrai Publications and ‘Asia’s Social Studies’ by Asia Publications.
Nizamuddin said that ‘Nepal Social Studies’ has also been banned and Muslim organisations would continue with their vigil for corrective measures against the third book as well.
Nizamuddin said the government had also announced it would form a committee to supervise textbooks and prevent such errors in future….