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Protests rock Kashmir over textbook calling Ayatollah Khomeini ‘evil’

The Kashmir valley witnessed a wave of protests and discontent, in particular among Shia community, following the controversial mention of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the list of ‘most evil persons’.

Khomeini is a prominent figure in Iran’s history. He led the country to Islamic revolution in 1979 and became the first supreme leader. He held the position until he passed away in 1989.

According to reports, a Delhi-based publisher, Qconnect Books, had included Ayatollah Khomeini in the list of one of the “most evil” individuals in history. Khomeini, also known as Rahbar (guide) among some Shia Muslims, is listed alongside North Korean leader Kim II Sung, Khagan of the Mongol Empire Genghis Khan, and Japanese Emperor Hirohito.

This controversial depiction sparked outrage and condemnation from the Shia Muslims in Kashmir. 

MS Education Academy

The chapter titled “The Most Evil Person of the World” features the Iranian Islamic revolutionary and states: “He was the religious leader of Iran from 1979 to 1989. But during his reign, he did many evil deeds. He used to kill people who didn’t believe in “Allah”. People had to face brutality even if they listened to music. He was the culprit behind the Iranian revolution and also the Iran-Iraq war making him responsible for the deaths of millions of people.”

The Shia groups across the valley took to the streets to protest the disrespectful portrayal of Ayatollah Khomeini. They expressed deep resentment towards the publisher’s characterisation, viewing it as a gross misrepresentation and an insult to the revered status of the former supreme leader of Iran

Leading Shia clerics and organisations in Kashmir condemned the publisher’s actions, demanding the cancellation of the publisher’s license and the registration of a criminal case.

They argued that the derogatory depiction not only undermined the historical significance of Ayatollah Khomeini but also perpetuated harmful stereotypes and hurt the religious sentiments of the Shia community. 

Publisher issues public apology

In response to the widespread outcry, the Delhi publisher, Acuber Books International, issued a public apology. The publisher acknowledged the gravity of their mistake and recognized the profound offence caused to “many individuals and communities” by their inaccurate portrayal of Ayatollah Khomeini. 

The publisher’s apology letter expressed sincere regret and a commitment to reviewing and revising their content to ensure accuracy, fairness, and sensitivity in their representations. They also pledged to issue a formal correction and apology in their upcoming publications and online platforms. 

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