India

Mosque shown as a source of noise pollution by board of school education in textbook

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A class six textbook has sparked a controversy by showing a mosque, a Muslim place of worship, as a source for noise pollution.

The book is being used for allegedly teaching science to students in India, under the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). The chapter shows a train, car and other automobiles along with a mosque as a symbol depicting loud sounds.

The image shows of a man bothered by these sounds, putting his hands over his ears.

The ICSE, however, maintained the board did not publish or prescribe these textbooks, and that it’s up to the schools to deal with the issue.

Social media users have launched an online petition demanding the book be withdrawn.

The publisher has acknowledged its mistake, tendered an apology and assured that the picture would be removed in subsequent editions.

Recently, Bollywood playback singer Sonu Nigam had criticised the use of loudspeakers by mosques for the Azaan, Muslim call to prayer, which he said disturbed his sleep.

In the last few months, objectionable content has made its way to several textbooks in India, raising serious concerns about what students are being exposed to. Just last month, controversy erupted after a Class 9 Hindi textbook has referred to Jesus Christ as a demon.

In April, a Class 12 textbook on physical education suggested feminine proportions of 36-24-36 as being ideal.

A Class 4 Environmental Studies textbook, while educating students on the importance of breathing, gives a practical example that shows how children can suffocate a cat to death.

Another book said that meat-eaters cheat, lie and commit sex crimes.

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