Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Blasphemous" exam question leads to "seething"

This is from Tehran Times although an identically worded article appears in several Indian news sites. Is the reader here presumed to be unwilling to endure knowing what the question was?
The Muslim Organizations in India have launched strong protest and demanded action against a Professor who set a blasphemous question in the History Paper of MA in Ranchi University.

Despite passage of three weeks, Muslim residents of Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkand, are seething in rage and demanding to know the identity of the professor who committed blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

The language used in the paper so incensed the Muslim students that they immediately assembled in large numbers and attacked the university building where the examination was being held. Police had to resort to baton-charge to bring the situation under control and tension prevailed in the city where communal rioting was feared.

Later delegations from the Muslim community met the administration and university officials to demand action against the perpetrator of the crime. The university officials refused to disclose the name of the culprit who set the inflammatory question, for reasons of his personal security even though he had been debarred from the examiner panel.

Coming in the wake of blasphemous occurrences in Holland and Denmark, framing of a blasphemous question, totally irrelevant to the course of study, is indicative of the insensitivity shown to religious feelings of the 15 percent Muslim segment of the Indian population, opine observers.
In case you are wondering what the question was, here is the Chronicle of Higher Education:
According to a local newspaper, the question on a master’s history exam was: "Prophet Muhammad began his career as a trader and ended as a raider. Comment."
Someone at a site called "Cayman Mama" writes:
It began with Holland, Denmark. The virus of Blasphemy has now come to India . . .
Somehow I doubt that the spirit of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons spread to India in this instance. I think the ill-fated professor failed to notice that his idea for a cleverly-worded historical question was leading him into dangerous territory.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tags: blasphemy, Islam, seething

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