Anti-Semitic rhetoric and suicide bombers

The imagery and content of the books on world religions and civilisations "can be exploited to promote incitement and hatred".
The imagery and content of the books on world religions and civilisations "can be exploited to promote incitement and hatred".PHOTO: GIN TAY FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The imagery and content of the books on world religions and civilisations "can be exploited to promote incitement and hatred".
The imagery and content of the books on world religions and civilisations "can be exploited to promote incitement and hatred".PHOTO: GIN TAY FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Agama, Tamadun Dan Arkeologi (Religion, Civilisation And Archaeology) is a series of eight books which purports to provide a "factual" depiction of world religions and civilisations.

Published in Malaysia by Penerbit Sinar Cemerlang, the titles - dealing with topics such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, ancient civilisations, Sikhism and Hinduism - were available for loan at 20 different libraries under the National Library Board.

The book titled Jews: Religion And Lineage, which has a picture of Jewish children in yarmulkes holding guns on the cover, includes anti-Semitic rhetoric. It claims that a third world war will start in the Middle East, between Israel and the Arab states.

Elsewhere, a photo of a boy wearing what appears to be a suicide bomber vest, surrounded by masked men wearing similar vests, is accompanied by the statement that "every Muslim is required to wholeheartedly defend his nation".

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The imagery and content of the books "can be exploited to promote incitement and hatred", said Professor Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research.

He added that it was a "concern and worry" that the books were found in the children's section.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'Anti-Semitic rhetoric and suicide bombers'. Print Edition | Subscribe