Kenyan Publisher Forced to Withdraw School Books Over Prophet Muhammad Image


A Kenyan publisher has withdrawn a school book from the market, following uproar from Muslims who complained about a drawing depicting Prophet Mohamed.

Muslim faithful in various communications to the company, had expressed their outrage, holding that it is blasphemous to draw the Prophet and ask pupils to colour the sketch. 

In a statement, the publisher expressed its remorse over the ‘grave mistake’ and recalled the book on Islamic studies for pupils in the second year of primary school.

The publisher, in its statement, said that the image had been inserted in the book by mistake and apologised to the Muslim community for the ‘error’. 

Photo of Muslims at a protest in Nairobi CBD on October 6, 2023

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Jamia Mosque

“We sincerely and wholeheartedly apologise for the error and we commit to ensure that such an error will never be repeated,” the publisher said in its statement.

Following the development, the publisher said it would immediately remove the drawing from all the subsequent editions, affirming that it is working with the Muslim Education Council to review all its publications in the future. 

In line with this agreement, all teachers, students and school administrators who currently own the book have been asked to return the book to the publisher. 

Mombasa Muslim Scholar, Sheikh Rishard who had earlier described the image as “dangerous” welcomed the move saying it s a step in the right direction but urged publishers to consult Muslim leaders in future to avoid such mishaps.

Kenya is not the only country to experience such outrage over a Prophet Muhammad drawing in school books.

In 2020, a French teacher was beheaded after opening a class debate by showing students caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, ostensibly to promote free speech.

Notably, Islam is the 2nd most populous religion in the country with 11% of Kenyans being Muslims.

The Kenyan education system incorporates religious studies in its curriculum.

Photo of Muslims Conducting prayers

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