The police department has asked the Kerala government to ban the circulation of 14th-century Arabic text Mashari al-Ashwaq Ila Masari al-Ushaaq, better known as the ‘book of jihad’. Kerala police have said that the book motivates youngsters in joining terrorist organisations. Following the request, the government has formed a three-member committee to scrutinise its content.
As per an order (GO (Rt) No. 2628/2021/Home) issued by the home (secret section) that deals with sensitive matters and intelligence inputs, on September 25, a committee has been constituted to examine whether the book contains any incriminating material which is in conflict with any law in force and to make recommendations accordingly. The committee headed by PRD Director S Harikishore also consists of Internal Security IG G Sparjan Kumar and National University for Advanced Legal Studies former vice-chancellor N K Jayakumar.
Former state police chief Loknath Behera in 2020 and incumbent chief Anil Kant in July this year recommended a ban on the book’s circulation on all platforms. They had written to the government that the book contains extremist literature and lures youth into extremism.
Mashari al Ashwaq is a medieval text written by Damascene scholar Ahmad Ibrahim Muhammad al Dimashqi al Dumyati, popularly known as Ibn Nuhaas. He is said to have been killed while fighting the Byzantine army in 1411. The IS sympathisers in Kerala had, meanwhile, brought out the book’s Malayalam translation, which was named Vijayathinte Vathil Vaalinte Thanalil, and circulated online.