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Un-Islamic Covid: Indian Book to Remove Slurs on Targeted Muslims

Medical reference book authors apologized publicly on social media for defaming content regarding Muslim groups

After objections were raised over the content of the revised Indian medical reference book portraying last year’s gathering of Muslim group Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi in an “inappropriate manner”, the authors and publishers have apologized for the defaming content.

India’s Students Islamic Organization, the students’ wing of socio-religious organization Jamaat-e-Islami, after raising concerns approached authors of the book, Essentials of Medical Microbiology, Apurba Sankar Sastry and Dr. Sandhya Bhat, as well as publisher, Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers.

The book mentioned the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in one of the instances, stating that it was attended by “9,000 Indians from different states and over 960 foreigners from 40 countries, most cases were asymptomatic and were detected positive after they returned home, and led to several clusters of cases in various states in India.”

It also stated that “an explosive outbreak of COVID-19 occurred with 4,000 cases” following the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.

After the uproar, the authors and publishers have announced that the corrected version of the book will be released soon. “Will be coming out with the corrected version soon,” the publisher wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

While an employee from Jaypee publisher refused to comment on the matter on Tuesday, author Apurba Sankar Sastry told Anadolu Agency that in the unsold copies of an old print, they would be adding an errata page.

“It was completely unintentional, and we have changed the matter in the next reprint of the book,” he said in an email response and also issued a public apology on social media with the co-author Dr. Sandhya Bhat.

In March and April last year, Muslims were targeted in different parts of the country following reports of a local outbreak of COVID-19 at a mid-March Tablighi Jamaat gathering.

Office-bearers of the students’ body say the contents regarding the Tablighi Jamaat members were “inappropriate.”

“When we found out, we approached the authors and publishers, and they accepted their mistakes and agreed to make changes.”

Student leader Musaddiq Ul Moid told Anadolu Agency.

He went on to say: “Even the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court have condemned such inappropriate mistakes and asked the authorities concerned to undo the damage done. It is extremely unfortunate.”

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