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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Arrest for Prophet Mohammad image
By Ram Dutt Tripathi
BBC News, Lucknow

Mosque in India
Islam considers images of the Prophet Mohammad blasphemy
Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state have arrested a publisher for a sketch of the Prophet Mohammad in a book.

They said the drawing was likely to cause outrage among the Muslim community as images of the Prophet are considered blasphemy in Islam.

The publisher, Amit Agrawal, was arrested in the city of Merrut, 80km (50 miles) east of Delhi.

In 2001, Time magazine apologised to Muslims after an image of the Prophet Mohammad sparked riots in Kashmir.

A court remanded Mr Agrawal in custody on Tuesday for 14 days.

Idol worship

The book, named Gyan Ganga, or River of Knowledge, was published by the Heavens Publications House in the Civil Lines area of Merrut.

District magistrate, Chandra Bhanu, said 18 copies of the book had been seized.

Muslims in Indian-administered Kashmir
Kashmiri Muslims were angry at the image in Time

Authorities took action after a complaint by local Muslims who said their feelings had been hurt by the book.

They said the sketch was against their religion, which bans idol worship.

A police inquiry revealed the same sketch had appeared in another book, published from the Una district in the Himalayan hill state of Himachal Pradesh.

But the private publication was of so small a circulation it drew no complaints.

In the 2001 Time magazine riots, students in Indian-administered Kashmir offended by the image threw stones at police and burned several cars, while security forces responded with tear gas and bamboo canes.

The magazine was removed from news stands by a government order in Muslim Malaysia.

The picture - part of a special report on "Jerusalem at the time of Jesus" - showed the Prophet meeting the Archangel Gabriel to receive a revelation from God.

In 2002, several Muslim countries banned an issue of Newsweek magazine that carried an image of the Prophet Mohammad from an undated Turkish manuscript.

Magazine banned over Prophet image
14 Feb 02 |  In Depth
Time sorry for Muhammad image
22 Apr 01 |  South Asia



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