SURAKARTA, Indonesia -- A book containing pictures of Prophet Mohammad has reportedly been found at a private elementary school in Surakarta, Central Java in Jakarta, prompting calls for the book's withdrawal.
"We will thoroughly check the book first before proposing its withdrawal," head of the Surakarta Religious Affairs Agency, Ahmad Nasirin, told reporters at his office on Tuesday.
Islam forbids the depiction of Prophet Muhammad, said to avoid idolatry.
Ahmad said he was surprised at finding the book, which was published by Nobel Edumedia of Jakarta in 2011 and was written by Khasanah R.A. He also said he had no idea regarding who had distributed the book at the school.
He questioned the stamp of the Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry appearing on the book, arguing that it was not the same stamp that the ministry usually stamped on such books.
"It has a square stamp while usually the stamp was circular," Ahmad said.
Entitled Kisah Menarik Masa Kecil Para Nabi (Interesting Stories of Prophets' Childhood), the 52-page book tells stories about a number of prophets including that of Prophet Mohammad, which is told in six pages of the book.
Ahmad said that there was nothing wrong with the stories in the book as they were told according to history and were based on reliable reference. The problem was it contained illustrations that were physically visualizing Prophet Mohammad, which is forbidden according to Islamic teachings.
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