A photo shows Muslim scholars reading the Atharvaveda because they are “rewriting” Hindu scripture.
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In mid-July 2020, users on social media began circulating the photo with an accompanying caption reading (translated): “Pay attention, what is happening in our country. The adulteration of our religious texts is going on in full swing. After 20 years, coming generations will read these adulterated Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads wherein it would be written that character building is a useless thing. Brahmacharya is a useless topic. There is no such thing as religion and unrighteousness. Policies of Charvaka are extremely beneficial, there is nothing as ethics. You will get all misinformation in pure Sanskrit. It will be done in the same as Macaulay and Max Mueller contaminated our Manusmriti etc.”
The claim was called “really” and “very” dangerous.
Misbar’s investigation shows that while the photo has not been manipulated, the claim accompanying it is false. We conducted a reverse image search to find that photo depicts Muslim scholars reading Hindu scripture in a library at the Al Mahadul Aali Al Islami seminary in Hyderabad, Telangana. It first appeared in a 2014 article called “Best of both worlds.” The caption accompanying the picture says: “Students at Al Mahadul Aali Al Islami studying the Vedas to understand the common attributes in Islam and Hinduism. This seminary has more than 1000 books on other religions at Hyderabad.”
According to deputy director of the seminary Osman Abedeen: "The photograph was captured some six years ago and the scholars are reading in a library. I do not remember clearly, but the viral claims are absolutely baseless and nonsense. We have a department 'Studies of Religion' under which we study religions in India - Christianity, and Judaism. It is the research methodology to consume information from the first source and not from second or third sources. For instance, misunderstanding among the communities has been created because people did not read the religious text as they are. Either they did not read or misinterpreted the texts. This method is wrong. The right method is to read from the first source. We are the first of a kind institute in India where we have Vedas, Upanishadas, Bhagwat Gita, Guru Granth Saheb, and Bible. We encourage our scholars and students to read original books to understand religion.”