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On Wednesday, the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) in Pakistan published a very serious warning: They said a textbook titled “Infant Mathematics” (Pakistan Edition) violated the law for including something “repugnant to the injunctions of Islam.”

The warning said the publishers (M/S Sunrise Publications) never received permission to print the book, which they need to be used in any schools. The PCTB also said the publishers must stop “producing, printing, publishing, selling or using” the book and that the punishment for not doing so was a cash fine on top of a prison sentence of up to two years. M/S Sunrise had to “recall” their “stock” of these textbooks wherever they were currently being used.

Jesus Christ… what the hell did these publishers do in a children’s math book to invoke such wrath? Did they secretly include adult content? Promote anti-Islamic propaganda?

See for yourself. Here’s the page that appears to be the source of the problem:

Did you find it?! They’re teaching kids how to add, and in the case of 2 + 1, they show a picture of three pigs, and… that’s it. That seems to be the problem.

As much as I can make sense of it, pigs are considered “unclean” by Muslims (eating pork is strictly forbidden), therefore showing their images in a harmless way is the worst thing ever. (The Chinese “Year of the Pig” didn’t go down so well in some Muslim parts of the world, either.)

One online commenter also said there were problems with multiple choice questions that included “Halloween” and “April Fools” since those were not holidays celebrated in Pakistan. How that violates the law, though, is another question.

The fact remains there’s no official indication of what the problem is, so we’re left to speculate. If the pigs really are the problem, however, then it’s the Textbook Board that needs to be revised, not the textbook.

(Image via Naila Inayat. Thanks to Scott for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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