File picture: Independent Media

Controversy over a Libyan schoolbook on Islamic culture, which approves suicide bombings against those seen as enemies of Islam, has taken a fresh turn with the head of the education ministry’s curriculum department denying responsibility for it, the Libya Herald reports.

The Presidency Council’s Government of National Accord authorised the Libyan education ministry to issue the book which has subsequently been circulated to students.

According to the book’s text, suicide bombers who attack Islam’s enemies go to paradise while other suicides, including people escaping their problems in life, go to hell.

The controversial text has drawn massive criticism directed at the ministry, including being lambasted on social media for spreading false doctrine and potentially radicalising young people.

The text had originally been introduced into the school book in 2005, but was subsequently withdrawn in 2007. However, Khalifa Ghwell’s pro-Islamist “National Salvation Government” reintroduced the text into the book in 2015.

Ghwell has agreed to the text’s future removal pointing to the fact that he may not have been responsible for its original appearance.