Pakistani education officials said Sunday that they have banned teenage activist Malala Yousafzai’s book from private schools across the country, claiming it doesn’t show enough respect for Islam and calling her a tool of the West.
Malala attracted global attention last year when the Taliban shot her in the head in northwest Pakistan for criticizing the group’s interpretation of Islam, which limits girls’ access to education. Her profile has risen steadily since then, and she released a memoir in October, “I Am Malala,” that was co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb.
While Malala has become a hero to many across the world for opposing the Taliban and standing up for girls’ education, conspiracy theories have flourished in Pakistan that her shooting was staged to create a hero for the West to embrace.
Adeeb Javedani, president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association, said his group banned Malala’s book from the libraries of its 40,000 affiliated schools and called on the government to bar it from school curriculums.
“Everything about Malala is now becoming clear,” Javedani said. “To me, she is representing the West, not us.”
Kashif Mirza, the chairman of the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation, said his group also has banned Malala’s book in its affiliated schools. see more