An organization that represents private schools in Pakistan has decided to ban Malala Yousafzai’s biography, saying it would leave students in a “confused” state and because it is not “entirely respectful of Islam”, reports say.
The All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF), which claims to be the umbrella organization for more than 150,000 schools across the country, said ‘I Am Malala’ would not be included in the schools’ curriculum nor will it be stocked in school libraries.
The Federation’s decision follows the Pakistani government’s decision to not introduce the book as part of public school syllabuses.
‘I Am Malala’, written jointly by Malala and British journalist Christina Lamb, charts the teenager’s journey from education rights campaigner to being shot by the Taliban while on her way to school last October in Pakistan’s restive Swat Valley, through to her speech to a UN youth conference earlier this year and being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mirza Kashif, president of the APPSF told Pakistan Today: "The federation thought we should review the book, and having reviewed it we came to the decision that the book was not suitable for our children, particularly not our students.
Pakistan is an ideological country. That ideology is based on Islam.... In this book are many comments that are contrary to our ideology."
Mr Kashif, who said 25 million pupils attended private schools in Pakistan, claimed that in the book Malala had defended the writing of Salman Rushdie on the grounds of free speech and had failed to use the abbreviation PUH – "peace be upon him" – when referring to the prophet Mohamed.
He said there was a sense that Malala had not written large parts of the book, because it referred to things that happened before she was born.
While Malala has been widely feted in the West, many Pakistani’s have become sceptical about her achievements, with some even going so far as to say that her story is a “western conspiracy”.
Others however, say that scepticism is a result of “right-wing talk”.
Karachi-based novelist Bina Shah told the Independent: "The decision to ban the book is the result of a deliberate smear campaign run against Malala and the book by right-wing commentators.
There has been complete confusion about the book, sown very deliberately in the minds of adults because of this right-wing talk."BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS