A major network of schools in Pakistan has banned the book I Am Malala, written by schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who famously stood up to the Taliban by advocating openly for women's education.
Malala made global headlines when she was shot in the head by Taliban terrorists in 2012. She was targeted for advocating for education for girls in the Swat Valley.
Adeeb Javedani, the president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association, was quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying Yousafzai’s book had been banned from the libraries of all of the association’s 40,000 affiliated schools.
He accused Yousafzai of representing the West, rather than Pakistan.
The chairman of the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation, Kashif Mirza, agreed, and told Al-Jazeera that his schools had banned the books as well.
Malala “was a role model for children, but this book has made her controversial… Through this book, she became a tool in the hands of the Western powers,” Mirza accused.
He argued that the book did not show proper respect for Mohammed, who Muslims revere as a prophet. Specifically, the book mentions Mohammed without adding the customary abbreviation PBUH (“peace be upon him”), he said.
Malala Yousafzai publicly campaigned for girls’ education in the contested Swat Valley region. The Taliban had banned girls from attending schools, and Yousafzai had been threatened with death for promoting girls’ education. She continued her activism despite the threats.
In 2012 she was shot by terrorists as she rode a school bus with fellow students. Yousafzai survived the shooting and has continued her activism from abroad; among other things, she has met with United States President Barack Obama and has addressed the United Nations.