Malala's Book Banned at Pakistan Schools

Officials: she's a 'tool' of the West
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 10, 2013 1:53 PM CST
Malala Yousafzai during a photocall at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London to launch her memoir, I Am Malala, Sunday Oct. 20, 2013. The Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for advocating...   (AP Photo/Gareth Fuller/PA)
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(Newser) – Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban and lived to tell the tale—but her peers in Pakistan, at least those who are privately educated, won't be reading it in school. The teen education activist's book, I Am Malala, has been banned in Pakistani private schools, officials say. Local conspiracy theories suggest that the attack was staged to give Westerners a hero, the AP reports. "Everything about Malala is now becoming clear," says a top private school official. "To me, she is representing the West, not us." Another official calls her "a tool in the hands of the Western powers."

There are other issues with the book, the chair of a private schools federation continues. For one thing, it doesn't use the phrase "peace be upon him" when mentioning the Prophet Muhammad. Meanwhile, the book appears friendly toward a minority sect, the Ahmadis, whom Pakistan has ruled non-Muslim, and it puts the writer Salman Rushdie in a positive light, despite his work that fueled controversy in the Muslim world. Private school leaders are also urging the government to ban the book, co-written by a British journalist, in schools, the AP notes.

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