Malala Yousafzai has become an international celebrity. In her book “I Am Malala,” the Pakistani teen who survived being shot in the head by a member of the Taliban tells her story. Growing up in her father’s school, she was a staunch advocate and public voice for girls’ education -- a voice that has been heard worldwide since the publication of her book.
Now, Pakistan’s private schools hope to silence that voice by banning her book.
The All Pakistan Private Schools Management Assn. represents 40,000 affiliated schools across Pakistan and has banned the book from its libraries.
‘‘Everything about Malala is now becoming clear,’’ Adeeb Javedani, president of the organization, told the Associated Press. He has called for the government to ban its use in school curricula. ‘‘To me, she is representing the West, not us.’’
Another school organization agreed. The All Pakistan Private Schools Federation has banned Malala’s book in its affiliated schools as well. Its chairman, Kashif Mirza, said Malala ‘‘was a role model for children, but this book has made her controversial,’’ adding, ‘‘Through this book, she became a tool in the hands of the Western powers.’’
A group of Pakistani academics thinks the book, which was co-authored by journalist Christina Lamb, will leave readers in a “confused state of mind,” NPR reports.
In October Malala was awarded the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Its prominence, and the publication of “I Am Malala,” made her a public favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize -- which instead went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
A freelancer in Pakistan helping the New York Times to report on the public reaction to Malala not winning the Nobel Prize was kidnapped, held and beaten for 11 hours by assailants he believes to be associated with the government. Pakistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists; five have been killed while reporting there this year.
Malala, who turned 16 in July, now lives in England with her family.