Pakistan's private schools ban "anti-Islamic" pro-education book penned by Malala
Due to its Pakistani "anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam content", private schools have been banned from buying a book written by global education activist Malala Yousafzai, a top official said Sunday.
"Yes we have banned Malala's book ('I am Malala') because it carries the content which is against our country's ideology and Islamic values," Kashif Mirza, chief of All Pakistan Private Schools Federation, told AFP.
"We are not against Malala. She is our daughter and she is herself confused about her book and her father has asked the publisher to remove the paragraphs about Salman Rushdie and write Peace Be Upon Him after the name of our Holy Prophet (Mohammad)," Mirza said.
For allegedly blaspheming Islam and the Prophet Mohammed in his book "The Satanic Verses", British novelist Rushdie became the target of an Iranian fatwa, or religious edict.
While some may see it as extreme, blasphemy is a strong issue in Pakistan where it carries the death penalty.
Mirza also said that that while some 152,000 private schools in Pakistan stood in solidarity with Malala after she was shot by the Taliban in Swat valley last year, the views she expressed in her autobiography were not "acceptable" for public school use.
"No school will buy 'I am Malala' for its library or any other co-curricular activity on the campus," Mirza said.
Taliban militants have threatened to attack Pakistani book shops selling Malala's educational book but Mirza denies being threatened or pressured by militant groups on his statement to ban the book.
"I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban" tells of the 16-year-old's terror as two gunmen boarded her school bus on 9 October, 2012 and shot her in the head. It was co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb.
The book describes her families decision to leave Swat valley along with almost one million more people in 2009 due to heavy fighting between militants and Pakistani soldiers. It also describes Taliban pressure which included public floggings and a ban on television, dancing and music.