‘I am Malala’ banned in private schools in Pakistan

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Malala Yousufzai’s recent book ‘I am Malala’ will be banned completely due to its ‘controversial’ contents in all private schools across the country, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The decision was announced by All Pakistan Private Schools Federation President Mirza Kashif on Wednesday who said children were idealising Malala and reading her book will leave them in a ‘confused’ state of mind.

“Our academics have thoroughly studied her (Malala’s) book and have concluded that reading that book will only confuse our children. Malala’s defence of Salmaan Rushdie in the name of freedom of expression, not writing Peace Be Upon Him after the name of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and criticising the Quranic injunctions about the status of women in testifying as witnesses are only a few things which will challenge the ideological foundations of our next generation,” Kashif said while talking to Pakistan Today.

Interestingly, the private schools owners have taken the decision on their own while the government has nothing to do with the decision.

“It (the book) is not part of the curriculum and hence the government has nothing to do with our decision. The federation has taken the decision on its own in order to save children from getting confused,” Kashif added.

Written By: Umair Aziz
continue to source article at pakistantoday.com.pk

36 COMMENTS

  1. “The federation has taken the decision on its own in order to save children from getting confused,” Kashif added.”

    Wouldn’t the children be more ‘confused’ if their school bus was stopped by armed gunmen who then started shooting them in the head?

  2. Here is an opportunity for all of Pakistan to be proud and celebrate one of their own, and what do they do, shoot themselves in the foot by coming up with lame excuses to ban a book that could contribute so much to their backward society.
    Un-fricken-believable! This is just being wilfully stupid and paranoid.

    I hope Mizra Kashif will be forced to reconsider by public outcry and “I Malala” will become a best seller in Pakistan with copies widely available.

    On a similar note, I was surprised to see a copy of Richard Dawkins “The selfish gene” in a public library in Pakistan last year. jcw

    • Hi kaiserkriss,

      Like you, I’m surprised and glad to hear that ‘The selfish gene’ has found its way onto a Pakistani library shelf! On a similar note, I saw (and bought) ‘The god delusion’ in a Warsaw bookshop. However, I found it on a very bottom shelf among the books on the paranormal! Additionally, on the back cover, the publishers printed in capitals at the top: ‘In God we trust’ (from American one-dollar bill), and ‘In what we trust’ at the bottom of the page. I was intrigued by the presence of those mottos so I wrote to the Polish publishers (husband and wife team, specialising in publishing popular science) who replied that they reckoned adding those two mottos would be a kind of a quirky joke, which, although not proposed by the author, was, however, not opposed by him (?).

      Just like Dawkins in Poland, so Malala in Pakistan will never be a bestseller (although I wouldn’t mind being proved wrong in the future, the sooner, the better). I agree with you that the reaction in Pakistan is ‘un-fricken-believable’ and they, hopefully, will soon have to go to a good podiatrist for that sore foot they self inflicted on themselves.

      In reply to #2 by kaiserkriss:

      Here is an opportunity for all of Pakistan to be proud and celebrate one of their own, and what do they do, shoot themselves in the foot by coming up with lame excuses to ban a book that could contribute so much to their backward society.
      Un-fricken-believable! This is just being wilfully stupid and…

  3. All Pakistan Private Schools Federation President Mirza Kashif on Wednesday who said children were idealising Malala

    Yes!

    Malala’s defence of Salmaan Rushdie in the name of freedom of expression, not writing Peace Be Upon Him after the name of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and criticising the Quranic injunctions about the status of women in testifying as witnesses are only a few things which will challenge the ideological foundations of our next generation,

    Yes!

    I hope Malala’s decriers here (on account of her not proselytizing for atheism) now get the point. These carefully judged little steps amount to a major panic. It seems to me perfectly judged to get maximum disruption with a credible chance of wide distribution.

    • The book banning is better publicity than could ever have been bought regardless of budget.

      Defending Salmaan Rushdie?!? not writing PBUH after ProMo’s name ?!!?, criticising the Quranic injunctions about the status of women in testifying as witnesses ?!!!?

      OK, I’m sold.

  4. I must report to everyone here that Malala is a “household name” in my school district. Almost every student knows her name, her cause, her struggle. Almost every one of them reveres her as well. Much like the grinch, my heart grows three times it’s size when I hear more about this young lady. I have few heroes. She is one.

    “Children are idealizing Malala?” They are IDOLIZING her. And there is nothing that can be done to stop it. She has momentum and inertia all her own…… BRAVO, young lady, fly long, fly high. The world is watching and you are winning.

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      I must report to everyone here that Malala is a “household name” in my school district. Almost every student knows her name, her cause, her struggle. Almost every one of them reveres her as well. Much like the grinch, my heart grows three times it’s size when I hear more about this young lady. I…

      What do you think about her position on drones?

      Malala Yousafzai Meets With President Obama, Says ‘Drone Attacks Are Fueling Terrorism

      “I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact,” she said.

      • In reply to #8 by Red Dog:

        “I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact,” she said.

        This is good intel. It comes from someone on the ground with a nuanced and informed perspective. Obama would do well to seriously consider her views and possibly raise the requirements bar on the use of drones.

        It does no harm for this girl to be unloved by many in the West and much as I love Q’s fancy to load her book into drones, Malala is Pakistan’s own, not “ours”. It is best this remains strongly the case. Disagreeing with Obama on things helps her position about the big cultural stuff.

  5. The old guard still clinging on.

    Criticising the Quranic injunctions about the status of women in testifying as witnesses are only a few things which will challenge the ideological foundations of our next generation.

    You can bet your ass. Ban the Internet too.

  6. I think she lived in a country where drones dropped bombs on her neighbors, friends, and loved ones. She is “across the table” from us on certain issues because she is “across the table” from us.

    Your perspective clearly is what you are airing here. So, she is not entitled to HER perspective? This is a kid. She lives her life and as a result of her experiences, she has opinions, same as you or I. You are gonna crap on her because she thinks that dropping bombs on her people is “bad”?

    WOW. Your pseudonym is “Red Dog”, but I fear, you are drinking the ” Mericuh” Kool Aid.

    A young woman resents bombs and calls for education? You really have a “scoop” here. Go to the papers. She must be a fraud!

    Has a bomb ever gone off in your neighborhood? Dropped from a plane with no pilot, being flown by some faceless person halfway around the world? I bet if someone parked their car blocking your driveway and making you late for work, you’d have a stronger opinion than her “refocus on education” comment.

    So, yes, I still stand by the kid. She is awesome and a hero.

    • In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

      WOW. Your pseudonym is “Red Dog”, but I fear, you are drinking the ” Mericuh” Kool Aid.

      I think you might have jumped the gun here. I found the question posed by “Red Dog” to be so in an honest neutral manner – not “clearly airing a perspective” unless it is the perspective suggesting that Malala’s position deserves dispassionate consideration, which I, for one, would have to agree with.

      • Perhaps, If so, I apologize. It seemed a challenge.

        In reply to #12 by godsbuster:

        In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

        WOW. Your pseudonym is “Red Dog”, but I fear, you are drinking the ” Mericuh” Kool Aid.

        I think you might have jumped the gun here. I found the question posed in an honest neutral manner – not “clearly airing a perspective” unless it is the perspective suggesting t…

    • In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

      Your perspective clearly is what you are airing here. So, she is not entitled to HER perspective?

      On the contrary I value her perspective very much. That is why I want to know what she thinks about drones. It’s easy for me to be against fundamentalist Muslims. No one that I know isn’t against them. What is more challenging (and meaningful) is to be critical of my own government. That is why I want to know what she thinks about drones. She is one of the people that the drone strikes are supposed to be helping but clearly even she is against them. I maintain that is strong evidence that the justification for drones is misguided at best.

      What is more I think your position shows you are a hypocrite. You say you praise this young woman and she is a hero in your social circle. But you only do that when she affirms the beliefs you hold most closely about how awful Islam is. When she says something that contradicts your values — that your government may also be acting immorally as well as the Taliban — then she goes from being your hero to being a naive girl whose arguments you dismiss without actually considering.

      • On the contrary, I agree with you about Malala and want to hear her perspective and when it differs from mine, I respect and value her opinion because I know that she is “correct” from her perspective, even if it differs from mine. I do not value her only when I agree with her. I value her, period. She is a product of Islam and clings to lots of things that i think suck. BUT, that does not diminish her heroism.

        When she says something that contradicts your values — that your government may also be acting immorally as well as the Taliban — then she goes from being your hero to being a naive girl whose arguments you dismiss without actually considering.

        When did I do this? I said quite clearly that her perspective is different because her experiences and circumstance is different and that she is entitled and that I am glad she told Obama her (valid) opinion. Did you read my post? Are you confusing my words with someone else?

        I may have spoken sharply and perhaps hurt your feelings, but in no way did I say or could you even infer that I am for her when we agree and against her when we don’t. I am critical of the US for dropping any bombs on any people.

        I think we are on the same wavelength but that i misunderstood your original post as having a challenging tone. I took the challenge and it seems to have gotten into your head a little. I do not disagree with your second (and clarifying post)…. But for some reason we are not communicating effectively.

        Let me try again.

        What do you think about her position on drones?

        I think she is both right to say what she said to Obama and also her perspective is correct. I support her criticism of the US on this issue and am glad she spoke her mind. It is refreshing to see a strong young person who manages to conduct herself with dignity and has the where with all to stand toe to toe with an American President and chastise him. Once again, BRAVO, young Malala.

        >
        In reply to #24 by Red Dog:
        In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

        Your perspective clearly is what you are airing here. So, she is not entitled to HER perspective?

        On the contrary I value her perspective very much. That is why I want to know what she thinks about drones. It’s easy for me to be against fundamentalist Muslims. No o…

  7. Oh and,
    C’mon man! Really? She was shot in the face on a schoolbus because she advocated for girls to be educated. Her circumstance is so so so much different than yours or mine. And, do you think that the education that she earned was anywhere near what you or I had GIVEN to us? Damn you sure are quick to judge. Let me ask you this, is everyone you know and admire in absolute agreement with everything you think? If so, that must be a very short list of people.

  8. Such a shame. No doubt I am Malala is fated to join the ranks of those books which were banned only to disappear forever into obscurity.

    Titles whose names will mean nothing to anyone these days, and include Lolita, Rights of Man, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Huckleberry Finn, Madame Bovary, Ulysses, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Animal Farm, Brave New World, To Kill a Mockingbird

    Nope? Me neither.

  9. I wonder if she (or her editor) had the Spartacus meme in mind when titling the book?

    Now that would be a cool phenomenon amongst the girls of Pakistan…

    Perhaps a youtube channel? Reading a book to conceal their faces might be best. “I am Malala”

    • I hate to put a crimp into your idea Phil, but in Pakistan the internet is very tightly controlled and censored. Youtube and similar “anti islam” sites are banned outright from time to time, if not permanently.

      Even simple google searches totally unrelated to location come up with different recommendations in Pakistan than Europe or North America. jcw

      In reply to #21 by phil rimmer:

      I wonder if she (or her editor) had the Spartacus meme in mind when titling the book?

      Now that would be a cool phenomenon amongst the girls of Pakistan…

      Perhaps a youtube channel? Reading a book to conceal their faces might be best. “I am Malala”

      • In reply to #25 by kaiserkriss:

        I hate to put a crimp into your idea Phil, but in Pakistan the internet is very tightly controlled and censored. Youtube and similar “anti islam” sites are banned outright from time to time, if not permanently.

        Bum!

        But I’m sure they could find something amongst this lot, even if they have to keep it moving.

      • In reply to #25 by kaiserkriss:

        I hate to put a crimp into your idea Phil, but in Pakistan the internet is very tightly controlled and censored. Youtube and similar “anti islam” sites are banned outright from time to time, if not permanently.

        The good news though is that those attempts to block Youtube and other sites often don’t work. The Internet was originally designed to survive a nuclear war so it’s highly distributed. That makes it very fault tolerant, if one node goes down it may slow down the system but usually other nodes can provide a route. That also makes it very difficult to completely block a site. A while back there was a news item about how Pakistan was blocking this site but people from Pakistan reported that they could still get through and I think that was part of the reason. Also, there are peer to peer systems designed to get around these restrictions, tools like Tor can provide ways for people to connect to blocked sites and do so in a way that is hard for the authorities to track.

  10. Oh the horror of it.

    This is child sacrifice of the very worst kind, condemning the young to a living death.

    The unconsidered life is barely worth living, but it’s the best that their elders can offer for fear of losing control over them.

    Organized religion is the most grave self-inflicted wound humanity suffers.

  11. Well, a lot of kids idolize her and sometimes, banning a book can have the opposite effect. Surely there will be an electronic version floating around on the net and kids are resourceful. Thanks to torrent and social networks, I’m confident they will find a way to obtain the book and spread it amongst themselves.

    This is like Shakespeare’s proverbial “shot arrow”, once launched you can never take it back. Kids know the book exists and they want it. Que sera sera.

  12. @Phil, @Red Dog:
    You are both correct, where there is a will there is always a way. The provision being having the necessary acumen, tools and opportunity to visit blocked sites.
    Simple folks living in the Swat Valley, or similar places wouldn’t be aware of the tools available. The fact they even know about google or youtube is amazing. While most Pakistanis have a cell phone, most communication is via text messaging. Very few have access to internet or even a computer, plus the bandwidth is low and connections sporadic and slow. On top of that the government can and often does simply shut down the whole network for 24 or 48 hours. jcw

  13. All Pakistan Private Schools Federation President Mirza Kashif on Wednesday who said children were idealising Malala and reading her book will leave them in a ‘confused’ state of mind.

    The exact opposite I would think and that is what they are afraid of.

  14. A girl in Pakistan defending Salmaan Rushdie, freedom of speech, criticizing the status of women in Islam and not writing Peace Be Upon Him when mentioning Muhammad?

    I gotta read this book. Good on you, Malala!

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