Pakistani schools' federation observes anti-Malala day

Published: November 10, 2014
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai speaks at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia on October 21, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai speaks at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia on October 21, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: An association of Pakistani schools held an “I am not Malala” day on Monday, condemning young Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai for what it called her support for controversial novelist Salman Rushdie.

Education campaigner Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban in October 2012 but recovered and went on to win this year’s Nobel peace prize.

The 17-year-old has been hailed around the world for standing up for girls’ rights to education, but the response to her in Pakistan has not been universally positive, with some seeing her as a “Western agent” on a mission to shame her country.

The All Pakistan Private Schools Federation last year barred its members from buying Malala’s memoir I am Malala because of what the group said was its “anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam content.”

It said the book, written with British journalist Christina Lamb, was too sympathetic to British novelist Rushdie.

Rushdie in 1989 became the target of an Iranian fatwa, or religious edict, calling for his murder for allegedly blaspheming Islam and the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in his book The Satanic Verses.

Mirza Kashif Ali, the president of the schools’ federation, said in a statement it was “clear that Malala has nexus with Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasrin, and also has alignment with Salman Rushdie’s ideological club”.

“We severely condemned the chapter of the book in which Salman Rushdie’s book has been mentioned as freedom of expression by Malala while referring to father’s views,” Ali said.

He said walks, seminars and press conferences were held to highlight the “I am not Malala” day.

Bangladeshi author Nasrin was forced to flee her homeland in 1994 after radical Muslims accused her of blasphemy over her novel Lajja (Shame), in which a Hindu family is persecuted by Muslims.

Malala’s book describes her life under the Taliban’s brutal rule in Swat valley in the mid-2000s, hints at her ambition to enter Pakistani politics and even describes her father’s brief flirtation with extremism as a youngster.

The book describes public floggings by the Taliban, their ban on television, dancing and music, and the family’s decision to flee Swat along with nearly one million others in 2009 amid heavy fighting between the militants and Pakistani troops.

Malala, who lives in Britain where she went for treatment after being shot, was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October alongside India’s 60-year-old Kailash Satyarthi for their championing of children’s rights.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • Fact
    Nov 10, 2014 - 6:45PM

    This is the reason why Malala left Pakistan.


  • Haider
    Nov 10, 2014 - 6:46PM

    Malala’s support of Salman Rushdie strengthens my belief that her campaign is anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam to the core. We do not need Malala to tell us that girls education is important. Why doesn’t any girl or woman stand up in India to become the face of the anti-rape campaign? Simply giving her awards and honors (for no contributions at all) will do nothing for girls education, especially in the FATA and Balcohistan. The only way to ensure that each and every child goes to school is by eradicating extremism, rebuilding schools and bringing proper legislation in the affected areas.


  • rohit950723
    Nov 10, 2014 - 6:47PM

    Shameful activity by association of Pakistani schools….


  • GS@Y
    Nov 10, 2014 - 6:53PM

    Wow! Crazy nut jobs like these is why we are living in an age of darkness in our country.


  • Nilofer
    Nov 10, 2014 - 6:53PM

    Nothing highlights the problem in Pakistan as this single event. Everybody is brainwashing everybody else. Some use religion, sect, false promises, made-up history or cooked-up conspiracies.


  • g indian
    Nov 10, 2014 - 6:54PM

    Lies, lies and again lies from illiterate Taliban supporters. It is wrong to condemn a person without reading her book. She never wrote like that in her book and she never wrote anything against Islam. One thing is sure. The name is Islam is damaged beyond repair in Western countries due to the actions of ISIS and Taliban. The custodians if Islam should take actions to improve the image of Islam instead of figthing against an intelligent school girl.


  • Talha
    Nov 10, 2014 - 7:07PM

    All Pakistan Private Schools Federation is a joke!


  • Eddied
    Nov 10, 2014 - 7:31PM

    This has got to be the lowest point that ignorant Pakistanis can go down to…creating hate rallies against the winner of an international peace prize shows incredible stupidity…promoting anger against a young school girl who is doing much for improving education is being no better than the Taliban murderers who tried to kill her for speaking out for women’s education…shame on these people and their confused and twisted attitudes…


  • Rfd
    Nov 10, 2014 - 7:47PM

    Can anyone please let me know how many girls are now in education in Pakistan due to the efforts of Malala?
    As far as I can see the only girl’s life she has improved is hers own.


  • ahmed
    Nov 10, 2014 - 8:22PM

    if there is a government in Pakistan it should ban all private school association for teaching illiteracy and keeping children in the dark ages. It is ok criticize any religion because no religion is perfect and neither is any human being. We are nation of illiterate and rumor mill kill and burn human beings because somebody spread a rumor ! If these people were allowed to think that we are in 21 century and we have a right to think on our own. Kids 16 or above are excelling in science and these fools are teaching people hate. Our history is full of lies and half truths and we glorify it to no end…because we are being taught by illiterates.


  • nicnac
    Nov 10, 2014 - 8:23PM

    How fast do you think change happens? Especially in an area like this? She has made the world aware of the situation and drawn support. It takes time to take that momentum and use it to change the system. She’s on the right path and doing more than anyone ever has.


  • Ahmad
    Nov 10, 2014 - 8:25PM

    The fact that you are condemning her for supporting Rushdie goes to show how ignorant you are. The Satanic Verses was a work of fiction. Just like the da vinci code was. Every implication of the book being anti-islamic has been made by people who over think. NEVER in the book is the word islam, muslim or muhammad mentioned. It is a STORY inspired by islamic history. Key word: INSPIRED. If you had taken the time to read the book instead of news articles about the book you would understand what im talking about.

    Regardless, to be very frank what reason has pakistan given the rest of the world to be pro-pakistan. I love my country and have to deal with social stigmas in different parts of the world yet i keep coming back because that is where my roots lie and that is what my identity is. But if you dont want people talking negatively about our country give them a reason to say something positive instead of wasting your time on debating how a girl speaking for change and winning awards is a negative influence on our country. Like we werent before.


  • Raj - USA
    Nov 10, 2014 - 8:26PM

    “The All Pakistan Private Schools Federation last year barred its members from buying Malala’s memoir I am Malala because of what the group said was its “anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam content.”

    It is the private schools, Danish Schools, that ought to bring modern education to the better-off section, the middle and upper echelons of the society.

    For every religious extremism, shia killings, filing blasphemy charges on shias, christian lynching, forced conversion of hindu girls, Pakistanis have been conveniently passing the buck and blaming mulls and madrassas. I have been saying that though the mullas and madrassas have played a role, the major contributor for these issues is the educated middle class and upper class. After all it was Bhutto who laid the seeds in the Constitution and it is Zia who may be madrassa minded, but educated and well-off, who took it to highest levels. I used to buy the theory of mullas and madrassas being the problem. Then I realized that the mullas and madrassas are just being used by the educated, affluent, well-off and middle class of the society.


  • rija
    Nov 10, 2014 - 8:45PM

    So true! How many girls have started education by the help of Malala? No one! If she wanted to do anything for Pakistan and Pakistani girls then she should live in her own country walk in the streets collect girls make them to get education do conferences.But she did nothing except for living a splendid life in Britain!!!


  • Roc
    Nov 10, 2014 - 8:47PM

    Height of ignorance


  • @rjia
    Nov 11, 2014 - 12:56AM

    “she should live in her own country walk in the streets”

    Um…I’m pretty sure she tried that. And was shot in the head for it. So now she realizes she can make more an impact from abroad alive than she can in Pakistan, dead. It the disgusting climate of intolerance, anti-intellectualism, and fear of women with agency that breeds this type of irrational hatred for a girl advocating the right of girls to receive education. Remember, in order to send girls to school, you have to convince society to open girls’ schools and support their daughter’s right to go. That’s what she’s trying to do.

    For all you who claim she hasn’t done anything — Malala has shown fearlessness in the face of grave personal harm in order to provide an example to other young girls that they can and should pursue education at any cost. If you were a 14 year old in Swat facing death threats for attending school, would you have stepped up and continued your education, or would you have backed down? She didn’t back down, and that is why she is rightly viewed as a beacon of hope for the unconscionable number of young women and girls denied an education in Pakistan, simply because they were unfortunate enough to be born into the inferior gender.


  • imadpirzada
    Nov 11, 2014 - 1:03AM

    kudos to the organization


  • Remy
    Nov 11, 2014 - 2:46AM

    Sorry, Haider, It’s not Malala who is giving Pakistan (and Islam) a bad name all around the world…think hard now…


  • Nov 11, 2014 - 2:53AM

    How awful it is for the Pakistani people to be represented as ignorant bloodthirsty bigots. They alone can stop the catastrophe that their nation is approaching, day by day. And to do this, they must reject extremismRecommend

  • Ahmed
    Nov 11, 2014 - 4:19AM

    and you think she is stupid enough to come back and walk in the streets when all Pakistanis are close to issuing a blasphemy fatwa against her? Height of ignorance!


  • Ahmed
    Nov 11, 2014 - 4:39AM

    I wonder why these schools and people (you included) DON’T hold a day on “good values, anti-corruption, respect girls, humanity” etc etc. Why Anti-Malala day? Is Malala the biggest problem Pakistan faces??
    Using false claims, using children to further their extremist agendas, spreading hatred, this is the job of the schools? is it? Wow, just wow. Malala seems to be Pakistan’s biggest problem. Height of ignorance and extremism.


  • Naeem
    Nov 11, 2014 - 10:11AM

    On one hand you say that extremism has to be removed, on the other hand you are criticizing Mala for supporting freedom of expression. Malala does not agree with Rushdie but supports freedom of expression. So do I!! And do all the civilized world!!!! You wish to remain “primitive” than it is your choice. Just bottle up and do not express your opinion because you do not believe in freedom of expression!!!!


  • Naeem
    Nov 11, 2014 - 10:18AM

    How ignorant you are!!!


  • Tony Singh
    Nov 11, 2014 - 12:24PM

    Today is Maulana Azad’s birth Anniversary. He had predicted long before Pakistan was formed, the fate of such a state in an interview to a Magazine published from Lahore.
    How true he was!


  • rija
    Nov 11, 2014 - 3:09PM

    I ignored what? Ok tell me how many girls have started their education due to effirts of malala working abroad?? None! Hundreds of people are shot but they didn’t go abroad! Alhamdulillah there are successful doctors present in pakistan… The main bravery of malala should be to live in pakistan in the presence of Talibaan who attacked her!!


  • rija
    Nov 11, 2014 - 3:15PM

    I ignored what? The real bravery the real spirit should be she should live in pakistan fight with talibans encourage girls by then ! What is the bravery here living abroad?? Really?


  • Abdul Malik
    Nov 11, 2014 - 4:34PM

    LOL you have to bring in India but let me reply. It is because Indian women and men stood up together, regardless of caste or creed and forced the then government to bring in very strict laws and stringent punishment for rape.


  • Nov 11, 2014 - 4:58PM

    I agree with you 100%. The foreigners making comment hear are unaware of the real facts since they dont live in Pakistan and we cant blame them for they think. But the fact is that this brave girl has become a puppet , nothing more nothing less.


  • Nov 11, 2014 - 6:20PM

    one thing beyond my understandings is that, why do people wanted to see Malala dead! A noble prize, do you even realize how big is it for Pakistan?. Be proud of it! Who ever ignorant fool, is celebrating anti malala day is actually supporting the acts of Taliban.
    There’s no need to be jealous of a young girls achievement, if she’s settled abroad then shame of you for not providing a safe environment for anyone who speaks up for a great cause.Have you ever give it a little thought of what have you done for Pskistan other than criticizing or spreading hatred? Have you?
    And let me give all you negatives a little piece of my mind, you ignorant disbelievers there’s not a single word against Islam or pro Rushdie ideology in her book I’ve read it & all she stands up is for education! A humble request please open your minds think outside the box & stay positive. If you’re not supporting Malala you’re supporting Taliban & their barbarian acts! Period.


  • javed Iqbal
    Nov 11, 2014 - 10:46PM

    I wonder what a country having such narrow-mined, bigot, fake custodians of faith, non-tax payer patriots, and greedy /false “educationist. Such type of mindset takes our young generation back in dark era. This is duty of State to ban such bogus association & close their institutions where they propagate hatred sentiments on the name of education.


  • silverfox
    Nov 11, 2014 - 11:28PM

    @marklevy Sure pakistan has serious issues inc extremism so does judism look at extreme jews were in London recently they put up signs that men and women are not to walk on the same footpaths also look at israel height of extremism


  • silverfox
    Nov 11, 2014 - 11:39PM

    @ahmed stick to the facts ..she wrote that her father wore an black armband on pakistan day, has he is against the making of pakistan truth is she is of the opinion rushdie book was a satire some satire we all know he wrote it to get sales by controversy, malala don’t care about ppl get real she is in it for herself rest is all drama


  • Sucheta
    Nov 12, 2014 - 2:17AM

    ‘I am not Malala’

    Of course ‘you’ are not !
    For that you need to defeat even death.


  • Fauzia Haider
    Nov 12, 2014 - 4:19AM

    I would really love to find out which schools come under this Private Schools Federation/association so I don’t send any of my relatives to these schools that endorse such ignorant behaviour.


  • Zindabadi
    Nov 12, 2014 - 1:13PM

    Malala is not the issue. Her beliefs or her supposed support of Rushdie are not the issue either. The issue is that we are a nation desperate to be offended. We seem to be entitled to shout too hard and too fast at anything we believe holds different values than us. Our prayers are no longer being answered.We are doomed, and we deserve no better.


  • Zindabadi
    Nov 12, 2014 - 1:18PM

    @ Haider – You are not the target of her beliefs. If you are capable of using the internet and post a comment in the forum, I can safely assume you do not have a problem with girls being educated. There are however many in Pakistan who do not believe in educating girls. Not everyone is as open-minded and literate as you Haider. There are a lot of different types of people in Pakistan. The sooner you and others realize that, the sooner you can start thinking about how to get along with everyone.


  • Nov 12, 2014 - 2:53PM

    true spirit will emerge when many legislators in the provincial or National Assembly would propose to pass a resolution that 12th November be declared anti Malala Day. Awaiting !!!!!!!


  • Moiz Omar
    Nov 12, 2014 - 3:45PM

    I’ve never seen them organize an anti-Taliban day or a day against other violent and horrid groups. But they boycotted Malala because she defended somebody’s freedom of speech?


  • Candid1
    Nov 12, 2014 - 5:01PM

    Malala has not written anything supporting Rushdie, ans she should sue this previously unknown/unheard of organization for defamation.

    Malala is the best thing that’s happened in Pakistan for may years. She symbolizes the Pakistani spirit to stand up to oppression, whether by the religious fanatics or the Indians. She stands for every Pakistani’s desire to improve their lives through education and elightenment. The fanatics want Pakistanis to remain ignorant and uneducated, otherwise they cannot fool or coerce people into supporting them, and that is why they hate Malala.

    Theirs is a losing battle, for every hater of Malala there are a thousand supporters who share her desire for living an elightened and informed life.Recommend

  • BOL
    Nov 12, 2014 - 7:05PM

    If we see from a different prespective not involving emotions, then one is force to ponder on the fact that what malala has done to deserve a nobel? Abdul Sattar Edhi has spent is life helping others but has so far not earned a nobel. Malala got a bullet in her head not because of some cause, she was on her way to school as all girls do in routine. She was only targeted for speaking against Talibans. (By the way a disgraceful act by the Talibans). Is it possible for any other Pakistani girl of the same age as malala to go to west and start preaching on girls right to education and then get a Nobel? No!


  • Last Word
    Nov 12, 2014 - 7:54PM

    Malala escape from death is nothing short of a miracle and it is evident that God/Allah has saved her for a bigger purpose. She has already received so many international awards at such a young age and blessed with a level head which looks promising for her to become a great leader and serve Pakistan one day. Some ignorant and fanatic people are finding excuses to criticise her, but this has happened with many great and well known personalities of the world and Malala is going through the same phase.


  • FrankieMatt
    Nov 13, 2014 - 4:09AM

    I’m sure she’ll be back..LOL


  • ihsan
    Nov 14, 2014 - 2:06AM

    99% here commenting on book haven’t read it that’s your problem…That is a height of ignorance….. not school federation.


  • Erum Yaseen
    Dec 15, 2014 - 2:49AM

    ohh really so, you think your are doing great job in kashmeir. Mister don’t tale us ore duties towards our religion, nationality and culture.


  • Imran Naseer
    Dec 17, 2014 - 6:28AM

    Muslims like Malalas and Rushdies are clearly traitors, we need to save our children from their teachings if we want Islam to become superpower of the world again. I am not extremist, I don’t support shooting of Malala but no, I am not Malala, because I am true Pakistani. My full support to All Pakistan Private Schools Federation.


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