ISLAMABAD-A book titled ‘I am not Malala’, which questions Malala Yousufzai’s credentials and her selection for the Nobel Peace Prize, was launched to counter the narrative of her memoire in the capital yesterday.
The book is a rebuttal of Malala’s book ‘I am Malala’ according to its author Miraz Kashif Abbasi but rights activists and some commentators have termed it as mudslinging.
It was launched on October 10, a day after the anniversary of the attack on Malala by the Taliban for advocating girls’ right to education. The attack and her bold campaigning for female education made her the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Malala had published her memoire in October 2013 but it was banned last year in private schools by a representative body of private schools terming it highly ‘controversial’. And, now it is going to move the court to ban the book across the country.
‘I am not Malala, I am Muslim, I am Pakistani’ has been launched under the aegis of All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF), which believes that the contents of Malala’s memoir carry highly objectionable and derogatory narrative regarding Islam, Holy Prophet (SAWW), Ideology of Pakistan, Quaid-I-Azam, Pak Army, History, others and support sectarianism.
‘“I am not Malala’ is a story of gallant Pakistani daughters and sons, who take pride in being Pakistanis unlike Malala, who saw no positivity in Pakistan,” said the author of the book, Mirza Kashif Ali, APPSF’s President. “The book has been written with the aim to reveal the truth and counter anti-Islamic propaganda and expose the nefarious designs of anti-Islam forces,” he said.
The book tries to establish that the focus of Malala was army bashing under the cover of female education. She in her book drew similarities between the Army and the militants and was not happy even after the restoration of the peace in the Sawat valley of Pakistan, Mr. Kashif Abbasi claimed.
The book also objects why she never uttered a single word of condemnation against Israeli aggression or brutality in Gaza when she spoke against the atrocities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, he said, concluding it was because of her loyalty with Jews and her Western masters.
“She has formed strong nexus with Salman Rushdie and Tasleema Nasreen, a Bangladeshi writer-and also believes in their ideology” he alleged.
Despite the trenchant criticism, the author claimed that he was not against Malala as a person.
Kashif said the APPSF went on a country- wide strike when Malala was attacked and the entire staff and students of private schools expressed solidarity with her. “We are not against her but the ideology being imposed on us by such traitors” He also criticised Malala Fund that, according to him, will be used to introduce secular curriculum to impose this ideology on our children.
The federation, which claims to represent about 173000 private schools, has earlier received little support in favour of its anti-Malala campaign.
The book has been widely condemned by the liberal segments of the society.
However, academic and activist Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy termed it nothing but mudslinging. Deploring bigotry, he said, it shows conservativeness has infiltrated in our society so deep, it shows that we are against the education of girls and it shows that the thinking of Taliban is the thinking of Pakistan and “we all should mourn over it”.
Bushra Gohar, central leader of Awami National Party, also condemned the book saying that a bunch of cowards have come out in support of the terrorists and religious extremists’ narrative against our national hero who challenged Taliban for peace and education for all. “They have no support amongst the public. Banning 'I Am Malala' will only reflect how some private schools are promoting the terrorists' narrative in the country," Ms. Gohar said.