An association that claims to represent 150,000 private schools in Pakistan issued a scathing denunciation Monday of teenage education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, accusing her of undermining Islam and national ideology, reports The New York Times.
Ms. Yousafzai, 17 and now living in Britain, has been hailed worldwide for continuing to advocate for education and girls' rights after being shot in the head by a Taliban assailant in 2012, but she divides opinion in her native Pakistan. The All Pakistan Private Schools Federation urged the country's government to ban her memoir, I Am Malala, which Pakistani conservatives contend maligns the Muslim faith.
"We are all for education and women's empowerment," said Mirza Kashif Ali, president of the Lahore-based schools network, which declared Monday to be "I Am Not Malala" day. "But the West has created this persona who is against the Constitution and Islamic ideology of Pakistan."