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Maligning Malala

by Newsweek Pakistan
Odd Andersen—AFP

Odd Andersen—AFP

Berlin, Nov. 11

Speaking alongside Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, paid tribute to Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, 17, as the “identity of Pakistan.” Sharif agreed, as have other Pakistani politicians and even the military (“Congrats; Malala becomes 2nd Pakistani to win coveted Nobel Prize. Except for terrorists, all Pakistanis want their children in school,” the military spokesman tweeted on Oct. 10). But someone tell that to the “All Pakistan Private Schools Federation,” which declared Nov. 10 as “I Am Not Malala Day” and reiterated their ban on her book I Am Malala. The group’s head, Mirza Kashif Ali, says Malala is a “Western agent,” and that her book is against Pakistan’s ideology and Islam. But the indignation over the schools’ decision may be misplaced: even dolts have the right to free speech.

From our Nov. 15-22, 2014, issue.

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