November 17, 2015
Just a couple of days ago, I saw this news of launch of a new book “I am not Malala – I am Pakistani, I am Muslim.” This was a rebuttal to the youngest Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai’s book “I am Malala.”
This news should not be a surprise for many of us who find it disgusting. This is mainly because of the state of affairs of our country and secondly because it has become a custom in our society to defame our national heroes and call them traitors. From Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Bhagat Singh and Bacha Khan to Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Dr. Abdus Salam and countless others, we have seen epic episodes of magnificent shameless behaviour towards our real heroes, defaming all aspects of their lives, not only academic and ideological but also private and personal – some have not even been spared after their death. This is not only ridiculous but manifests an ignorant and paranoid attitude disillusioned by state sponsored history taught in schools. This person must be in his early youth during Zia’s era, so we cannot blame him too much.
There could be a long debate on all the points he tried to rebut in his book, but let’s cut the story short to one point being only the title of the book. The title “I am not Malala – I am Pakistani and I am a Muslim” is a representative of the same extremist thought everyone should fight against. Because it is clearly implying that Malala is not a Pakistani or a Muslim (we feel so satisfied while proving ourselves to be good Muslims, by calling others kafirs) and whatever she stands for has nothing to do with us.
We have nothing to do with women rights. We don’t believe in girls’ right for education. We are not against Taliban and extremism. We are not pro-education. We don’t believe in democracy and freedom of speech. We don’t want our children to become like this. And this is not coming from some uneducated and “ignorant” folk, but from the president of All Pakistan Private Schools Association. What could be more tragic?
The author didn’t consider the sacrifice of a little girl and her courage to speak up for something our “brave” men maintained their deafening silence. The admiration she received from all over the world is nothing in front of him but a mere propaganda. It is putting already alienated society into more regression.
Much has been written about the propaganda against Malala. But nobody is willing to listen and understand. Our heads are buried in sand. The facts and reality is right in front of us, if we want to accept it. If we don’t do this now, nobody would be able to take us out of this darkness of denial.
by Akif Khan
Disclaimer:The views expressed above are the author’s own