Pakistani private schools ban Malala Yousafzai autobiography

A book by Malala Yousafzai, 'I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban' is on sale at a book store in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Oct. 8. T. Mughal / EPA file

Pakistani private schools have been barred from buying a book written by Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old activist who was shot in the head by Taliban militants last year for defying the Islamist militant group and advocating for girls' right to an education.

"Yes we have banned Malala's book because it carries the content which is against our country's ideology and Islamic values," Kashif Mirza, chief of All Pakistan Private Schools Federation, told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

And Mirza told the Associated Press that Malala, who has received significant global media attention, had betrayed Pakistan.

She "was a role model for children, but this book has made her controversial," he said, according to the AP. "Through this book, she became a tool in the hands of the Western powers."

He added that the book did not show sufficient respect for Islam because it used the Prophet Mohammed's name without the abbreviation PBUH — "Peace Be Unto Him" — afterward, as is customary in many regions of the Muslim world.

Malala Yousafzai opens the new Library of Birmingham at Centenary Square in September in Birmingham, England. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images file

Marzi also took issue with paragraphs in the book about Salman Rushdie, the British novelist who in 1989 became the target of a fatwa — religious edict — issued by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini calling for his death due to allegedly blasphemous references to the Prophet Mohammed in his novel "The Satanic Verses."

He told AFP that roughly 152,000 private schools across Pakistan defended Malala after she was shot in the head Oct. 9, 2012, by Tehreek-e-Taliban militants while on a school bus near her village in Swat in northwestern Pakistan.

But he added that officials cannot abide the opinions expressed in her autobiography, "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban."

Yousafzai began her education campaign by starting a blog in 2009, describing the obstacles faced by girls who wanted to attend school in Pakistan. She said being shot had only strengthened her resolve. 

Malala was a favorite to win the Nobel Peace Prize last month — but the honor went instead to the Netherlands-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is working to destroy the chemical weapons arsenal held by Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

Meanwhile, just three days ago, the Taliban commander whose fighters were blamed for shooting Malala was named the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban, the militant group told NBC News.

Maulana Fazlullah, who is known as “Radio Mullah” due to his incendiary on-air statements, succeeds Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed by a U.S.-launched drone strike Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.