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Teen Malala Yousafzai Chided by 'I Am Not Malala' Day in Schools

The All Pakistan Private School Federation, which says it represents 20 million students at almost 200,000 schools, held an "I am not Malala" day.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — She may be the youngest Nobel laureate and feted worldwide for her campaign work but teenager Malala Yousafzai has been castigated by educators in her homeland. The All Pakistan Private School Federation, which claims to represent almost 200,000 schools - responsible for a combined 20 million students - held an "I am not Malala" day on Monday. The event, named in reference to the teenage activist’s autobiography "I am Malala," was in response to what the federation said were Yousafzai's anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan views. "She has criticized Pakistan's ideology, its religion, and its constitution," Federation President Mirza Kashif Ali told NBC News.

The hostility marks a new level in local anger at the praise lavished on the teen campaigner, who is viewed with suspicion among traditionalists in the conservative country. Ali said participating schools held seminars "about what does it really mean to be Pakistani," adding that they would do so every November 10 until Yousafzai "apologizes and disowns whatever anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam rubbish she wrote." Ali also reproached Yousafzai for holding President Obama - and not the Prophet Muhammad - “as her ideal, even though he is responsible for thousands of deaths in Pakistan with his drones.” Other examples of Malala’s "Westernization," Ali said, were her use of the word "God" instead of "Allah," and mentioning Muhammad’s name without the customary addition of "Peace Be Upon Him."


- Wajahat S. Khan and Alexander Smith