KARACHI, Pakistan — Provincial police in Pakistan this week raided bookshops and seized copies of an elementary faculty social research textbook that features a image of the schooling rights activist Malala Yousafzai, a polarizing determine within the nation.
The image of Ms. Yousafzai, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, appeared in a chapter on nationwide heroes, alongside Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The world’s youngest Nobel laureate, Malala, because the 24-year-old is universally identified, has been hailed worldwide as a determine of braveness for her activism, regardless of being shot within the head as a schoolgirl by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in 2012.
Her biography, “I’m Malala,” co-written with the veteran British international correspondent Christina Lamb, was a world greatest vendor. The next yr, in 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
However in her personal nation, she is the topic of fierce debate.
“For a lot of in Pakistan, Malala has come to represent every little thing they think about they hate concerning the West,” mentioned Nida Kirmani, a professor of sociology at Lahore College of Administration Sciences in Pakistan. “For others, she is an emblem of ladies’s rights and resistance towards Islamist forces,” she added.
“For these causes, she has change into a divisive determine.”
Critics say the seizures present a need to suppress vital considering and a rising intolerance of opinions opposite to conservative Islamic beliefs and cultural norms.
In 2012, Taliban fighters tried to assassinate Ms. Yousafzai on a bus getting back from faculty after the B.B.C. web site printed an article about her experiences underneath their rule. She moved to Britain, and graduated from Oxford College final yr.
Final month, in an interview with British Vogue journal, Ms. Yousafzai, pondering the place her younger life could head, questioned the necessity for marriage, triggering a backlash in Pakistan. “I nonetheless don’t perceive why folks should get married,” she mentioned, in response to the article. “If you wish to have an individual in your life, why do it’s a must to signal marriage papers, why can’t it simply be a partnership?”
In Could, her tweet that “violence in Jerusalem — particularly towards youngsters — is insufferable,” enraged a variety of Pakistanis for neither mentioning the Palestinians nor condemning Israel.
The police and officers from the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board, a provincial authority, started conducting raids on retailers throughout town on Monday to confiscate copies of the e-book. The Board wouldn’t say what number of shops have been raided or what number of books confiscated.
On Monday, Ms. Yousafzai’s birthday, which is widely known by some in Pakistan as Malala Day, authorities seized your complete inventory of textbooks from the Lahore workplace of the writer, Oxford College Press, saying the corporate had did not receive a no-objection certification, or N.O.C., from the federal government.
“No N.O.C. means breaking the regulation,” Punjab Province’s schooling minister, Murad Raas, mentioned in a tweet.
Staff on the Oxford College Press workplace in Lahore declined an interview request.
On Tuesday, the All Pakistan Personal Colleges Federation, a physique that claims to symbolize 150,000 faculties, launched a documentary, “I’m not Malala,” to focus on what it referred to as her controversial views on Islam, marriage and her pursuit of a Western agenda.
“Dad and mom are not looking for their youngsters to observe Malala’s footsteps, even when she retains on successful the awards,” mentioned Kashif Mirza, the federation’s president. “Malala has fallen into the entice of the West and she or he is now engaged on a Western agenda towards Pakistan and Islam.”
The identical federation beforehand ran a marketing campaign towards Ms. Yousafzai that demanded the federal government ban her memoir as a result of, they claimed, it offended Islam and the “ideology of Pakistan.”
In recent times, because the affect of Pakistan’s Taliban and different militant Islamist teams has grown, textbooks and different instructional supplies have come underneath larger scrutiny.
Riaz Shaikh, an instructional based mostly within the japanese metropolis of Karachi who was concerned in textbook improvement in Sindh province, mentioned that he and his group included in textbooks Ms. Yousafzai, Mr. Salam, and Iqbal Masih, a Pakistani Christian little one activist who campaigned towards abusive little one labor and was murdered on the age of 11. Afterward, Islamist teams focused the textbook authors with demise threats.
Dr. Bernadette L. Dean, Dr. Shaikh’s colleague within the group and a famous educator, fled Pakistan in 2015 fearing for her life.
“Sadly, Pakistani society has been developed on hatred, conspiracy theories and politicization of faith,” Dr. Shaikh mentioned. “It’s the motive that a good portion of Pakistani inhabitants considers Malala and different heroes their villains.”
Final yr, Punjab’s curriculum and textbook board banned 100 faculty books in a single day due to content material they described as “anti-Pakistan” and “blasphemous.” Amongst these banned have been a youngsters’s math textbook that included pictures of pigs — pork is prohibited by Islam — to clarify an arithmetic drawback.
Final yr, the provincial parliament really helpful banning three seminal books on Islam, together with British writer Lesley Hazleton’s “The First Muslim” and “After the Prophet,” accusing them of blasphemy.
Main rights teams and liberal politicians have demanded that the Punjab provincial board withdraw the order to confiscate the varsity textbook with Ms. Yousafzai’s pictures.
The Human Rights Fee of Pakistan, an impartial civic watchdog, mentioned on Tuesday that the raids have been “a brand new low within the state’s makes an attempt to manage data and manipulate public discourse.”
On Wednesday, a member of Pakistan’s Parliament, Sherry Rehman, defended Ms. Yousafzai on the ground of the parliament.
“For those who can not contemplate Benazir Bhutto and Malala Yousafzai as your heroes, then solely God might help you,” she mentioned, referring to the previous prime minister killed in a 2007 suicide assault in Rawalpindi. “Malala confronted extremists and obtained a bullet in return.”
Zia ur-Rehman reported from Karachi, Pakistan, and Emily Schmall reported from New Delhi.