Opponents of the book launch wanted to please the Taliban

The Guardian has more detail on the suppression of Malala’s book launch.

Malala Yousafzai’s book was due to be launched at an event on Monday at Peshawar University but organisers were forced to scrap it after the intervention of two senior members of the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KP).

The episode underlines the antipathy among many Pakistanis towards the 16-year-old who campaigned for education in the face of Taliban opposition.

While she has been hailed in the west for her campaign against extremism, in Pakistan she is widely regarded with suspicion, with many people believing conspiracy theories that the story of the Taliban attempt to assassinate her as she travelled to school in October 2012 was untrue or exaggerated.

Well of course there’s antipathy among many Pakistanis. Many Pakistanis are very conservative and theocratic.

The event that was to have been held at the university’s Central Asia Area Study Centre had been intended to raise awareness of a book which is not widely available in Pakistan.

Few booksellers dare stock it after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is particularly strong in KP, threatened to attack shops selling copies of I Am Malala.

Organisers said they came under enormous pressure to abandon the event, with ministers, the police and university officials all intervening.

“They all made so many excuses,” said Khadim Hussain, director of the Baacha Khan Education Foundation and one of the organisers. “First they said it was a security risk, then they said the book was not relevant to the study centre.”

He said opponents of the book launch simply wanted to please the Taliban.

And cheer them up over their failure to kill Malala. Poor Taliban.


  1. A Hermit says

    Well she’s a girl who wants an education and that’s very offensive to some people. We have to respect that or we’re just like the Nazis. Or something…

  2. Al Dente says

    He said opponents of the book launch simply wanted to please the Taliban.

    Keeping on the good side of an organization which kills its opponents may seem reasonable to people living in Taliban infested areas.

  3. BestovSest says

    Well of course there’s antipathy among many Pakistanis. Many Pakistanis are very conservative and theocratic.

    Really? And was this the case when mass immigration began from Pakistan decades ago? If it was, did the atheist community apply Reason and Logic (Peace Be Upon Them) to the issue and deduce that mass immigration from Pakistan was not such a good idea after all? Or did the atheist community have faith in the power of Hot Air (Peace Be Upon It) to solve any problems that the enriching flux might cause? For example:

    That’s a claim that Jesus and Mo is “clearly offensive” to all Muslims, and how could she possibly know that? There are certainly some Muslims who are “ethnic” or background or cultural Muslims, who don’t actually buy any of the religion itself. Why would they find Jesus and Mo “clearly offensive”?


    If only Ophelia could put that devastating logic to Meral Hussein Ece in person. I’ve taken the liberty of imagining how it might go:

    Atheist Logician: But you don’t see? How can Jesus and Mo be “clearly offensive” to all Muslims when some Muslims, who are “ethnic” or background or cultural Muslims, don’t actually buy any of the religion itself? Why would they find Jesus and Mo “clearly offensive”?

    Benighted Muslima: What’s that? Some Muslims wouldn’t find it offensive?

    Atheist Logician: Yes, because they don’t actually buy any of the religion itself.

    Benighted Muslima: Hold on, let’s get this straight. You’re saying that Muslims who don’t buy Islam won’t be offended by mockery of Islam? Non-Muslim Muslims, in other words?

    Atheist Logician: Yes, that’s exactly it. Non-Muslim Muslims won’t be offended. Which completely refutes your argument. Don’t you see?

    Benighted Muslima: [After long pause] You know, this is… this is astonishing. I’m almost lost for words. How… how could I be so… so narrow-minded? So blinkered? But you’re right. You’re absolutely right. I failed to take those non-Muslim Muslims into account. Can you ever forgive me?

    Atheist Logician: Of course, ethnic sister.

    Enlightened Muslima: Thank you, Atheist Logician.

  4. BestovSest says

    @Al Dente:

    Taliban infested areas…

    Steady on. I’ve been inside a Muslim home, seen an Islamic newspaper praising the Taliban and asked the wife of the house what she thought of them. “Very good,” she said. Are you suggesting that parts of England are susceptible to infestation too? If so, how on earth did that happen? Pakistan is a long way from England.

  5. haitied says

    It’s not polite to play with yourself in public Bestov (PleaseBelayUtterHysterics). . Although strawman puppet shows are a classic form of entertainment they make for poor arguments. Are you really so clueless as to suggest that you can and do indeed speak for all Muslims? (PleaseBelayUtterHysterics) That’s what seems to be the point of your exercise, am I wrong? That you are offended so every other Muslim is offended lest they aren’t real Muslims? (PleaseBelayUtterHysterics)

  6. A Masked Avenger says

    Disbelief of Malala’s story is telling. I’m betting many support the Taliban’s conservatism, without themselves wanting to actually kill girls for wanting to go to school (“we just want them sent home–not killed!”). And they engage in double think, by disbelieving claims that the Taliban does such things. When they can’t deny, they would either imagine a justification, or label the perpetrator a bad apple–no true Talib.

    American chicken hawks do the same. They support anti Muslim/Arab bigotry, but wouldn’t actually go around killing them. So they doubt stories of hate crimes or war crimes, and accuse the victims of making them up. When faced with proof, they rationalize that the victims were terrorists, the children were either armed fighters or collateral damage, etc. When that’s disproved, they dismiss the guilty parties as lone bad apples, like Ms. England at Abu Ghraib.

    Normal people, including “normal” religious fanatics, aren’t wired to be killers. We can be made into killers by training us to think like psychopaths, dehumanizing the other, but it’s hard, and it wears off (as most soldiers can tell you, dealing with the after effects of having killed). And we can aid and abet killers by a combination of denial and rationalization, which we eagerly engage in, ironically, precisely because we’re not killers and need to dispell the cognitive dissonance of supporting killers.

  7. A Masked Avenger says

    I can’t tell what BestovSest’s point is.

    Sie is correct that hard-line, theocratic muslims will dismiss the views of moderate or more-secular muslims as coming from “non-muslim muslims.” Scotsmen love to “no true Scostman” each other, and do it all the time.

    Hir remarks about England sounded to me like a call to block them from immigrating, alleging that “moderate” muslims are fictional and that muslims generally support the Taliban. If so, it’s possible that hir comment about “non-muslim muslims” is meant in the same vein: suggesting that these “moderate” muslims don’t really exist.

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