Malala the Brave
I know little about the various versions of the Muslim religion. But the group of extremists that we out here in the West call the Taliban seem to have made a mistake of epic proportions. The shooting of Malala Yousafzai may have stripped from these militant traitors all that remains of what limited religious justification they ever may have had for their barbarism.
Malala, a blogger and vocal proponent of women’s rights since the age of 11, who has been threatened with her life before, was shot in the head and neck at age 15 by a Taliban gunman as she rode the bus to school. Thankfully, her brain was not injured in the attack. She had to flee to Great Britain for safety to recover from her injuries, and has since said that she will return to Swat to finish her education in spite of continued threats by some to keep targeting her until she is dead.
Religious leaders of every stripe, including Islam, have condemned the shooting. Unarmed women, children, and journalists, emboldened by Malala and the crime committed against her, have confronted Taliban in the streets to express their displeasure as if their country already had true Freedom of Speech. So why do the brutal Taliban continue? If they violate the rules of that same Islam that they claim to fight for, then were they ever truly fighting for Islam in the first place? I say they fight less for religion and more for the moldy and obsolete cultural advantages that men enjoy over there to keep women down and make them the equivalent of slaves in their own society. Like any irregular army, the Taliban rely on the good will of the people and a claim to the moral high-ground. They seem to have lost both with this savage attack on an unarmed, fifteen-year old girl.
Because of her past courage, the world already knew of Malala and her cause (click here for her blog), but now the bullets that were intended to quiet her have only exploded her fame and her message of hope, freedom, and peace far beyond anyone’s ability to stop it. Malala is now so much an icon of women’s struggles for freedom in the Middle East that even if they do kill her someday, it will only turn up the volume of her voice forever. Martyrs cannot be silenced.
I predict that history will record these events as a turning point against Muslim extremism. Her name will join the list of brave young heroins like Mary, Joan of Ark, and Sybil Ludington. Books, songs, poetry, movies, and plays will chronicle her life, and her example will serve as a template to upcoming generations of girls and women all over the world.
You go girl!
- Malala attack response ‘turning point’ for Pakistan: Father (nation.com.pk)
- Malala’s father: ‘My daughter will rise again’ (itv.com)
- Malala has started speaking: Malik (nation.com.pk)
- Malala Yousafzai visited by family (nation.com.pk)
- Malala Yousafzai: Pakistani schoolgirl set to make a full recovery (telegraph.co.uk)
- I am Malala, You are Malala (deborahklayman.wordpress.com)
- ‘I survived doomsday’ (smh.com.au)
- Pakistani Girl Malala Shot By Taliban Able To Stand (eurasiareview.com)
- Girls who risk their lives defying the Taliban (uk.news.yahoo.com)
- Malala’s parents visit her for first time in UK hospital – CNN (edition.cnn.com)