Taliban shoot girl Malala who championed women's education
These are the days that shatter hearts.
A 14-year old girl, Malalai (or Malala) Yousafzai, who has been an advocate of girls' education has been shot by the Taliban. Here is a powerful NY Times documentary on girls' education in Swat Valley of Pakistan, where Malalai hails from. Malalai's angelic personality comes through luminously here.
The representatives of the Taliban, Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed responsibility on behalf of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). the Pakistani offshoot of the Taliban movement.
The Taliban movement in Afghanistan had instituted a gender apartheid that had led to the severe restriction of women’s rights and female educations in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
The Taliban spokesperson said of Malala:
"She was pro-west, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her ideal leader….
She was young but she was promoting western culture in Pashtun areas,"
This child is a symbol of ideas whose time have come, and this brutal violence can only delay the ultimate triumph of justice.
Taliban, you can't kill an idea. May we see the liberation of all of us from this mentality.
Here is a report about Malalai’s activism from UNICEF.
Malalai identifies Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Badshah Khan, Bacha Khan), the "Muslim Gandhi", as her source of inspiration.
Here is an Urdu interview with her.
She wrote an anonymous blog for BBC about the status of girls' education in Pakistan.
She was nominated for an International Children's Peace Award for that blog.
After she receied the National Peace Prize (which was later named after her),
she refused security, as she said: “I feel secure in my city and don’t want to be pointed out due to deployment of security officials around me.”
Malalai has indicated a desire to go into politics, with the goal of improving the lives of girls through education.
Responding to the destruction of schools by Taliban extremists, Malalai said:
“Over 400 schools in Swat have been fully destroyed by militants and I would like to work for the rehabilitation of damaged schools.”