Malala: Warrior for Peace (Op-ed)

Malala, Pakistani girl

Malala, the young Pakistani girl who was attacked a year ago, is living up to her namesake,  a famous woman who was an Afghan warrior. The Taliban shot her three times at point-blank range on a school bus and almost killed her for not complying with the ban on female education. They say they are not against Malala, just her idea that women should be educated.

Malala wrote about being a female living under Taliban rule on her own blog, and this is what caused her to become a target. What was she writing about? Let’s take a look.

Malala wrote about the challenges of every day life with Islam as her religion and the abuses by the Taliban. She expressed her desire to be allowed to have an education. Last October she was shot in the head as she rode a bus coming home from school. Her school mate held her hand as all three shots struck her skull. If this doesn’t send a message to all the other children riding that bus and others in that part of the world, what could?

The religion of Islam prohibits killing women with exceptions and Malala was an exception. The Taliban, an extremist group with their narrow, hard-line interpretation of Islam, is responsible for her attempted murder.

Malala has recovered from her wounds and has written a book, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban.” Her book gets released today.

Malala now lives in England where she attends school. The teenager was acknowledged worldwide and received praise for her outspoken and written viewpoints on education.

She did receive a letter from a senior Taliban member in July, expressing his regret that he did not warn her.

Malala has plans for her future which include political aspirations. She hopes, “that a day will come (when) the people of Pakistan will be free, they will have rights, there will be peace and every girl and every boy will be going to school.” At fifteen she speaks for much of the free world. We wish that for you, too.

She is in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize which will be announced Friday. She remains a symbol to the international world of courage and hope.

In July, Malala spoke to the United Nations, giving a strong and eloquent speech at the tender age of 16. Her parents were beaming, along with others as they listened to someone so brave and so young. Young Malala has started a fund which has received a backing from American movie star Angelina Jolie in the amount of $200,000.

This didn’t just happen overnight, no; Malala was eleven when the Taliban came to her village. Fear set in quickly as the town square itself was nick-named “Slaughter Square.” Why? Because corpses were lined up in this square. This is also the place where beheadings have taken place and women who violated Taliban law were flogged in public.

She wanted to put a knife under her pillow because she did not want to live in fear.

She knew of threats against her so she came up with a verbal plan, to attempt to speak with the man with the gun pointed at her. She decided to tell him she wanted his daughter to get an education, too.

Malala lay in a coma for seven days due to brain swelling. She realized she could talk to herself so she knew she wasn’t dead, yet. “I believe in peace. I believe in mercy.” She says as she recalls the boy’s hands were shaking as he pulled the trigger. She feels these boys, no older than their 20s,  were recruited and brain-washed. They are brainwashed and told to go kill people and carry suicide bombs in the name of Allah, for the glory of  jihad.

Her own father encouraged the two of them to go in hiding after threats surfaced. She faced that and points out her father realized, at the young age of 12, he too was being brain-washed into becoming a jihadist. He questioned his experience and saved himself.

Malala Yousafzai, up for a Nobel Peace Prize, has defeated death by gun, given a speech to the United Nations, written a book, and inspired girls and the world with her bravery and vision for a brighter future at the age of sixteen. I’d say today is a day for smiles.


By: Kim Troike




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