11 October 2012

Malala Yousafzai—heroine

This week the Taliban committed yet another atrocity in the name of religion when they shot 14-year old Malala Yousafzai in the head and neck while she sat with her classmates on a school bus. Still in critical condition this morning, she has been flown to the country's top military hospital for specialist treatment.

Malala has for some time been on a Taliban hit list because of her support for "the imposition of secular government" in the Swat area of Pakistan. She has exhibited extraordinary courage in speaking out against religious militants and advocating for girls' education, recently expressing her desire to set up her own political party and a vocational institute for marginalized girls in her area. A quite exceptional young lady.

Rana Jawad, Islamabad bureau chief of the country's biggest news channel, said the incident could "help the nation gel together in dismissing this mindset which attacked an innocent, harmless girl." Let us hope he is right about Pakistan rallying behind Malala to oppose religious extremism, but he is wrong about her being a "harmless girl." She is a greater threat to the Taliban than any military force.

May she recover completely and continue to serve as an inspiration to all of us.

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