Thank You, Malala

You may have heard the tragic (and nearly-fatal) story of Malala Yousafzai, but if you haven’t you owe it to yourself to watch this summary of her story by The Thinking Atheist:

The heartbreaking-est line:

At the age of 15, for the terrible crime of insisting that girls had the right to get an education, to better themselves, to break the cultural shackles which imprisoned them, Malala Yousafzai was the enemy.

While we’re on the subject, I don’t usually agree with Republicans, but former First Lady Laura Bush did a really nice writeup about Malala for the Washington Post if you’d like to learn a little bit more about how inspirational of a figure Malala has become.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    It would appear that for some people she will never be respected for standing up for the rights of herself and other females to receive an education.  We have an idiot here in the UK who is now apparently about to issue a fatwa against her! Unbelievable.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/9687466/Islamic-hardliners-announce-fatwa-on-Malala-Yousafzai.html

    • Marco Conti

      What a nice guy. He actually said that they don’t want to kill her. But he did not specify what it is they want to do to her either.

      How realistic would be to legally equate issuing a fatwa to attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder? Would it fly?

      i understand there are freedom of speech issues, but even here in the US I cannot go around inciting the death of someone without suffering some consequences or even being charged in some cases.

      These people that issue fatwas cannot be able to continue doing it without suffering some kind of consequence. 

      in any event, this girl is an inspiration. It will be very dangerous for her to go back to Pakistan and as a father of a daughter I hope she will remain in the UK. But I also realize that Pakistan and Islam in general need people like Malala. If we take all the people like her out of Islamic countries for their own protection no one will remain to be an agent of change. 

      And, if she goes back but is forced to live in a cage for her own protection she won’t be able to affect her culture as much as if she lives in it like everyone else. But if she does go back to live a normal life I don’t give her more than a couple of months until someone else finishes the job.

      There should be more like her, and not only in Pakistan.

      • Michaelbrice

         ”If we take all the people like her out of Islamic countries for their own protection no one will remain to be an agent of change.:
        Hopefully that is not necessarily true, Ayan Hirsi Ali for example

      • Philbert

        “i understand there are freedom of speech issues, but even here in the US I cannot go around inciting the death of someone without suffering some consequences or even being charged in some cases.”

        In the UK the police regularly investigate people for saying mean things on Twitter or at soccer matches. We’ll see if this dog-whistle call to murder warrants any action.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Amazing how one voice can change the world. I wish her all the best.

  • pagansister

    All that beautiful child wants for herself and her “sisters” is an education.  That obviously scares the hell out the men in her country—why??  I wonder if she will be able to safely return to her own country?  Religion sucks!  

  • Sharon Hypatiia

    It is odd, but even the most oppressive and brutal regimes often HATE having the spotlight shone on their oppression.
    Everyone who  spreads Malala’s story, even posting it to blogs, etc, are supporting her and are part of her fight.

  • samiras506

    Malala Yousafzai has become a global icon of hope, an international symbol of courage, a schoolgirl who has won hearts and inspired millions through her bravery. Here is a glimpse of what young students of her age have to say.
    http://inventureacademy.com/blog/?p=1694

  • Bdole

    I found myself getting really annoyed, yesterday, listening to Malala’s speech. She gave all the credit for her recovery to
    god and prayers. She didn’t say one word about the hospital or the doctors in the excerpts I’ve read and listened to. I think it’s great she’s such an outspoken advocate for
    educating girls, but I feel like she really missed the whole point of
    this near-fatal incident.


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