Chelsea Schilling is a commentary editor and staff writer for WND and a proud U.S. Army veteran. She has also worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.More ↓Less ↑
When she was only 15, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for merely arguing in an anonymous column that young girls in Pakistan should be allowed the right to obtain an education.
The Taliban wanted to silence her once and for all – but their efforts failed.
Instead, Yousafzai became an influential voice, telling the United Nations this summer: “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
Yousafzai explained to the U.N., “They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed, and out of that silence came thousands of voices.”
She added, “The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”
Yousafzai presented U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with a petition signed by 4 million people, asking leaders to guarantee that 57 million children around the world who are not able to receive an education be given the opportunity to do so.
“Aren’t those some riveting truths and, even more, a rallying cry to continue to fight tyranny over the human mind and spirit?” Norris asked. “When courageous souls are willing to confront strongholds, they can overcome any adversity and change any culture.”
Norris added, “Malala is a warrior wiser than any extremist leader. She knows the Taliban members are afraid of educated women because they know that women’s freedom means their loss of control and demise. They fear women will know the truth and the truth will set them free.”
According to a Reuters, 5 million children in Pakistan do not attend school.
“[S]ome columnists selected passages from her book on issues that could be sensitive in Pakistan’s deeply religious society and launched a media campaign to discredit the teenage youth icon among Pakistani children,” MEMRI reported.
In one instance, Zaid Hamid, a security analyst who is reportedly “perceived in Pakistan as a demagogue advocating jihad for the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate,” declared:
“[Yousafzai] is just a 14-year-old girl and she is not a thinker, a philosopher or an ideologue. But now … a small innocent girl is being used and abused [by the West] against the state of Pakistan, against Muslims.”
In July, Hamid told a Pakistan television channel:
“The majority of the people in Pakistan has now begun to understand that more than 100,000 Muslims have been killed at the hands of the [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan]. And picking up an injured 14-year-old girl [Yousafzai] from among those over 100,000 dead and attempting through her to give this impression that Pakistan is against girls’ education, the religion of Islam is against girls education, to me, it is the similar kind of disinformation and propaganda which was carried out against the Taliban in Afghanistan that they are against the education of Afghan girls.”
He continued, “However, the reality is that they were opposed to co-education [system]. We don’t justify, in any case, what has happened to Malala. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was not our creation. It is now a known fact that they are the CIA and [India's] RAW-backed militants who, while sitting in Afghanistan, are waging a war against the state of Pakistan. They are not fighting against women’s education only. …”
The anchor asked Hamid, “Zaid Sahib, you are saying that the West is not raising the issue of the killings of 100,000 people but it is picking up the case of a girl, Malala Yousafzai. What are you saying, is there also a conspiracy on the issue of Malala in your view?”
Hamid referenced an Oscar-winning documentary by Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy called, “Saving Face.”
“[In the film,] acid is thrown on the face of a woman, and that film was awarded to give the impression that all the Pakistani men keep throwing acid on every woman’s face in Pakistan,” he argued. “And you never see our positive things being projected in the world.”
While Hamid claimed his “sympathies are with Malala,” he added, “We don’t believe the propaganda, whether she got the bullet or not [fired by the Taliban militants]. In short, she was shot at and got injured and suffered atrocities and brutalities. She is just a 14-year-old girl and she is not a thinker, a philosopher, or an ideologue, but now that a small innocent girl is being used and abused against the state of Pakistan, against Muslims, to give this impression that the whole fight of the [Taliban] in Pakistan is perhaps a war against women’s education.”