Small part of the address that Malala gave the United Nations (full transcript in link)
The wise saying, “The pen is mightier than sword” was true. The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them. And that is why they killed 14 innocent medical students in the recent attack in Quetta. And that is why they killed many female teachers and polio workers in Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa and FATA. That is why they are blasting schools every day. Because they were and they are afraid of change, afraid of the equality that we will bring into our society.
I remember that there was a boy in our school who was asked by a journalist, “Why are the Taliban against education?” He answered very simply. By pointing to his book he said, “A Talib doesn’t know what is written inside this book.” They think that God is a tiny, little conservative being who would send girls to the hell just because of going to school. The terrorists are misusing the name of Islam and Pashtun society for their own personal benefits. Pakistan is peace-loving democratic country. Pashtuns want education for their daughters and sons. And Islam is a religion of peace, humanity and brotherhood. Islam says that it is not only each child’s right to get education, rather it is their duty and responsibility.
Malala, a school girl in a Taliban controlled part of Pakistan knew she wanted to go to school. To be educated, and be with her friends. To do so without restriction. What is more, she wanted to tell people about her frustration and share her experiences and views. This went beyond blogging about teenage life to her network of friends. Her outspoken desire to experience life, and question things, had a global audience and had come to the ear of the Taliban. Her voice was one they had already threatened to silence. And by so doing subdue parents and women that may dare to question their lot in life under their tyranny. To show outspoken critics that their life, even that of a child, meant nothing when raised against them.
To this end a man boarded the school bus taking Malala home, and shot her at close range – we can only imagine the screams and the terror onboard. This was not collateral damage, an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was the target; with an assassin asking by name for a child so he could kill her. Silencing her forever.
Thankfully they failed and now she lives in the UK having successfully being treated for her injuries here.
Dear Mr Secretary-General,
I stand with Malala in demanding that the leaders of the world end our global Education Emergency. After the recent violent murder of 14 girls in Pakistan who simply wanted an education, I support the civil rights struggle of 57 million girls and boys who will not go to school today — or any day. Side by side with Malala, we demand that at the United Nations General Assembly, world leaders agree to fund the new teachers, schools and books we need — and to end child labour, child marriage and child trafficking — so that by December 2015 we meet the Millennium Development goal promise that every boy and girl be at school.
We must be united in this fight, and we must act now. Thank you for standing with us.
[UPDATE: video is now speech in full, not a segment]
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog