If I had a daughter, she’d be like Malala

Posted on July 13, 2013


Those of you consistent readers of Blasted Fools, know how fond I am of Malala Yousafzai .   I featured her in a column I wrote in December of 2012, and declared her ‘Anti – Blasted Fool of the Year’.  In case any clarification of that distinction is needed, an ‘Anti-Blasted Fool’ is an inspirational person, exemplifying the highest measure of courage, decency, transcendent humanity and the leadership characteristics of a world changer of our times. 

Malala has lived up to and exceeded my standards for that title of distinction.  In getting caught up with the news cycle, I happened to see a note that Malala had appeared before the United Nations General Assembly and spoken to them about humanitarian concerns, education and women’s rights.  I’ll confess that my eyes were wet, well before her brief and passionate pleas for decency were concluded. 

I don’t recall the last time I’ve heard anyone speak from the heart more powerfully and with more authority, with the possible exception of Ms. Lara Logan, the CBS News foreign correspondent that castigated the Obama Administration and the State Department for their betrayal of the Ambassador and his would be rescuers in Benghazi, Libya.

Malala, if you have not yet become familiar with her, is the young Pashtun woman who stood up to the Taliban in defense of the rights of female children to have equal opportunity for education in her village in Pakistan and got shot up by an agent of the devil for her efforts.  To know her is to love her.

Her oratory before the audience at the United Nations speaks quite amply for itself, but I just made a few notes on particular comments that stood out to me:

“Malala day, is not my day” – a reflection of her feeling that the mission is of greater virtue than the missionary.  I think in her case, you can’t separate either one.

“One Girl among many”  – I felt a resonance there of ‘E Pluribus Unum’ – a sense that change (the real kind), requires us to stand together.

“They (the Taliban), thought that the bullets would silence me, but they were wrong. Out of the silence, thousands of voices came.”   They were wrong, weren’t they?  They couldn’t have been more wrong.

“The extremists are afraid of pens and books. They are afraid of women – the power of the voice of women frightens them.”  The fear of women achieving equality in islamic nations is probably the prime motivation for not only the attacks on human rights workers, but on Western Civilization itself.

“We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”  What a simple but profound truth.

I was impressed and touched by so many things, but most of all, her determination in the face of what she candidly describes as “terrorists”.  She has more moral clarity than many in the journalistic field that have shamed themselves in their unwillingness to name evil.

Some may take exception to her speaking before the United Nations.  I am not a proponent of the United Nations, but I believe they need to be confronted by this girl and challenged to do something constructive for mankind, as opposed to their normal patterns of doing nothing except using New York city as a convenient playground for partying and hookers.

The United States can’t act as God and police the world.  These nations have to take responsibility for the suffering going on in their own backyards.  That’s what Tahrir Square is all about and that’s what the unrest in Brazil is about.

Others will find fault with her mention of islam as a religion of peace and her mention of Muhammed the prophet.  I see her reference to them in a different context.  She is appealing for a reformation of islam, a redefinition to a moderate, tolerant islam.  That’s a message that only a young woman with the righteousness of her beliefs can credibly send to others in her culture who are afraid to step forward and say, “No More!”

She boldly dares to include the name of Jesus Christ, among the names of history that have called men to treat others with decency and humanity.  This will enrage the Taliban and other hateful elements of islam.  So be it.  As Shakespeare speaks through his character, Julius Caesar:

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.”

Malala Yousafzai is valiant.  She’s an inspiration.  She’s a hero to me.  If I had a daughter like Malala, I’d be as proud as Malala’s father is of her.

Blasted Fools – 2013