Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Am Not Malala Yousafzai.

I was going to post something today to express solidarity, something saying “I am Malala Yousafzai.”

But that’s ridiculous. I am not Malala Yousafzai.

We were both born in Pakistan, but I was born as the child of an American diplomat, with all the rights and good fortune that entails.

No one thought twice about sending me to school—it was expected, right up through college.

But this girl, born in 1998 (the year I graduated from college and went on to graduate school), has had to fight every step of the way to get an education. She has been trying to get it not only for herself, but for other girls in Pakistan. And the response of these Taliban thugs—whose own daughters would benefit from the manifestation of her dream—is to shoot her in the head, and promise to do it again if she lives.

Muslims should be proud of her, and as the reaction in Pakistan indicates, most are. My personal belief is that those responsible for this attack aren't true Muslims, any more than "Christians" who murder doctors or persecute the families of gay veterans are true Christians.

I’ve spent my entire existence pillowed on rights that I often don’t even think about. I don't have to think about them. So no. I am not Malala Yousafzai. But I wish I had an ounce of her grace and courage. And I am so grateful that the world produces people like this to counterbalance the retrograde, violent, stupid forces she is up against.

It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.
–Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

No comments: