Just this past week, 17 year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, in Oslo, Norway, along with her co-winner, Kallash Satyarthi, of India. Personally, I believe that she was robbed of it last year; however, she was then invited to address the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. That was on her 16th Birthday–are you kidding me? What were you doing at that age?
The linked Op-Ed piece from the Miami Herald, by Mansura Bashir Minhas, a Pakistani-American writer who lives in South Florida, “The Muslim Father behind the Pakistani Nobel Prize Winner”, is as follows: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article4411088.html#/tabPane=tabs-96530ccd-1. That column points out that Malala’s Father, Ziauddin, was rather unique. In Pakistan and many repressive countries, Baby Daughters are thought of as burdens, and not celebrated like the birth of a Son would be. Not Ziauddin, in his celebration, he distributed sweets to friends and neighbors.
Malala won the Prize for standing up to the Taliban. She spoke-out about the need for Women and Girls to be educated, just like the Males. Her words were often broadcast on BBC. The Taliban preach that Girls and Women should stay home, cook and have babies, and that they must be covered head-to-toe and only leave the house when they are escorted by a close Male Family Member.
Although I am not a Muslim, what I read in Ms. Minhas’ column and from other sources, I believe that this is very similar to what takes place in many Male-dominated societies. It goes on in Developed Nations; however, perhaps to a lesser, more subtle extent. Men like to show their “superiority”. In the U.S., however, Women win more Masters and Doctoral degrees–even in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
In her book, “I am Malala”, Ms. Yousafzai states that the Fanatical Fundamentalists choose to convey their beliefs as coming from the Quran or being the “Word of the Prophet”. This appears to be quite similar to what many Ideologues in the West do when they realize that their message is hollow. They wrap it in the Flag, the “Holy Book”, economic needs (such as Jobs!), etc. But, as Ms. Minhas asserts, that is not Islam.
Ms. Minhas further points out that Prophet Muhammad respected Women and always stood when his oldest Daughter, Fatima, came to visit him. Today however, we see the Jihadist of the Islamic State and other Terrorist Groups entice Women from the West to join them; however, it appears that they, along with Female Prisoners are merely there to provide for the Fighters sexual and domestic needs. Is that Islam? I don’t think so.
Following the attacks in the U.S., on September 11, 2001, many Muslims were harassed, perhaps assaulted and some mosques were vandalized. But, that is the classic case of attacking the many good People as a way of punishment for what the few bad ones had done. But, now is the time to befriend Muslims, as well as People of all Faiths–or even No Faith.
Malala’s Father was ecstatic when she was born. He encouraged her to learn, went along with her ideas of speaking-out for Women’s Rights in general–and for the Right of Women and Girls to be educated. In 2012, Malala was shot in the face at point-blank range, while riding home on a school bus. Luckily, Malala recovered and responded to what now might be considered the “Shot Heard Round the World”.
NOTE: Here is a link, from the Washington Post, regarding the reaction to Malala’s Nobel Prize, in her beloved Swat Valley, as follows: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-pakistanis-swat-valley-malalas-peace-prize-seen-as-slap-at-