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The Malala debate

LAHORE: I have been following the Malala debate and I am pained by some of the comments. Let us not humiliate a brave young child simply because she expressed her desire for female education. She has fought for her life. I have seen interviews of several Malalas from Swat and Fata who have expressed similar passion for being free to educate themselves. We should pray for the safety of all our young ones who still have the courage to fight for rights that we take for granted.

The outrage against Malala’s speech in the UN is also misplaced. Be fair. Would any of us miss this honour? It is not her fault if the day itself placed emphasis on only one kind of violence that is an obstacle to women’s rights and, specifically, a hindrance to her right to education. We are so unforgiving. Malala needs physical protection from the Taliban but as much from the purists who judge everyone else harder than themselves.

Malala was not posing a challenge to anyone. She was merely trying to seek her and other girls’ right to education. She was almost killed for it. Should she not express her outrage against it? Should she consult negative-minded bloggers before she takes her own decisions? Put yourself in her shoes. May we breed and learn to respect millions of such girls in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Asma Jahangir

Express Tribune

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