PAKISTAN: Lessons on Courage

Author Maya Angelou stated, “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential.”

If this is true, Malala Yousafzai was born with an unlimited amount of potential for courage. Quite frankly she has shown more courage in her first 15 years of life than most adults ever have.

While other 12 year olds were busy playing games, Malala’s thoughts were occupied with more pressing issues. For instance, a passionate desire to have an education amidst the repressive rules established by brutal Mullah (Radio) Fazlullah’s brand in Swat Valley. Rather than conform to the oppressive forces that twisted what was once a place where education was valued and encouraged, she chose the difficult path. She chose to speak.

Under the pen name Gul Makai, Malala began to write a blog on that described life in an area surrounded by the unopposed Taliban who had taken over all forms of established authority. This 15 year old girl’s eloquence in writing and the bravery in her actions made her so threatening to the Tablian rule that they believed she needed to be killed.

One must question the Taliban’s rule if a child’s honest words are seen as a threat to their power. In Abbas Nasir’s article “The Daughter of the Nation,” Malala is described as “a potent symbol of opposition, to the toxic ideology that the Taliban embody.”

She, and others like her, seem to be the antidotes needed in order for the beautiful religion of Islam to be reclaimed from the poisonous hands of extremists that threaten to further destroy its true nature by using it as justification for the atrocities they commit. Such as shooting a 15 year old girl in the head.

Fortunately, she seems as unconquerable in body as she is in spirit. Recently she has been released from a British Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

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