9 October 2012 was the day when Malala Yousafzai was brutally attacked by terrorists for continuing her education in the Taliban ruled Sawat. When she felt suffocated in an environment full of hatred, extremism and bigotry, she refused to remain silent like others. She started writing against the Talibanization. She was a fervent supporter of women education and her writings for BBC Urdu brought her in limelight. The following summer, journalist Adam B. Ellick made a New York times documentary detailing her life. She gained prominence and was nominated for the International Children’s peace prize by activist Desmond Tutu.
After the attack, Malala became more vocal about women’s education. She founded the Malala fund to support girl’s education around the globe. At the age of 17, she became the youngest Nobel laureate in the world. Her non-profit organization is a source of hope for thousands of women inside and outside Pakistan.
Malala Yousufzai is, undoubtedly, daughter of the nation but why is she hated by many Pakistanis? Why she is considered as a Western spy? The answer to these questions will expose the hypocritical and myopic thinking of our society.
Malala is hated because she is a girl who rose to prominence and achieved zenith. If it was a boy in her place, our reaction would have been different towards him.
Our society is not ready to accept a woman who challenges the stereotypes. Patriarchal societies like ours always marginalize women and discourage them from developing. We are misogynist but we don’t accept it.
The second reason is an organized propaganda campaign against her by religious pundits. Social media is flooded with fake and edited pictures of her. Many friends of mine have shared a picture of Malala captioning “Malala standing with blasphemist Sulman Rushdie” whereas the said person was Martin Schulz, ex-President of the European Parliament.
A major portion of our society is controlled by religious zealots. Malala stood up against Taliban and there is still pervasive love for Talibs in some religious corners. They still try to justify the wickedness of the terrorists. They spew venom against all those who refuse to follow the concept of militancy and extremism. Malala is a victim of their propaganda campaign.
Another objection against her is that she caused harm to the image of Pakistan. I feel sorry for the ignorant people who are sharing this idea. She did not bring any harm to the image of Pakistan, in fact, today the whole world knows Pakistan as Malala’s country. She is giving a new identity to this country. Malala Yousufzai left Pakistan because she was not safe here. She left it but advocated for it at every forum. She raised her voice for millions of girls around the globe who are not able to acquire the education because of the war, poverty and other reasons.
Instead of hating Malala, try to improve the image of Pakistan by promoting the education. Stop dancing on the filthy tunes of those who are enemies of education.