Friday, October 26, 2012

Malala's Legacy

We all have heard the story about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakastani teen activist who was shot by a Taliban thug who wished to silence her because she advocated for the education of girls in her home town of Swat and her country. Thankfully, Malala survived the attempt and is recovering in a London hospital and was reunited with her father last night.  What we should also be thankful for is Malala's sweeping support in Pakistan with vigils and protests and the condemnation of the Taliban. It's obvious now that the Taliban had not anticipated the widespread condemnation by the Pakistani people because of their horrible act.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy or near tragedy like this to wake a people up, to open their eyes to the reality around them.  We can think of the 1963 church bombing in Alabama by the KKK, which killed four little girls. The deaths provoked national outrage and the U.S. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which President Johnson signed into law.

Something more extreme is necessary for the Taliban, however, who are essentially the 21st century version of the Nazi party. It should be criminal to be a Taliban not just in Pakistan but throughout the world. There is nothing redeeming about them. They butcher people, mainly women, and abhor anything that would rise to intellectual stimulation. To disagree with them marks you for death, as was the case with Malala. Civilized society cannot survive with groups like the Taliban in its midst determined to destroy it.

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