Imagine living in a country where being a young girl seeking an education is a rare and dangerous thing.
For many young girls living in countries that are being controlled, or under the threat of groups wanting Sharia Law, an education is a rare and very dangerous thing.
Malala is known as, “the girl who was shot for going to school.”
Malala started speaking out against the Pakistani Taliban, supporting the rights of girls and women to an education, since she was a very young girl.
She says on her site, Malala.org, “During this period [~2009], the Taliban’s military hold on the area intensified. As the Taliban took control of the area they issued edicts banning television, banning music, and banning women from going shopping and limiting women’s education.”
In 2011, she was the recipient of Pakastan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, and the Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, nominated her for the International Children’s Peace Prize.
In 2012, because of the attention she was getting, the Pakistani Taliban met and voted that she must be killed.
As a result of that decision, members of the Taliban pulled her school bus over, asked for her by name, and then shot her in the head and neck. Miraculously she survived.
Why at only 15 years old was she such a threat to the Taliban?
The obvious answer is control. These Islamic groups want the countries that they control to be cut off from the rest of the world, and ultimately from Christianity.
Malala is especially influential because she is a Muslim herself. She has become the face for girls’ rights, most of all education rights, within Pakistan. As she matures we can probably bet that she will speak out on other inequalities as well.
Right now she is still taking refuge in the UK, but after receiving all of the education that she can, she plans on returning to Pakistan.
I believe that we as Christians need to show our support to Malala because she is an instrument of change to an area that is currently very hostile to the gospel. In Jesus’s words, “The Truth shall set you free.” The truth of the Gospel is the only thing that will set us free from our sin. However, for Pakistanis, they need to be set free from the lies they are receiving from the Taliban as well. It is courageous men and women, like Malala, that can help bring truth to their own people, and ultimately pave the way for the truth of the gospel.
Watch the trailer for the documentary that tells her story called, “He Named Me Malala,” due in theaters later this year.