Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Everyone Should Stand Up For Malala

By Mariah Pulver
Senior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
"If she survives this time, she won't next time," a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said. "We will certainly kill her."- CNN
Washington, D.C., U.S.A. – I'm a big believer in the saying that actions speak louder than words. But when I read the news about the attack on Malala Yousafzai, I started to believe that maybe words speak louder than actions sometimes. 
Malala is a hero, a fighter, and an unbelievably brave young girl. Through her words on her blog and in interviews, she has been fighting for the rights of women and children and has received attention for her cause in her homeland of Pakistan and beyond. 
Malala Yousafzai's Facebook photo
Malala Yousafzai
The Taliban may even say she started a war. If the words of a 14-year-old girl can upset the Taliban so greatly, I am worried for other girls and women who feel the same way as Malala. The Taliban turned her war of words into a physical war by attempting to take her life. And this quote shows that they won't stop until they accomplish their goal of silencing her. 
Although I don't understand numerous aspects of this situation, the thing I am most confused about was, when did it ever became acceptable to send out a death threat for a child? Since when did the words of a young girl call for such a drastic response?
Not only did the Taliban hurt Malala, but during the incident, they also endangered other girls in the same van that were simply trying to get home from school. They may not be able to scare Malala into stopping her fight for education for women, but they will scare other girls. Making students believe that they will get hurt for furthering their education is a shame. 
Education should be encouraged all over the world, no matter what country or culture or religion someone is from. Knowledge is power and is the key to bettering our world. Scaring people away from school should never happen. 
I want everyone to stand up for Malala. We are fortunate to live in a country where people can't kill you for your beliefs – our First Amendment right protects us from that. But Malala is not as fortunate. Standing up for what you believe in is a cause for celebration, not persecution.
If she was reading this, I would want her to know that I fully support what she is doing and that I admire her bravery. Malala is an inspiration to anyone fighting to enact change. I hope that you all will support her with me because she should know that we believe in her. 

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