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Malala Yousafzai, the Activist and Pakistan, the Desi Phupo

We have all heard of Malala Yousafzai. The brilliant and brave Pakistani activist who was shot down in an attack by the Taliban for fighting for her right to an education. And yet what I also remember is that when she started getting recognition for her activism by making waves towards access to education for girls specifically in areas where there was none, people around me called her an agent of the West who was spreading “yahoodi propaganda” and turning young innocent minds against what our culture stood for.


I wonder why her name was surrounded by such controversy by people who had gone to school and had worked hard to send their own children to school. Was it simply just the hatred for white people and the fact that she was championed by them? Or was it an insecurity based in a patriarchal culture where women fighting for their rights and trying to exercise rights over their mobility is deeply unsettling for many? Was it envy at a young girl who raised her voice for something important, when so many of us cannot do so in fear of being shunned? To this day I have friends and family who scoff at her name and fail to recognize that she brought international spotlight on an issue that has saved many female lives, both figuratively and literally, by giving them a chance to broaden their horizons. To stretch violently against the oppressive walls around them and step out to see what the world has to offer.


And to those who still cannot see the bigger picture I have to say; sometimes it’s best to keep your thoughts to yourself and move along.


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Faizan Qureshi
Faizan Qureshi
2022年7月06日

It is really a pity that had Malala never survived after being shot, she would have been venerated by everyone. Her fault is to have survived and most of al, be globally admired for her courage and determination. Yet it is incredible how a child, a teenager can evoke such hate and outrage without having done anything to tarnish Pakistan; but those who shot at her have not been able to evoke even a fraction of that anger and infuriation.

いいね!

For me, the story of Malala seems to have aspects of misogyny in it, especially in regards to the reaction of the Pakistani people to the entire issue. You raised a wonderful question when you asked "was it an insecurity based in a patriarchal culture where women fighting for their rights and trying to exercise rights over their mobility is deeply unsettling for many?". Misogyny is so deeply imbedded in our patriarchal culture that our people could not stomach a woman having her voice amplified to talk about an issue as important as girls' right to education. Our people would much rather our woman be deprived of basic education and be attacked if they try to get it, that they…

いいね!

The issue of Malala is nothing but insecurities of our people who were not able to achieve what this child got. We are ignorant of the trauma she faced or the kind of mental health problems that she might still be facing. As per the fact of her not coming back, I completely do not mind this she has all the legal rights to stay wherever she wants to live a settled life. A degree from Oxford, global recognition and now a settled family life is something many in Pakistan envision. Calling her out or trolling her is extremely lunatic and uncalled for.

いいね!
返信先

Very valid points. It is also important to highlight how due to the increasing use of social media sites, Muslims from many countries outside Pakistan have also trolled her and called her out for being against Islamic ideals. Such incessant bullying done publicly, especially on apps like instagram must be very difficult to experience.

いいね!

it is very sad to see this kind of hate for a person who stands against a wrong act and raised her voice for the suppressed girls. Adding some more positive highlights of her life, Malala has raised her voice for the welfare of refugees over the past several years and has spoken out against drone strikes, condemned Israel's use of state violence against Palestinians, given money to help Gaza rebuild its schools, and condemned bombs in Afghanistan and crimes in Kashmir.


Malala has so utilized her influence to support individuals who are marginalized by racism, Islamophobia, state brutality, and global capitalism. She has done it with exceptional grace, discretion, and a keen understanding of both regional traditions and international…

いいね!
返信先

Absolutely! It is interesting to see how people directly attack her character without taking into regard her many different contributions to the welfare of this country. It does raise the question of whether she would receive the same hate had she been a man, given how this country has ignored the many "anti Islamic" words and actions that men have spread without any consequences.

いいね!

You highlight a very significant issue, the unfortunate hate that Malala is persecuted for stands to make waves in our issue with the west itself, her getting up and leaving Pakistan just never sat right with Pakistani’s given the amount of negativity they associate with the western world itself. Her position and power as a feminist and a highly educated one as a matter of fact serves greatly for Pakistan her work creating the Malala fund at the end of the day benefits Pakistan greatly since it supports girls and there right to education a facet Pakistanis choose to ignore, rather than placing her as a powerful women who has overcome many difficulties and now stands to create ease for…

いいね!
返信先

Exactly. While I don't agree with half the things that the West has done, I also think that Pakistanis should be more critical of themselves in areas where our policies and laws discriminate and hurt women. Especially female girls and their right to an education and making lives for themselves outside of marriage.

いいね!
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