Defiance in the face of evil
A simple act of defiance. To 14 year old girls in Canada it could mean staying out too late. Or dating the wrong guy. In Canada it could mean grounding or restrictions on cell phone use. In some parts of the world a simple act of defiance could result in a bullet to the head.
People across the country held vigils this week for a 14-year-old girl who was shot and seriously wounded a day earlier by Taliban gunman on her school bus because she'd criticized the militant group and advocated for education for girls, beginning when she was just 11. Pakistanis have been outraged by the attack on Malala Yousufzai, who is admired around the world and by many in her home country, with many hoping the anger will lead to a turning point in Pakistan's battle against the Taliban. The country's top military officer even condemned the shooting and visited the hospital to check on the the teen. Malala appeared to be out of immediate danger yesterday after doctors removed a bullet from her neck, but she remained in intensive care.
The story itself brings two issues into focus. One anyone who questioned why we were in Afghanistan for so long can see the kind of Neanderthal thinking that the Taliban continues to force upon people…hiding behind a twisted interpretation of a holy book. And two…the complicity of the Pakistani government who have ceded vast amounts of its country to the Taliban…the same country that says they didn’t know Osama Bin Laden was living in a fortified compound yards away from a military base for a decade.
More than anything else though it magnifies the fact that in too many parts of the world a simple act of defiance can result in a bullet to the head. In this case the simple act of being a girl and wanting to go to school.