Sunday, July 7, 2013

Malala's Been Co-opted

Last year this web site identified Malala Yousafzai as one of the human beings we admire most. That hasn't changed. But we do deplore the shallow and shortsighted thinking of her petition on Change.org:

"
On 15 June fourteen girls were murdered in Pakistan simply because they wanted an education. Many people know my story but there are stories every day of children fighting for an education. The basic right to education is under attack around the world.
We need change now and I need your help to achieve it.
You can help me and girls and boys across the world. We are asking the United Nations General Assembly to fund new teachers, schools, books and recommit to getting every girl and boy in school by December 2015.
This July 12th is my 16th birthday and I am personally delivering this petition to the United Nations Secretary General Bank Ki Moon.
I became a victim of terrorism after I spoke out in favour of education of girls. These innocent girls killed in Pakistan have nothing to do with politics and only wanted to empower themselves through education.
If we want to bring change, if we want progress, if we want development, if we want the education of girls, we should be united. We should not wait. We should do it now.
"

Humans are fallible; the best of us make mistakes. Does education for girls--or boys--have to depend on U.N. imperialism? I hope not. I must regretfully and respectfully decline to sign this petition...while wishing Malala Yousafzai the sweetest of sixteenth birthdays.

You readers may, of course, click here and do as you think best.