Malala Yousafzai a wonderful young girl, who rose to fame through her fearless and courage’s activism, of educational and women rights and was cowardly shot in the head and neck by the Taliban in 2012, recently made an appeal at the United Nations for world leaders to provide “free, compulsory education” for every child.
Malala’s message is a meaningful one and I love everything she stands for, her message strikes at the very heart of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” insuring the protection and promotion of universal education, women’s rights and the fight against religious extremism. Nonetheless, beyond Malala message, I fear that she is becoming a propaganda tool for western narcissism.
What people have to be aware of is that Malala is not any ordinary Pakistan teenager, her father Ziauddin Yousafzai is an important Pashtun political figure, who has fought against the Taliban in the Swat District, part of Pakistan’s tribal belt. Since Malala’s shooting, Ziauddin has been appointed by Gordon Brown as the UN special adviser on global education. Malala probably partially due to her father’s importance became a media icon before she was shot, writing a blog for the BBC and having a documentary filmed about her life by the New York Times. There is no doubt that on the tragic day Malala got shot by the Taliban, her specialist treatment was not down to the tragic event, but more so the statues of her father and the media attention she has gained. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that Malala did not deserve the treatment she got, but instead that the same treatment would never have happen for an ordinary Pakistani citizen, numerous of which have been injured in US drone attacks.
The truth is ever since Malala wrote for the BBC back in 2009 she has unwittingly helped US foreign policy rhetoric of “they hate our freedoms,” so frequently spoken to legally justify, illegal crimes. However, when Malala was shot the event became a golden ticket for the propaganda machine. As I said previously Malala’s message is an important one and should be promoted. Nonetheless, we have to remember that Malala was no ordinary teenager and her message is so interlocked with the messaged used to justify the continuation of US drone strikes.