As Malala Yousufzai rode in a school van in early October, the van was stopped by men riding on bicycles. One man pointed guns at the children, asking, “Where is Malala?”
The Swat Valley in Northwest Pakistan has a population dominated by Pashtuns or Afghans sympathetic to Taliban. Sharia is the rule of law.
School girls had long become accustomed to oppression of women; that is a hallmark of fundamentalist Muslims and terrorists.
Malala's story isn't just a story about women's rights. Her story is about fundamental human rights.
Reuters has covered Malala’s story:
She was shot with two other girls on Tuesday as she left school in Swat, northwest of Islamabad. One of the girls is out of danger and the other remains in critical condition...A Taliban spokesman said she was targeted for trying to spread Western culture and that they would try to kill her again if she survived.
As the shooting was publicized, predictable statements of outrage came forth from the United Nations, President Barack Obama and others.
Little has come forth, however, from champions of women’s rights in America. The Sandra Flukes of the world go quiet unless it’s politically expedient.
In too many villages to count, girls are confined to medieval times. They may not drive or go to school. They may not choose their own husband. They may not see a male doctor even if there’s no female and they need lifesaving treatment.
Above all, these girls cannot speak out.
Women in countries ruled by tyrants can only have their voices heard if women in free countries speak on their behalf. Both men and women in countries ruled by tyrants risk their lives to speak against oppression.
On Sept. 11 when terrorists attacked the U.S. Consulate in Libya, murdering four Americans, the whole U.S. government apologized for a film made by an amateur who was presumably not connected to the U.S. government. Not a single government official came out of the gate to tell the world Americans can make fun of whatever we want to. We may not like what others say, but many of our ancestors died to protect that right.
One leader reminded the world of the significance of freedom of speech—GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Malala struggles for her life because she believed in something larger than herself.
At the moment, I don’t see a leader at the federal level as brave as that teen girl who boarded a bus in Pakistan because she wants an education and ended up in a hospital with bullets in her head and neck.
Leftwing women in the U.S.—please don’t call them liberals because they are not—bought into the Obama administration’s mandate to religious institutions on the issues of contraceptives and abortion drugs. Those women stepped onto a soapbox to demand that faiths like Catholicism directly or indirectly cover contraceptives and abortion drugs in insurance policies.
Conservatives and “small l” libertarians saw the government diktat for what it was—a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Those same leftwing women completely missed the boat on the actual argument. Those same women readily sacrifice rights for politics, the Constitution for expediency and freedom for a few dollars.
Where are your voices, women? Where is your outrage over a 14-year-old who lies in a hospital bed simply because she wanted to go to school?
Non-interventionists, how do you sleep at night?
In June, 2011, women in Saudi Arabia held Women2Drive. It seems strange to us that a country doesn’t permit a woman to drive a car. The women pressing for that right risked life and limb to do so—they couldn’t hold a protest. That’s illegal.
Centralized media was mum. Our president said nothing. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton was mute.
If it had been left up to people like those running our country right now, most of Europe would be speaking German.
Someone should tell the Obama administration that freedom of speech really does matter. Once that is taken away, your daughter might end up with bullets in her neck and head simply because she disagreed with those who held control in the interest of power, not faith.
Taliban formed in 1994 when Bill Clinton was president. Like Democrats who came before him, he underestimated the potential of a dangerous group of radicals bent on silencing and killing those who defy their power.
Neither the U.S. government nor Democrat-allied media told Americans the truth about what was happening in countries like Afghanistan in the 1990s. We paid a heavy price for propaganda.
If nothing changes, we’ll continue to pay that price.
Sec. Clinton mentioned Malala in her address about the International Day of the Girl on Oct. 10. Clinton couldn’t bring herself to call Taliban “terrorists,” opting instead for the term “extremists.”
Related at The US Report
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Oct. 11, 2012)