Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Malala's stunning words

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani student who champions the cause of education for girls in tribal Pakistan. She is just sixteen years old; at 14 she was shot in the head by the Taliban. Still carrying the scars of that incident, Malala continues her fight against Taliban oppression of women.

Recently, she spoke in an interview with Jon Stewart. She was faced with the question, 'What would you do if you came face to face with your enemies again?' Her reply stunned the interviewer.

Her reply was (emphasis mine):

I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said 'if he comes, what would you do Malala?' then I would reply to myself, 'Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.' But then I said 'if you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.' Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that 'I even want education for your children as well,' and I will tell him, 'that's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'

Although she is not a Christian, Malala spoke volumes of the truth of Christ's message of compassion and not giving 'an eye for an eye'.

Jesus says,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also." (Matthew 5:38-39 NIV)

The apostle Paul says,

On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." (Romans 12:20 NIV)

In a world filled with cruelty and oppression, a sixteen year old Muslim girl terrifies a warring faction with words of peace and compassion reminiscent of Christ Jesus. How ironic!

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