By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Add Malala Yousafzai To List Of Those Who Fought For Truth

October 15, 2012 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 12 Comments A+ / A-
Add Malala Yousafzai To List Of Those Who Fought For Truth

“Truth crushed to earth will rise again.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. (quoting William Cullen Bryant)

Sometimes, oceans are not enough.

Usually, the fact that we are barricaded on both sides by great bodies of water gives us in this country a certain sense of remove from the awful things people with funny names do to one another in strange places on the far side of the globe. But once in a while, the thing is awful enough that you can’t ignore it, or pretend that it is less real.

Such is the case with Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl whose shooting last week on a school bus in the Swat Valley sparked headlines and outrage here and around the world. Yousafzai, who at this writing is in critical condition after emergency surgery, has been an Internet activist, agitating for women’s access to education.

The Taliban considers that a capital crime. It claimed responsibility for the men who stopped the bus and boarded it, who asked for Malala by name and, when she was identified, shot her and fled. The group has said that if Malala survives, it will come for her again. It says her death is required under Islamic law.

But make no mistake: Islam is not their religion. It is their excuse.

There are two reasons this story crossed the ocean. The first is that it is appalling. Human garbage does not get much ranker than a man who boards a school bus to kill a child. The second is that it is recognizable, that we see in their mad religious and ideological fundamentalism ghostly shadows of our own.

Granted, the outspoken child in this country is not in particular danger of physical violence from religious or ideological zealots. But the abortion doctor is. The gay couple is. The Muslim-American is.

Fundamentalism is fundamentalism wherever it breeds, always the same dark stain of unbending literalism, always the same shrill claim that it guards the one true path to enlightenment, always the same crazed insistence that the one unforgivable crime against faith, the one inexcusable heresy of ideology, is to ask questions.

Pages →  1 2

Add Malala Yousafzai To List Of Those Who Fought For Truth Reviewed by on . "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. (quoting William Cullen Bryant) Sometimes, oceans are not enough. Usually, the fact that we "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. (quoting William Cullen Bryant) Sometimes, oceans are not enough. Usually, the fact that we Rating:

More by Leonard Pitts Jr.

U.S. Citizens Have A Right To Protest, Even In Ferguson

If we don't stand up for our Constitutional rights, they could disappear.

Read more...

Cheerios, Gay Marriage And The Supreme Court

We've come very far, very fast in the quest for equality.

Read more...

You Almost Feel Sorry For Sean Groubert

America's unresolved racial tension led to tragedy. Again.

Read more...

Tags

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    The sad truth is that those who stand for the truth often pay a heavy price for speaking out, fighting for a better future, and remaining true to their values. We live in a world where arrogance, egotism, greed and hatred are considered virtues and absolte evidence of Judeo-Christian values; and compassion, tolerance, helping one another, and showing respect for the opinion of others is regarded as evidence of evil socialism. Sadly, it is becoming evident that the outcome of this election depends more on illusions, perceptions and lies than the truth.

  • bcarreiro

    we are the lucky ones………god bless her.

  • grmce

    I wish to correct your heading to this story. Malala Yousafzai is fighting for truth. Her very survival and the outpouring of anger at this despicable attack on this young lady is as much a part of the fight against ignorance as any action you could contemplate.

    The only thing I might add is that the world could do with many more people, of all cultures, religions and genders, with the vision and courage of Malala.

  • al ali

    All due respect to you sir, but what exactly is so funny about her name? What is so funny about the names of people in other countrys? How about Zbignew Braginski, huffington, obama and even your name—leonard pitts? yes your name is just as funny because when someone is learning english as a foreigh language, they will translate PITTS as something that means low down—ie—-the bottom of the barrel!!!!

    • mbm

      What are you talking about? I read all comments thinking you were referring to a comment made, then realized you meant the author. This author wrote a powerful and moving tribute to Malala, comparing her with others who also showed courage, honor and stood up against injustice and cruelty. I can find nothing in this piece where the author made fun of this girl’s name! I would ask you to carefully read this article again as it extols the actions of this girl and condemns the cowardly and evil Taliban!

      • ralphkr

        Kindly note, mbm, that the first sentence of the third paragraph contains the phrase: “sense of remove from the awful things people with funny names do to one another in strange places on the far side of the globe”. However, I must add that I feel al ali rather overreacted to that phrase since it encompassed “funny names” everywhere and not just the young girl’s and my impression was that the people with “funny names” were the Taliban who boarded the bus.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joel.sorenson.9 Joel Sorenson

      al ali,

      He was using the funny name comment to point out the void between the insulated american collective mind and the rest of the world. It is a figure of speech like a similie or a metaphore. It was meant to highlight the huge gap between the rest of the world and the average american in terms of awareness. It was not meant to offend. I have studied several languages and this is the hardest thing to spot…it’s almost slang but more subtle.

      It is, however, true that this act makes Malala an immortal in the fight for human rights world wide and the attempt to silence her has failed miserably. If anything they just handed her cause a bull horn.

  • mbm

    A beautiful young innocent soul demonstrating courage beyond her years. In stark contrast with the Taliban terrorists who demonstrate cowardice and evil. I pray for Malala, this brave young girl and all she stands for.

  • grammyjill

    She has bee moved to the military hospital in England. Getting top care. Lets pray she gets better and can effect a change. It is already coming about in her home town. I hope it spreds like wildfire!

  • bwmconst

    Blessings and Namaste to Malala, we are forever in her debt….As far as fundamentalism…It is like concrete, “all mixed up and set in it’s ways”…Yes,….a heart of stone, and so it will always be, never reflecting the goodness of a great mind, or heart….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z5KGPKNZDWVNTCNUOGN2JFIVUQ SRS

    A great analysis of Fundamentalism. The KKK used their “Christian” religious beliefs to justify their stand against those of other races, blacks, Jews, and other nationalities. And Fundamentalism coupled with religion goes across the board to many other religions as well. The underlying factor in this is hatred for others, using or abusing the faiths that such miscreants supposedly espouse. But in this one must examine the books of their faith to see if they are acting on certain passages that they can use to justify their acts. I have taken the time and labor to study and read the Koran. And in this I am appalled at what I have read. To understand this Islamic faith; all of us that are appalled at the acts of the Taliban, must do the same. Read the Koran to see where Islamic fundamentalists get their ideas to to justify their horrific acts.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/V5VJHFMIHR6LSN4QP2444IQNKI Elle T.

    “Funny” meaning unfamiliar, perhaps puzzling. It is useless to try to reason with people who engage in literalism. We know it is characteristic (and forgivable) f0r children to indulge in being literal as a subsstitute for reasoning, but in adults?

scroll to top