Source: Duluth News Tribune
By: M. Imran Hayee,
In America, where freedom prevails and the literacy rate is 99 percent with 40 percent of the population possessing college degrees, fact-checking is a common routine, especially during the heated presidential election campaign. The fact-checkers around the country have been working diligently this fall to untangle candidates’ arguments and claims, some of which have been convoluted and twisted.
In contrast, in a country like Pakistan, where freedom is not a celebrated value and the literacy rate is 57 percent with only 6 percent of the population having college degrees, fact-checking is a rare phenomenon — even when big lies are imposed on citizens.
A few years ago, when the Taliban slowly infiltrated from neighboring Afghanistan and occupied the Swat Valley region of Pakistan, it shut down 200 schools mostly for girls by telling a lie that Islam bars women from getting an education.
An unlikely fact-checker, an 11-year-old girl, Malala Yousafzai, stood up and defended her right to an education, exposing Taliban’s biggest whopper. In an online blog for BBC, she wrote, “I will show them the Quran, what Quran says. Quran didn’t say that girls are not allowed to go to school.” Malala also remembered Prophet Muhammad’s advice that, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim man and Muslim woman.” Using her knowledge and unparalleled courage, Malala repeatedly pleaded with the world to help her people get rid of ignorant and barbaric occupiers. Read further.