Why I hate Malala

Viewpoint: by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid –

How can I accept Malala to be a hero, when her speeches do not have any Islamic or nationalistic agenda? How can I consider her to be my future leader when nothing she says or does imbues a false sense of superiority in me as a Muslim or a Pakistani? How can I accept that a young girl was able to highlight who our actual enemies are, when grown up men in our parliaments are still hell bent on befriending them? How can I rejoice at Malala’s global achievement when I’ve been taught all my life that a girl’s place is in the kitchen? I just can’t.  

Over the past few weeks, what with the Nobel hoopla and all, everyone has had something to say or write about Malala Yousafzai. The politicians propagated their own agenda, liberal fascists whined about their cause and journalists used the issue to put forward their personal agendas through the debate surrounding that girl. Some writers wrote satires that were taken seriously, others wrote serious pieces that weren’t taken seriously and then there were the white man’s burden, brown man’s burden and burdens that came in other colours, being discussed in articles that tried to complicate a debate that has been pretty simple all along.




4 replies

  1. Malala is a brilliant girl and she and her family suffered a lot due to militancy in the region. Yet, I would prefer to follow the line taken by Prof Omid Safi that we must seek ways how to stop her misappropriation by the media.

    The area, Swat, she is coming from, represents one of the most “liberal” and culturally accommodating spaces in the Pashtun belt. Some of the best educational institutions are still in Swat valley where even students from other parts of the region seek admissions. Thousands of girls of every age go to school, colleges and university. As opposed to the adjacent area of Dir, the Swat valley has historically been quite open to modernity. The erstwhile princely state of Swat was ruled by the Wali Swat family when in 1926, the valley became a princely state under the British rule. In 1969, the princely state was dissolved and became part of the North-West province. As opposed to many other parts of the region, the Wali Swat family took special interest in promoting education. That impact can be seen even today. I have been through every nook and corner of Swat valley, and I can hardly recognize the representation of that area that is made in the media through her.

    I think Malala’s image is more than just a symbol that the “West” has used to criticize the “East.”That’s pretty simplistic. She is a symbol for all that support girl’s education against extremist groups. I see the author’s point of view, and yes, some will use her as a “White Saviour Complex” tool, but I hold that her significance transcends the East/West divide, the White/Brown divide, developed/developing world divide, etc. A lot of people everywhere are rooting for Malala and for girls’ education. Lots of people of all shades would like to save girls from this kind of thing. And it hasn’t only been the Western media that discussed her contribution, either. And… she recently did lecture Obama on the drone strikes.

    I’m glad she didn’t get the Nobel Prize, though; I think she’s too young and it is too much of a burden for a 16 year old to live with. Let’s see what she does next. She’s a brilliant girl. I support Malala, I support the right to education for all, I just cannot stand the hypocrisy of Western politicians and media as they pick and choose, congratulating themselves for something that they have caused. Malala is the good native, she does not criticise the West, she does not talk about the drone strikes, she is the perfect candidate for the white man to relieve his burden and save the native.
    The Western saviour complex has hijacked Malala’s message. The West has killed more girls than the Taliban have. The West has denied more girls an education via their missiles than the Taliban has by their bullets. The West has done more against education around the world than extremists could ever dream of. So, please, spare us the self-righteous and self-congratulatory message that is nothing more than propaganda that tells us that the West drops bombs to save girls like Malala.

  2. She is a courageous youth!
    But would she have been acknowledged the same way if she was killed in a drone attack in Pakistan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.