16 and dangerous!
Again I must thank the Monks at the @UnvirtuousAbbey for this week’s sign…
Have you seen this girl interviewed? Malala Yousafzai is a truly amazing young woman. Her stand for women’s rights, her gentleness and humour have taken the world by storm. As a young Muslim woman she is showing everyone what her faith is really about. It is not blowing up buildings and suicide bombs but tolerance and respect for all.
As Gandhi did last century, Malala is showing people of faith around the world (Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jew etc) how their faith should be lived out.
What she is asking is not outrageous, but in the manner of Jesus, it is radical. As I understand it (and are you sitting down for this?) she would like education for women. In the culture where Malala comes from, the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkha province, the local Taliban have decreed that woman must be utterly subservient to men and cannot receive education, among other things (like dignity and equality). Malala challenged this; got shot in the head; recovered and has become one of the world’s leading activists on woman’s rights at the age of 16!
Standing up for the right is a guiding principle behind Christianity; equality for all is another. Jesus didn’t come for the few, or the one’s we like but for EVERYONE and that means young ladies from Pakistan as much as middle aged men from Melbourne. And he came so that those young ladies and middle aged men (and all the rest) may have life in abundance, not clouded with fear and hate but shinning with love and acceptance.
We can all learn so much from Malala. Not just from her message of education for all but also how she delivers it – with patience, humour, love and humility. As we join our voices with hers let us also learn from her and show our faith to the world around us that all may see the grace and love we receive from a loving God and willingly pass on to others.
Watch a clip of Malala here