Malala Yousafzai, a courageous young woman who stood up to a terrorist group known as Taliban to fight for her right and the right of all women to attain education. The incident occurred on October 9, 2012 as Malala (15 years old) was going home from school on a bus, an armed man from Taliban boarded her bus and shot Malala in the head. Why did he shoot her, you ask? Malala’s city – Mingora, Pakistan – was coming under the control of Taliban. Taliban started attacking girls’ schools to prevent women from studying. In retaliation, Malala gave a speech (2008, 11 years old) against their actions and preached the conditions of Taliban and Mingora as a blogger to BBC (2009, 12 years old) using the name Gul Mikai. The activism and bravery Malala showed at such young ages is very inspiring, and it is this bravery and retaliation of hers that led to her being shot.
Malala’s story became known worldwide after she was shot and miraculously survived! Malala won a Nobel Peace Prize and rose to fame. After her fame, Malala continues to fight for the right of education for all females, not only in Pakistan but throughout the world.
As you can infer, education is of great importance to Malala and today she is attending Oxford University, mashallah. However, her attire brought a lot of negative comments from Pakistanis. The public is familiar with Malala dressing in traditional Pakistani clothes shalwar kameez and have never seen her wearing western attire until she started attending Oxford University. Malala was seen wearing jeans, a jacket over her shirt, a classy pair of boots, and of course her dupatta (veil). Her dressing caused an uproar in the Pakistani community. Malala still had her veil and was wearing clothes that covered her body as much as a shalwar kameez does (pants until the ankle, shirt until the wrist), yet she was still slut-shamed.
I personally see this shaming of great hypocrisy. There are many Pakistanis who are obsessed with fashion and look down upon people who are close to their deen. Dupatta? Oh, that’s out of fashion! Hijabi? No, I don’t want to marry a hijabi! Woh dekho moulvi agaye! (look there, the moulvi (imam) is coming! (this is used as an insult)) And it is people of this hideous mentality that are shaming Malala. So self-righteous, aren’t you? The very people who are shaming Malala, I can assure you, most – if not all – of them have sisters or friends who wear jeans, or themselves wear jeans in Pakistan. Yet, it is wrong for Malala to wear the cultural clothing of where she is residing while she still covered herself head to toe? How pathetic and hypocritical. Making an issue over someone not wearing shalwar kameez, you are truly miraculous Pakistan.
Secondly, there are talks of Malala being fake among the Pakistani community. They say she’s in it for the money, or for power. She literally has a deformed face due to her being shot! She risked her life time and time again since she was 11 years old to stand up for the right of education. How shallow can one be to call her fake? If I’ll be extremely honest, one thing I have noticed about some Malala haters is that there is always jealousy in their tone whenever they speak of her. Do you want to live in a Taliban occupied city and be shot for standing up for your rights? No, right? Then why the jealousy? Malala deserves her fame far more than Kim Kardashian, Brad Pitt, or any other actor/artist does! We recognize artists and love them, yet we dismiss those who truly deserve to be recognized. What a shame. Malala has also been using the fame and money she gets to continue helping people around the world, she has never used her fame in a negative way and always portrays herself with dignity and respect. All of Malala’s efforts have been overlooked due to conspiracy theories that are completely illogical and now because she wore jeans (tauba tauba!).
I feel sorry for Pakistan, it is the mentality which keeps Pakistan from growing. Then Pakistanis complain why Pakistan is still underdeveloped. If you cannot support a person who is a Pakistani and is trying to better the world, don’t question why your country is not advancing. Your people still have a backward mentality and shame their own people for doing good. Astaghfirullah.
P.S.: I do not say all that I have said through guessing, yes I live outside of Pakistan but I visit often and whenever I visit all I hear is people backbiting and gossiping, others complaining and crying due to the harsh words. I too have been a victim of the toxic society of Pakistan and fell into depression due to their negative culture. Yes, of course, there are many people in Pakistan who are good-hearted and kind, I know many and miss them dearly! Nonetheless, the majority that I have seen are people with minds filled with negativity and ego. Just go to the streets and see how people treat each other (especially rich vs. poor), you’ll see.
And don’t get me wrong, I truly love my home country – which is why I visit often – but some things need to be said so that society can see its faults and try to better itself. If I did not care about Pakistan, I would not have written this post to try to get people to think about where they are going. I truly wish for Pakistan to be a better country and have great hopes in our generation to lead the country towards open-mindedness and overall advancement.