13 October 2014

Why Malala Matters So Much

Malala is a 17-year-old Pakistani Muslim.
       Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week.
       Contradiction in terms? Paradox? Coicidence?
       Many of us are quick to point out and condemn the militant fringe of Islam. There are graphic reminders in the media of horrific acts done in the name of Islam. We write articles and blogs, show photos of hostages wearing orange gowns and kneeling before being killed.
       These same observers (many of us "Christian") are mute when it comes to a young Muslim girl who is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Why are we silent about this remarkable news event?
       Perhaps Malala challenges our understanding and perceptions about Muslims and we would prefer to live with the illusion that all Muslims are bad people.
       Perhaps Malala challenges our assumptions about Islam and Islamic theology around the concepts of peace and jihad.
       Perhaps we just prefer to think in black and white categories rather than in shades of grey because we fear becoming relativistic.
       Perhaps Malala's values and passion for a cause (education of girls) challenges our luke warm commitment to anything worth fighting and dying for. Could it be that Malala is acting more "Christian" than many Christians?
”It feels like this life is not my life. It’s a second life. People have prayed to God to spare me and I was spared for a reason — to use my life for helping people.” ~ Malala, interview with ABC News in 2013