We Are All Malala Yousafzai
A great piece here from the Huffington Post about Malala Youisafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot (fortunately not fatally) by the Taliban for exercising her right to an education. If nothing else, it lays to rest the lie that oppression of (and violence against) women is sanctioned by Islam.
The Qur'an is one of the only scriptures that directly addresses women as participants in the process of revelation. Women played pivotal, at times even controversial, political and scholarly roles in the early community. Their voices are clearly heard in hadith literature, often questioning or raised in dissent. The gunman has no place in this story. He spits in the face of the tradition he claims to uphold. Not only did he try and shoot a young girl to death, he did it to prevent every girl from claiming her Qur'anically mandated right formulate her own opinions and act on her conscience. It is so easy to despair in the face of such brutal ignorance and self-delusion. But if we wish to honor Malala, then we must act as she did. Malala understood that every human being, even a young girl, has a moral obligation to respond to injustice. In a CNN interview in 2011, she decried apathy by saying "God will ask you on the day of judgment, "Where were you? Where were you when your people were asking [for] you!"