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article imageReview: ‘Malala — Shot for Going to School’ Special

By Alexander Baron     Oct 8, 2013 in Politics
Birmingham - At the age of 15, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Islamist fanatics. She should have died, but a year on you can hardly tell.
It is clear when you see her face close up that she is not an ordinary teenager, but in many other ways she is exceptional. Her story has been well documented, but here she speaks to the BBC's Mishal Husain, who also visits the classroom where she went to school in her native Pakistan. Husain speaks Punjabi and Urdu, but these were superfluous because like almost all educated Asians, Malala speaks the lingua franca of the known Universe better than the natives. She has also relocated here, at least for the time being, to Birmingham where she underwent the operations that saved her life, reconstructed her skull and restored her hearing.
Education is what this is all about, because unlike Western so-called women's rights activists who have nothing better to do than campaign for censorship, girls and women in the Taliban hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan run the risk of being murdered if they are seen ogling the front page of the Sun, much less page 3.
This half hour documentary is currently on the Panorama website, and will be there for a year. Malala is likely to be back in the news a long time before that, this week if she becomes the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize as widely mooted. If you don't understand why, here is why. Inspirational stuff.
Having said that, it will be amusing to see what Malala has to say when she sees the full extent of the human rights movement in the UK, the US and the West generally. The main reason an educated Pakistani women goes to university is to find a husband who will be worthy of her dowry, however modest, something Malala's is not likely to be now. And somehow one suspects this is not a girl who will go out on a limb to campaign for "a woman's right to choose", much less gay marriage.
More about Malala Yousafzai, Taliban, Terrorism, Mishal Husain
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