spends a lot of time talking and listening to other people talk.
This time however the speaker was a remarkable and courageous young lady
named Malala Yousafzai
She was born in the Swat valley of Pakistan. A region where the rule of civilisation
is often distant and where the rule of religion is often close and deadly.
The Taliban travel across her home land spreading their Dark Age tyranny.
Destroying schools and murdering teachers and pupils alike
This did not stop her speaking about education for all and her audience grew
larger and larger. As the media began to broadcast her words to the world even
governments came to listen.
In 2012 the Taliban tried to murder her. She was shot once in the head and
critically injured. The Taliban spokesman said that she was sentenced to death
because she had “become a symbol of the infidels and obscenity”.
To the Taliban education for girls is an obscenity!
She did not die and was in fact flown here to the UK to recover thanks to the
first class support she received from doctors and nurses with all too much
experience in dealing with the aftermath of bullets.
When she was able to talk and write she continued her cause of education for
all which led to her being sponsored to speak before the UN.
Yesterday, on the 12th of July, her 16th birthday, she spoke.
The speech is here.
Every culture and religion that seeks to deny education to some or all of their
people fears learning and knowledge. They seek to rule by keeping everyone
ignorant and fearful, unable to think for themselves.
The Taliban along with far too many cultures that embrace a Dark Age Religion
deny education and learning to girls. They see women as property, as slaves,
as sub human.
Women make up half of humanity. To deny them education is to deny half of
Consider three cases:
Malala Yousafzai who speaks with such passion about the rights of
all children to an education.
Elif Bilgin who has developed a way to turn waste banana peels
into bio plastic
Ann Makosinski who has invented a torch powered by human body
Ann comes from Canada, a nation where education is not at risk.
Elif comes from Turkey, a nation where, today, education for girls is at risk
along with other freedoms as the country slides towards the tyranny of an
Islamic Dark Age.
Malala comes from a part of the world where schools for girls are attacked and
destroyed, the teachers and students attacked and all too frequently killed as well.
We live in a nation where education is guaranteed. Where it is considered by
many children to be a chore. Our boys and girls have never lacked for schooling
and we all take it for granted. But sadly in all too much of the world education
is not guaranteed.
If we say nothing, do nothing and simply watch while savage cultures and a
tyrannical religion try to deny education to girls then two of these three young
women would not be on this list and the world as a whole would be a darker and
more ignorant place.
Knowledge, Learning, Education. These are the beacons of civilisation; they hold
back the darkness of ignorance, barbarity and inhumanity.
To deny them to children is let that darkness grow and spread.
It is easy to stand back and let the lights of civilization go out one by one because
they are far away and don't matter.
But the lights of civilization are like the stars in the night sky. Taken individually
they are tiny and dim but taken all together they light the world.
Every one that goes dark is a tiny bit less light for everyone else and by the time
you think the darkness is close enough to worry about its just you left with a
If you see one of the campaigns supporting Education for all children please
support them. A few pounds if you can or a few minutes of your time if you find
yourself with limited funds. Use Facebook, Twitter and every form of social media
to tell your friends and to spread the word.
A few minutes of your time is not much to ask when you are helping to bring the
light of civilisation and humanity to every dark corner of the world.