Malala, the Nobel Prize who scares Taliban and ayatollahs, and wages war on them

This year, that pompous jury made it at least, and gave Malala Yousafzai the Nobel Prize for Peace. Last year, they had snubbed her, despite she almost gave her life to pave the way for every girl to have an education in a world crowded with murderous Taliban. Even in Oslo, they realized how it has become impossible to tolerate the violence of extremist Islam toward women anymore, or the prohibition of every liberty they undergo since their childhood. These are times in which every day you hear news about women being kidnapped, raped or killed. So, Malala came back to the attention of the Nobel’s jury as the champion of any girl who wants to have an education. She is only seventeen, but she has already had a life full of traumatic experiences, and in her small round face you can see the signs of her denied childhood.

In order to dedicate the Prize to all the children, while at the same time refraining from the criticism that the hyper-conformist jury of the Nobel Prize cannot stand, another name of equal merit has been chosen as a co-winner: Kailash Satyarthi. He is Indian, she is Pakistani, and this aspect has certainly not been ignored by those who love politically correctness above anything else.

This has also been confirmed by the strange prize awarded to the European Union in 2012, the bizarre prize to Obama in 2009, and the one bestowed on Mohamed El Baradei, who de facto, as the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, did not denounce the truth about the ayatollahs building the nuclear bomb. The prize has been given also to Arafat, who refused to make peace with Israel and is the father of international terrorism, and to Rigoberta Menchú on the basis of information that were later proved to be false.

This time, though, the winners are really deserving. Satyarthi, who is now sixty years-old, is active since the ’90s against the exploitation of children, helped to free at least eighty thousand kids from slavery, organized marches and sit-ins, created a trademark to certify that children are not involved in the production of certain goods, and defied a cynical and very dangerous worlds.

The fact that he has been awarded too is a good thing, as long as Malala’s hard and thorny message, which concerns hundreds of thousands of girls and women worldwide, will not be weakened. According to the jury, that seventeen years-old girl, the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, “has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education”. But there is more to it: Malala is a heroine in a world that does not hesitate to make victims or instruments of death out of children, a world where girls are segregated, kept ignorant, exploited as sexual slaves, and married to much older men. She was only eleven when she started to write a blog for the BBC, where she described the outright hell of the Swat district, her home, occupied by Taliban who had blown up the girls’ school and used to lash “apostates” in the mosque.

A hell where radio, TV, cinema, music, vaccinations, tapes, dancing, singing, and TV series were banned, and where the Taliban had killed a female dancer and threw her body in the main square. In October 2012, Malala’s father, who was in Illinois at that time, was informed that his daughter was dying after the Taliban had shot her in the head. She had written in her diary: “Today I did some household chores, and my homework. But my heart was beating fast, as I have to go to school tomorrow”. Malala remained between life and death for a long time and recovered after being transferred to the UK, where she is living now. Her Nobel Prize is upsetting the conservatives in Pakistan: Liaqat Baloch, a leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious-political party, noted that the girl “is getting a lot of support and patronage abroad”, which “creates a lot of suspicions”.

Some other people from Pakistan suggested that even the attack in which she was wounded was a CIA job, while the Taliban branded her as an “American spy”. But they also explained that “the Quran says that people propagating against Islam would be killed” and that, according to Shariah, “even a child can be killed if he is propagating against Islam”.

Malala’s Nobel Prize goes actually far beyond its immediate meaning as an award for the right to education for all the children. Her well deserved fame not only points out at the right to learn, but it is also an act of accusation against the little girls’ condition in the Islamic world, against their oppression, violence, early marriage and slavery still so widespread worldwide.

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (October 11, 2014)

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.