Malala Yousafzai (born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist.
- 1 Quotes
- 1.1 Malala's diary, 2009
- 1.2 Interview with a Pakistani Television network, 2011-12
- 1.3 UN speech (2013)
- 1.4 Inauguration of Library of Birmingham (2013)
- 1.5 Statement to the 32nd congress of Pakistani Marxists
- 1.6 Interview on CNN with Christiane Amanpour (October 11, 2013)
- 1.7 Statements during conversation with the World Bank
- 1.8 Statements in PBS interview with Margaret Warner (October 11, 2013)
- 1.9 Other quotes
- 2 Quotes about Yousafzai
- 3 External links
Malala's diary, 2009
- I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taliban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid going to school because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools. Only 11 students attended the class out of 27. The number decreased because of Taliban’s edict.
- Malala. "I am afraid", Saturday 3 January 2009; Cited in: Malala Yousafzai: Portrait of the girl blogger, bbc.co.uk, 10 October 2012
- On my way from school to home I heard a man saying “I will kill you.” I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone.
- Malala. "I am afraid", Saturday 3 January 2009; Cited in: Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl at news.bbc.co.uk. 19 January 2009
Interview with a Pakistani Television network, 2011-12
Malala in Interview with a Pakistani Television network, 2011-12; Cited in: The girl who wanted to go to school." The New Yorker by Basharat Peer, posted October 10, 2012
- In a situation where a lifelong school break was being imposed upon us by the terrorists, rising up against that became very important, essential.
- I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.
UN speech (2013)
As quoted in The full text: Malala Yousafzai delivers defiant riposte to Taliban militants with speech to the UN General Assembly, The Independent, (12 July, 2013)
- I don’t know where to begin my speech. I don’t know what people would be expecting me to say, but first of all thank you to God for whom we are equal and thank you to every person who has prayed for my fast recovery and new life.
- Dear brothers and sisters, do remember one thing: Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.
- Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak not for myself, but so those without a voice can be heard. Those who have fought for their rights. Their right to live in peace. Their right to be treated with dignity. Their right to equality of opportunity. Their right to be educated.
- Dear friends, on 9 October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. And my dreams are the same. Dear sisters and brothers, I am not against anyone. Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group. I am here to speak for the right of education for every child. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all the terrorists and extremists. I do not even hate the Talib who shot me.
- Even if there was a gun in my hand and he was standing in front of me, I would not shoot him. This is the compassion I have learned from Mohamed, the prophet of mercy, Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha. This the legacy of change I have inherited from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. This is the philosophy of nonviolence that I have learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa. And this is the forgiveness that I have learned from my father and from my mother. This is what my soul is telling me: be peaceful and love everyone.
- The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them. This is why they killed 14 innocent students in the recent attack in Quetta. And that is why they kill female teachers. That is why they are blasting schools every day because they were and they are afraid of change and equality that we will bring to our society. And I remember that there was a boy in our school who was asked by a journalist: “Why are the Taliban against education?”He answered very simply by pointing to his book, he said: “A Talib doesn’t know what is written inside this book.”
- They think that God is a tiny, little conservative being who would point guns at people’s heads just for going to school. These terrorists are misusing the name of Islam for their own personal benefit. Pakistan is a peace-loving, democratic country. Pashtuns want education for their daughters and sons. Islam is a religion of peace, humanity and brotherhood. It is the duty and responsibility to get education for each child, that is what it says. Peace is a necessity for education. In many parts of the world, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan, terrorism, war and conflicts stop children from going to schools. We are really tired of these wars. Women and children are suffering in many ways in many parts of the world.
- There was a time when women activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But this time we will do it by ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women’s rights, but I am focusing on women to be independent and fight for themselves. So dear sisters and brothers, now it’s time to speak up. So today, we call upon the world leaders to change their strategic policies in favour of peace and prosperity. We call upon the world leaders that all of these deals must protect women and children’s rights. A deal that goes against the rights of women is unacceptable.
- We call upon all governments to ensure free, compulsory education all over the world for every child. We call upon all the governments to fight against terrorism and violence. To protect children from brutality and harm. We call upon the developed nations to support the expansion of education opportunities for girls in the developing world. We call upon all communities to be tolerant, to reject prejudice based on caste, creed, sect, colour, religion or agenda to ensure freedom and equality for women so they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realise their full potential.
- Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child’s bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education. No one can stop us. We will speak up for our rights and we will bring change to our voice. We believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the whole world because we are all together, united for the cause of education. And if we want to achieve our goal, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness.
- So let us wage a glorious struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism, let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first. Thank you.
Inauguration of Library of Birmingham (2013)
As quoted in 'I'm a Brummie now', says Malala, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, as she opens huge new library in her adopted home city, Mail Online, (3 January, 2013)
- It is my dream that one day, great buildings like this one will exist in every corner of the world so every child can grow up with the opportunity to succeed.
- The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives.
- There is no greater weapon than knowledge and no greater source of knowledge than the written word.
- Birmingham is very special for me because it is here that I found myself alive, seven days after I was shot... It is now my second home, after my beloved Pakistan.
- We must speak up for the children of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan who are suffering from terrorism, poverty, child labour and child trafficking. Let us help them through our voice, action and charity. Let us help them to read books and go to school. And let us not forget that even one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.
Statement to the 32nd congress of Pakistani Marxists
As quoted on the website of the IMT:
- First of all I’d like to thank The Struggle and the IMT for giving me a chance to speak last year at their Summer Marxist School in Swat and also for introducing me to Marxism and Socialism. I just want to say that in terms of education, as well as other problems in Pakistan, it is high time that we did something to tackle them ourselves. It’s important to take the initiative. We cannot wait around for any one else to come and do it. Why are we waiting for someone else to come and fix things? Why aren’t we doing it ourselves? I would like to send my heartfelt greetings to the congress. I am convinced Socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades to take this struggle to a victorious conclusion. Only this will free us from the chains of bigotry and exploitation.
Interview on CNN with Christiane Amanpour (October 11, 2013)
- I think that it's really an early age...I would feel proud, when I would work for education, when I would have done something, when I would be feeling confident to tell people, 'Yes! I have built that school; I have done that teachers' training, I have sent that (many) children to school'...Then if I get the Nobel Peace Prize, I will be saying, Yeah, I deserve it, somehow...I want to become a Prime Minister of Pakistan, and I think it's really good. Because through politics I can serve my whole county. I can be the doctor of the whole country...I can spend much of the money from the budget on education," she told It appears that becoming prime minister is a means to the end she has dedicated her life to...[in recalling when she got shot] He asked, 'Who is Malala?' He did not give me time to answer his question...He fired three bullets...One bullet hit me in the left side of my forehead, just above here, and it went down through my neck and into my shoulder...But still if I look at (it), it's a miracle...A Nobel Peace Prize would help me to begin this campaign for girls' education...But the real call, the most precious call, that I want to get and for which I'm thirsting and for which I want to struggle hard, that is the award to see every child to go to school, that is the award of peace and education for every child. And for that, I will struggle and I will work hard.
Statements during conversation with the World Bank
- The best way to fight terrorism is not through guns. It's through pens, books, teachers and schools
- I am proud to be a girl. We girls can change the world!
- Everyday is our day and we are going to speak for ourselves and for our rights.
- I believe in the power of the voice of women.
- If you educate a child, there will be no poverty.
- I believe that today's dreams become tomorrow's reality. And let us make our dreams become tomorrow's reality.
- If we work together, it is easy for us to achieve our goal. Now millions of girls are raising their voices for education.
Statements in PBS interview with Margaret Warner (October 11, 2013)
- I think I have more plans for my future from now and I think we must start work for a campaign now so we have set up a Malala foundation. And through Malala fund we are going to educate girls and we want to do work on the ground: building schools, teachers, training, trying to motivate parents of the children to send their children to school. We also want to recognize those girls who are fighting for their rights. In the future when I grow older, much older I want to do politics. I want to serve my country for politics. I want to help my people and I want to help in education.
- First of all, my father inspired me...he is a great social activist and women's rights activist...he spoke out. And he spoke for women's rights...that hard situation, he inspired me, because he spoke. And that's what I learned from him.
- I think....living in such a hard situation when there are terrorists and they slaughter people every night is still hard -- is still a threat. So it's a better idea to speak out for your rights and then die...we will speak out for our rights. This is what we can do, and we tried our best.
- In 2009, there was a military operation against the Taliban, and that military operation became successful, because the people of Swat spoke for their rights, and they said that we want to see peace in our valley. And after that, girls started going to school. Our life was getting normal; women were allowed to go to markets, and a change was coming in our society. And many schools were then rebuilt as well. But later on, I was shot, and then I had to be in U.K. because of my treatment...Many girls do not go to school because of poverty. Some girls can't go to school because of the child labor and child trafficking. Some parents don't send their children to school, because they don't know its importance at all, and some girls don't go to school because of the cultural norms and taboos. So there are still many issues that are stopping girls to go to school.
- The first thing is that the Taliban have misunderstood Islam....I think they have not read Quran, even, because in Islam it is said that it is the right of every girl and every boy to get education, to get knowledge. Islam says about equality, there's no difference between a man and a woman. Islam tells us to respect each other, don't judge either other on the basis of religion. Respect each other, be kind to each other, and this is brotherhood that we have learned from Islam. So I think the terrorists have forgotten that.
- The first thing is that it's one's right to express his feeling or her feelings. When I look at the group that speak against me in Pakistan, or anywhere, it's a very small group, a very tiny group....So I think I must not lose hope, and I must not look at the small group.
- I think the Taliban did not threaten me. He just reminded me the threats, that - remember....they have already threatened me when I was in Swat, and then later on they attacked me. But the thing is, that now I'm living a second life. And God has given me this new life for the cause of education, and I believe that even death is supporting the cause of education, even death does not want to kill me, so how can those Taliban kill me then? And I think that I must not be afraid of death....I have seen death already. So now I'm more powerful. Now I'm more courageous. And I will continue my campaign.
- But it's the love of people, and I think it's just a great honor for me that now people -- now I can reach people. So this is such a great heart that God has given me to reach people, and I'm thankful to God, and I'm thankful to people as -- for their love and support.
- Pakistan is the country where I was born, and I am a patriotic citizen of Pakistan, and I love my country. And I want to be sincere to my country.....And I have chosen politics, because through politics, I can serve the whole country.
- If we just forget about the decision that was taken about the Nobel Peace Prize, I think people gave me their prize. They nominated me. And that is the great prize for me....I'll serve my whole life for that, for that is the prize that I want to get in my life.
- Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons.
- One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution, education first.
- We can fight war through dialogue, peace and education.
As quoted by AFP:
- "My father says that education is neither Eastern or Western. Education is education: it's the right of everyone. The thing is that the people of Pakistan have supported me. They don't think of me as Western. I am a daughter of Pakistan and I am proud that I am a Pakistani. On the day when I was shot, and on the next day, people raised the banners of 'I am Malala'. They did not say 'I am Taliban'. They support me and they are encouraging me to move forward and to continue my campaign for girls' education...We want to help every child in every country that we can. We will start from Pakistan and Afghanistan and Syria now, especially because they are suffering the most and they are on the top that need our help. Later on in my life I want to do politics and I want to become a leader and to bring the change in Pakistan. I want to be a politician in Pakistan because I don't want to be a politician in a country which is already developed."
As quoted by Business Insider and from an interview on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart:
- I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, 'If he comes, what would you do Malala?' then I would reply to myself, 'Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.' But then I said, 'If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.' Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that 'I even want education for your children as well.' And I will tell him, 'That's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'
As quoted across the media, including in The Telegraph, a statement after meeting with President Obama:
- I thanked President Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.
Statement on the Noble Prize as noted on twitter
- Congratulations [on the] @OPCW on winning the #Nobelpeaceprize and your wonderful work for humanity. Honoured to have been nominated @Nobelprize_org
Quotes about Yousafzai
- "She was pro-West, she was speaking against the Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol... She was young but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas."
- Current spokesman of the Taliban, Ehsanullah Ehsan, as quoted in The Girl who wanted to go to school, The New Yorker (10 October 2012)
- "Yesterday Malala Yousafzai was brutally shot by gunmen as she was returning home from school...Malala was on the side of the oppressed people of Pakistan and Afghanistan and every other country. She was an enemy of imperialism, landlordism and capitalism. She stood for the cause of freedom, progress and socialism. And for that they have tried to take her young and innocent life...The Taliban leaders put out false information, accusing her of being pro-Obama and pro-Western. That is a lie. Although she was fundamentally opposed to the counterrevolutionary Taliban, comrade Malala was also opposed to US imperialism and the corrupt bourgeois regime in Pakistan. Her sympathies lay in a different direction altogether: with revolutionary socialism and internationalism...she was a sympathiser of the IMT. This is not hard to understand. At the present time, the Pakistan section of the IMT is the only organized Left force that exists in Swat...Malala is one of the many outstanding young comrades who are looking for a way out of the present infernal impasse by taking the revolutionary road. In so doing she was well aware of the risks. She was prepared to put her life at hazard to fight for such basic human rights as education. And she has paid a heavy price."
- "I think there is lot of confusion on the international recognition given to Malala. The Taliban and their allies are visibly irritated because Malala’s message was carried around the world effectively...On the other hand there are some confused liberals/left extremists who are criticising Malala for playing in the hands of the west, whom they detest...The stupid political formulations that support what the enemy opposes and oppose what the enemy supports is being extended by the argumentative critics of Malala. Their stance is an extension of this political formulation, which is neither logical nor Marxist as they want us to believe."
- Beyer Ayaz writing on the website of the Pakistani Press Foundation
- "Malala was lucky to find timely help and survive. Meantime, global and sections of local media have catapulted her into an iconic status while strategically concealing her progressive background...Malala’s father held progressive left-wing views. He was ideologically educated by Faiz Mohammad, Malala’s maternal uncle. Comrade Faiz Muhammad is a committed communist and has been struggling to organise the youth and the workers, in Swat and Malakand, against the fundamentalist as well as state repression...Ironically, Malala started her struggle for education with a progressive aim. Her fight is now being appropriated by imperial institutions and individuals directly responsible for commodifying education. And this commodity is beyond the reach of working class children...Malala was a young girl when she attended a Marxist school in Swat. She was going through her formative phase, learning and drawing lessons from her personal experience in Swat. She had a thirst for new ideas. She was also embracing Marxism as a scientific tool to understand and fight back violence, repression and exploitation. It is not clear yet if Malala and her family have indeed been won over by the imperial agents."
- Lal Khan writing on the site of Bargad
- "Malala Yousufzai, a young feminist and socialist activist who was shot by the Taliban...Predictably, the mainstream media was silent on these attacks, only focusing on the horrors perpetrated by the Taliban while ignoring the destruction wrought by U.S. imperialism. They were similarly quiet about Malala Yousufzai’s political affiliations. Yousufzai is not only a women’s rights activist but also a revolutionary socialist, sympathizing with the International Marxist Tendency in Pakistan. She spoke at a Marxist educational conference in Swat earlier in the summer. She stood up against the reactionary Taliban as well as U.S. imperialism, whose drone strikes have wreaked untold havoc in the tribal regions of Pakistan. Socialist Action sends our comradely regards to Malala Yousufzai and her family and wishes her a full and speedy recovery. She is a brave social justice and anti-imperialist activist who has earned the praise of many in her fight for a better world."
- Daniel Xavier writing on the blog of Socialist Action
- "Was Majaaz, separated by decades from the battle of Maiwand, inspired by the legend of Malalai to pen his clarion call to his beloved, and thereby to all women? It is hard to tell. But he did sway a generation of Indian women to crop their veils into flags to fight foreign occupation. Maiwand’s battle cry has inspired generations of Afghan women. According to an interview Malala Yousufzai gave a couple of years ago, she is a fan of Malalai of Maiwand and was named after her...We have been told of Malala’s blogs and interviews with global news groups, but her involvement with the Marxists of Swat (of all the places) tends to be ignored. As an IMT release suggests, Malala Yousufzai attended its National Marxist Youth School in Swat in July this year. Scores of participants came from across distant provinces of Pakistan. The scale of their commitment is heart-warming. The irony is stark. The spectacle of mighty politicians in Islamabad, running scared of lurking assassins despite layers of security jostles with the rising star (Imran Khan) on Pakistan’s political firmament whose desire to visit the troubled areas becomes heavy weather... Clearly, Malala’s battle plan was pinned on a simple ground assault of an alternate worldview. It had no room for inhuman drones or gun-toting fanatics. Malala’s kindred spirits are legion. One person she has a striking resemblance to, in my view, is Rachel Corrie, the American girl who single-handedly unnerved the Israeli army by not being afraid to be crushed by their bulldozers for a just cause."
- Jawed Naqvi as noted by Andy Newman in Socialist Unity
- "...Wouldn't it be nice if the EU and Nobel committee would agree to transfer the prize to the truly heroic Malala Yousafzai? She has deeply earned it—perhaps (hopefully not) with the ultimate sacrifice, of her life. And giving her the Peace Prize would make a real statement to totalitarians, thugs and violent fundamentalists of every stripe around the planet"
- Bill Weinberg as quoted in WW4 Report (16 October 2012)
- "This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man...The truth is that there are hundreds and thousands of other Malalas."
- Assed Baig in the Huffington Post
- "No child should have to die for going to school, Nowhere should teachers fear to teach or children fear to learn. Together, we can change this picture. ... And together let us follow the lead of this brave young girl, Malala. Let us put education first."
- "The barbarity of the terrorist attacks killing and maiming thousands of innocent people by the Taliban with the latest brutal assassination attempt on the 14 year old girl Malala Yousafzai blatantly lays bare the bestial nature of these Islamic bigots."
- Lal Khan, as quoted on the site of the International Marxist Tendency
- "In Malala's frank prose is proof that feminism, or the desire for equality through education and empowerment, is not the terrain of any one culture or faith...In the renunciation narrative of ex-Muslim women like Hirsi Ali, persecution is a justification for abandoning culture and homeland, deeming those contexts too stubbornly patriarchal to be the venue of empowerment. Malala's story exposes the error of these assumptions; with confidence, she not only embraces faith and culture but also critiques them...Yousafzai's story reveals the everyday details of a battle that millions of Muslim girls around the world are fighting every day...In Yousafzai, we have a teenage Pakistani girl who looked straight in the face of terror and came back to tell her story."
- Rafia Zakaria as quoted on Al-Jazeera America
- "Her fame highlights Pakistan’s most negative aspect (rampant militancy); her education campaign echoes Western agendas; and the West's admiration of her is hypocritical because it overlooks the plight of other innocent victims, like the casualties of U.S. drone strikes."
- Dawn Columnist Huma Yusuf as noted in a piece for The New York Times
- "She did her job splendidly...Those were the most terrible days – the darkest in our history. We spared no efforts to speak up against terrorism and that struggle brought us into the limelight...[Malala]...got influenced by what was going on and gradually she joined me in our struggle against extremism"
- Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai as quoted on the Institute for War & Peace Reporting
Adnan Rasheed's letter (2013)
As quoted in 'Dear Malala, this is why we tried to kill you': Taliban chief's astonishing letter to Pakistani girl, 16, shot for demanding education for women, Mail Online, (17 July, 2013)
- Taliban attacked you, was it islamically correct or wrong, or you were deserved to be killed or not, I will not go in this argument now, let’s we leave it to Allah All mighty, He is the best judge.
- ... please mind that Taliban never attacked you because of going to school or you were education lover, also please mind that Taliban or Mujahideen are not against the education of any men or women or girl. Taliban believe that you were intentionally writing against them and running a smearing campaign to malign their efforts to establish Islamic system in swat and your writings were provocative.
- You have said in your [United Nations] speech yesterday that pen is mightier than sword, so they attacked you for your sword not for your books or school.
- There were thousands of girls who were going to school and college before and after the Taliban insurgency in swat, would you explain why were only you on their hit list???
- At the end I advise you to come back home, adopt the Islamic and pushtoon culture, join any female Islamic madrassa near your home town, study and learn the book of Allah, use your pen for Islam and plight of Muslim ummah and reveal the conspiracy of tiny elite who want to enslave the whole humanity for their evil agendas in the name of new world order.
- A World At School. (United Nations petition in Yousafzai's name)
- Malala Yousafzai at the Internet Movie Database
- Profile: Malala Yousafzai, BBC News with links to related stories
- "Swat: Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl – BBC Urdu". (Yousafzai's BBC Urdu blog, containing 9/10 parts)
- After the Taliban: Swat women on changing life. (BBC piece from 2011 with quote from Yousafzai)
- "Class Dismissed". (2009 New York Times documentary about Yousafzai, in English)
- Child Assembly ensures a voice for youth affected by crises in Swat, Pakistan. (UNICEF video of Yousafzai)
- Site of the Malala Fund
- Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Status Updates on Malala
- Malala Yousafzai, We and Our Enemies