Extremely pained by the news of the lynching of a Pakistani student for alleged blasphemy, Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai today said Pakistanis themselves are responsible for tarnishing the image of Islam and the country.
Malala Yousafzai born 12 July 1997 is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school.Her advocacy has since grown into an international movement.
In 2014, she was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize,along with Kailash Satyarthi,for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Aged 17 at the time, she became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.
Last Wednesday,She was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of commons of Canada.
Commenting on the lynching of Mashal Khan,The 19-year-old UK-based Pakistani education activist, in a video message said, “today I got the news of Mashal Khans death. This incident is full of terror and violence. I have spoken to his father who gave the message of peace and patience. I appreciate and salute his message of patience and peace”.
Mashal Khan, who studied journalism at the Abdukl Wali Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was mercilessly beaten and then shot dead by a vigilante mob of students from the same varsity, suspecting him of publishing blasphemous content online and promoting the Ahmadi faith, police said.
“We complain that there is Islamophobia, countries are tarnishing the name of our country. No one is diminishing Pakistan and Islam, we ourselves are tarnishing the name of Pakistan and Islam. We ourselves are responsible for tarnishing the image of Pakistan,” Malala said.
“This was not only the funeral of Mashal Khan but it was also the funeral of the teachings of our religion. We have forgotten the teachings of Islam which teach us about peace and patience,” she said.
“If we continue to kill one another in such a manner, no one will be safe,” she said, referring to the lynching of Khan who, after being assaulted by a large group of students, appeared to have succumbed to a gunshot wound.
“So my message to everyone is, please know your religion, culture, values which have always taught us to be patient and preach peace. In the end, I would request all the political parties, leaders and government to stand for peace and justice. Stand for the justice to Mashal Khan’s family and do not be silent,” Malala added.