Malala visits Pakistan; here comes the hate parade

“I don’t cry often. But – I don’t know why today – Because – I’m just 20, but I’ve seen a lot in life. …”

“Today I’m extremely happy that after 5.5 yrs, I’ve placed my feet on my land, in my country. … I’m still unable to believe, I still can’t believe that this is actually happening. This is actual. In the past 5 years, I’ve dreamed that I would be able to set foot in my country. And I’ve always dreamed – if I’m in a car or plane, and I see the cities of London and NY, and I’d say [to myself], ‘just imagine you’re in Pakistan. Imagine that you’re driving in Islamabad. Imagine this is Karachi. It was never true. And now I see it, I’m very happy.”

Like NRA gun nuts who accuse Parkland kids of being paid actors, Malala-haters call her a “western stooge” because she almost died and now she’s in England.

I get it. When you’re desperate and struggling to make it in a dog-eat-dog world, and someone seems to make it (“woo-hoo, all she had to do was get shot and facial paralysis and exile? Gimme some”), the bile tends to pour out. But upwardly mobile city dwellers fighting to get their little girls in the private English medium-schools really should not be scolding Malala to shut up about girls’ education. And many of the little girls and boys who have grown up in those private schools have come to vent that bile on Twitter too. Check your privilege.

But Western imperialist power politics & terrorist politics are not her fault. The clumsy ratings-grubbing practices of Pakistani media are also not her fault. Sorry you’re sick of celebs falling over each other to fawn over her and get a picture taken with her, but that’s not her fault either.

This is the human cost of becoming a warrior for girls’ lives in the context of a global conflict, where the issues become entirely tangled with larger interests. Where your body becomes a symbol on all sides. You become a symbol of imperialist Westerners and their military adventures, and you become a symbol of the ‘good muslim fighting Our war against brown men.’ In this world where people erase girls, and there are only binaries, Malala has actually worked extremely hard against these binaries, to refine a balanced policy discourse, despite her youth.

Be safe, Malala. May God grant you a happy life.

If anyone posts crap in the comments, I’m deleting it.

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