I am Malala: Book Review

Not all celebrities are A-listers and not all celebrities get behind charity work to stand for a cause. In western society we tend to value celebrityhood in a way that promotes the level of expenditure rather than the strength of the cause. Although countless numbers of celebrities have donated to charities or stood behind a human or environmental rights campaign it doesn’t make them more of a hero than those fighting for basic human rights within their own borders.

Malala became a “celebrity” not because she chose to be famous but because she chose to stand behind what she believed in. Throughout the book she discusses her relationship with the fear of death and knowing that she would not stop working towards women’s education not matter what the consequence. Her father was a strong supporter in youth education rights and in encouraging his daughter to be independent and think on her own, he instilled strong moral values that carried her throughout life and through her advocacy. She used her wit and knowledge to conduct logical discourse amongst those who wanted to get behind her beliefs as well as grabbing the attention of those standing in strong opposition to her. The “celebrityhood” of her experience both before and after her attack ignited revolution and support on a global scale. She was able to use this platform to reach a larger audience.

The first half of her memoir sets the tone of time and place in which the events leading up to the ethical and religious indoctrinate that would later set the stage for the book. She discusses her life from the view of her ancestors and explains the truth behind their practices and the peaceful pursuit of community and tradition embedded within their culture. The book later goes in depth about the Taliban uprising in Pakistan and the fear set into the uneducated and subsequently uninformed people of Pakistan. The Taliban was able to take sociopolitical force as a result of the already increasing skepticism resulted in the Taliban’s later influence of the army, the events leading up to their take over and the American influence that subsequently lead to the strengthening of the Taliban itself.  She describes that this divide created a way for corruption to fully manifest as people began to take sides on what was believed to be “truth” in light of morality, not necessarily reflective of a universal view.

Malala does’t choose to stand up for education because she is against Islam, but uses her deep understand of the core values of Islam to teach that the true meaning of Islam in fact does not support political corruption. In her Nobel Prize speech she mentions that aqra meaning “read” is the first word of the Quran. She uses this position to argue that the lack of women’s rights is in fact not religious but strongly political and that with better social and human rights, groups such as the Taliban could not survive.

education is vital to the security of the world. extremism grows alongside inequality.

Malala knows that education is an essential tool to revolutionize the way democracy can be used as an agent for change. The respect she holds for her family and friends is admirable as she has humbled herself at a young age and is a testament to anyone that would like to believe otherwise about Islam and what the people of Islam represent. I think this book should be read in American grade schools as there is a lot of information not only about her life specifically but in the history of Pakistan, and its relation to the United States.

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