The Fight Against Malice by Schehrezade Rahim
On the night of October 11th, 2012 as the clock was slowly reaching midnight in Pakistan, the tears began to flow. They kept on coming, uncontrollably, like water sprinklers without controls. In another few minutes, the clock would bring the gloomiest day of the year for me. Yes, it would bring forth the fourteenth death anniversary of my hero and inspiration, Matthew Shepard. I wondered if anything had changed, and if the brutal fight to replace hate would come to an end with the result we all want to achieve within our hearts. I realized the fight is yet to continue, and our weapons remain our awareness and our fiery passion that won’t ever be extinguished. In my previous article, I wrote that the society I live in is blissful with hate not being a value. However, the Taliban have once again foiled Pakistan’s chances of being an idyllic nation when they attempted to take the innocent life of a Muslim girl; Malala Yousafzai.
October 9th, 2012 brought Pakistan their biggest tragedy. When Laramie had to go through a battle of protecting their reputation in 1998, Malala and I were infants indulging in a certain kind of beauty only infants would recognize. I got home from school that day this year, and while I was knee-deep in homework, the messages on my phone began to pour in like an overflowing dam of water as the horror entailing Pakistan’s first hate crime became known. As if Pakistan needed yet another reason for the world to denounce us as unruly animals. We had to fight the same battle Laramie did by trying to tell the world four simple words: We Are Not This.
Malala was fighting with her hardcore steadfastness and charisma for a change. She was braver than any member of our youthful generation to stand up in the face of immense jeopardy and bellow her beliefs. Women being educated in Pakistan is a topic very few people have an issue with. The percentages of people that express detestation in Malala’s beliefs are the people who are not within our country, The Taliban. The Taliban roam the Earth causing chaos and heartbreak towards innocent people, and they believe that it is in the name of God that these attacks are justifiable. Islam doesn’t condone these beliefs in any shape or form. If anything, how can God ask us to commit such heinous crimes in his name when God himself knows that we are meant to live in equality on his Earth?
Malala, the bravest of the brave with a lion’s heart was a child that raised her voice in defense of her country and the embrace of change, and was shot down for it. Since October 9th, 2012, the nation united as a whole to pray for our hero’s survival through this shocking ordeal. Malala is a product of hope and change for my nation. She’s the one in a sea of millions with unprecedented courage and initiative. She’s the ray of hope that our nation seeks and the ultimate change.
Guns, bullets, knives are the artillery of fraudulent and misguided souls. People like Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson believed pistol-whipping Matthew Shepard with a gun would end homosexuality and bring awareness and satisfaction to their distaste of them. People like the Taliban believed a few bullets to the head and neck would dissolve all the unruly ideas that Malala had embedded within her. These aspects are all counterfeit, for they fail to realize one pivotal fact: People like Matthew Shepard and Malala Yousafzai have legacies that live on through the people they touch. Matthew’s ideas for erasing hate and bringing equality were never beaten out of him and blown away with the cold Wyoming wind that evening. Malala’s values and ideas are bulletproof. When people like that have flames that ignite, the people that marvel at their splendor never cease to carry with them their change and their dreams. As long as the willpower and sweltering zeal is rooted within people, the fight continues with warriors whose hearts beat as one.