By KAREN MORRISON
BRAVE Malala Yousafzai – who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year – marked her 16th birthday by giving an inspirational speech about children’s rights to education.
The heroic teenager spoke with surprising maturity about the Taliban in her native Pakistan and said she wanted to speak out for the right to an education for every child.
Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, she said: “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.”
She continued addressing youth leaders from more than 100 countries: “Dear sisters and brothers I am not against anyone, neither am I hear to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban nor any other terrorist group.
“I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all those terrorists and extremists.
“I do not even hate the Taliban who shot me.
“Even if there is a gun in my hand and he stands in front of me, I would not shoot him.
“This is the compassion that I have learned from Muhammad, the prophet of mercy, and Jesus Christ.
“This is the legacy of change that I have inherited from Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.”
She added: “I fully support Mr Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General in his global education first initiative.
“And the work of the UN special envoy Mr Gordon Brown. I thank them for their leadership.
“They continue to inspire us all into action. Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman and every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.
“When I was shot, weakness and fear died, and strength and power was born. The Taliban thought the bullet could silence us. But they failed.”
In October last year, aged 15, Malala was travelling on a bus when she was shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist.
She was targeted for writing an anonymous blog speaking out for women and education for BBC Urdu in 2009.
At the time she said: “I dreamt of a country where education would prevail.”
In her blog, she told how the Taliban bombed and burnt at least 150 girls’ schools in 2008 alone.
She has also appeared on TV to urge the cause of education and has since become a symbol for the right of girls to go to school.
You can watch the video here
Source: Sun News