Although most have never heard of Malala before the fateful day of Oct 9, 2012 when the Taliban made a disgraceful attempt to quiet the voice of Malala, women everywhere are taking up her cause. Malala, the Taliban claimed, had too many "western" ideas and was too secular. They cowardly walked up to her van, asked who she was and shot her in the head and neck along with a another of her female classmates.
When researching this pearl of Pakistan I found that she first became an irritant to the Taliban in 2009 when she started a blog, "Diary of a Pakistani School Girl" that was first published in the BBC Urdu online. She started under a fictional name as she brought readers face to face with the terror that she lived with on a daily basis in her homeland of the Swat Valley. As the struggle of the Taliban took root over the local governments, the passion of Malala rang out over the internet. The Taliban did not believe in the girls going to school or wearing pretty dresses. Malala did just that, despite the chilling threats of a man that walked up behind her on her way home that said, "I will kill you".
Well three years and a National Peace Prize later, the Taliban could not allow this child's voice to ring freedom along the hills of the Swat Valley. Some voices echo no matter, some souls refuse to be silenced, Malala is one of those.
Malala means "grief stricken" how sadly prophetic. When I heard this I immediately remembered a Biblical story of five sisters that petitioned Moses for justice. One of those five sisters had the same derivative of the name Malala. Her name was Mahlah and her sisters were; Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Mahlah meant "sickness" and it is easily seen that is where we get the word malady from.
These were the daughter's of Zelophehad. He had no sons and had the untimely death that coincided with those that were taken by God in the rebellion of Korah. The daughter's petitioned Moses in the male dominated Jewish justice system that they should be awarded their father's inheritance so that his name would not appear as if he had died in the rebellion. Moses then petitioned the Lord on their behalf and God upheld the rights of the daughters which caused a whole amendment to be made to the inheritance laws. Num 27:1-11
You would think after God had spoken justice was served, but Moses died and Joshua took over and the daughters of Zelophehad had to petition Joshua and remind him of the statue that God had rewritten especially for them. Josh 17:3-6
Religious freedom is a still a struggle for women. Women be silent in the church, Women sit on the left side of the church, women have more legalistic rules and expectations upon them. Yet women are the majority of the church and women give their time and resources to the church. Hmmmm. I'm thinking we have a long way to go yet, but as more courageous young women like Malala lift their voices like Esther, "...so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if
I perish, I perish" Es 5:16 Religious freedoms and justice will be granted to the women of today.