When I first heard the news report about Taliban gunmen shooting a 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl, I thought about my sister Marilyn. Both Marilyn and Malala Yousafzai were victims of religious bigotry. While Malala will survive, my sister died after she was violently attacked. Even though the details are different, if their stories can be presented to the world community as examples of how outdated religious dogma breeds ignorance and fosters crimes against women, they may spark positive changes.
Malala was born in a rural valley in Pakistan at a time when the Taliban ruled the area. Even at an early age, she was acutely aware that girls were treated as second class citizens by a fanatical religious group enforcing an out-of-date religious dogma which strictly forbids any education for girls. [Read more...]