I Am Malala Analysis

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A year after Malala recovered from her injuries due to the grotesque attack on her, she wrote her autobiography “I am Malala” describing the memoirs of that incident and expressing her views on access to education for all girls and boys – the same message that had garnered the attention of the Taliban in the first place. She demanded the right for education for all the girls in her country and everywhere else in the world. The media coverage of Malala all over the western part of the world has been unabashedly doting and yet, the citizens of her own country have been rather critical of all this fame and accolades being showered over her. “Why Malala?” asks Fatima Bhutto, niece of the deceased Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Why not “Noor Aziz, eight years old when killed by a drone strike in Pakistan” or others killed by drones in Yemen or Iraq? Murtaza Hussain’s answer in Al Jezeera is blunt: “Since Malala was a victim of the Taliban, she, despite…show more content…
Because the West was able to scurry Malala out of Pakistan and into the safety of England, her Beyond Critique 176 story fits a typical narrative: the West rescues poor (Muslim) women from the edge of civilization. Likewise, Malala’s cause—access to education for all girls and boys around the world—fits another popular Western story that education is the (only) necessary precursor to democracy. As if the deteriorating infrastructure of Pakistani civil society is unrelated to the harsh conditions of the International War on Terror. As if access to information is enough to create agency, power, and the legal infrastructures of equality. The story told about Malala obscures broader, critical analysis of the conditions that led to her cause or her attempted murder. Critique of the coverage of Malala rightly cautions viewers not to fall for the typical narratives of imperialist discourse. I understand this critique; I find it accurate and valuable. But I am frustrated that the critique ends there.

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