Quote of the Day: Malala calls out President Obama on drone strikes

Malala meeting with the Obamas

Though she didn’t win the Nobel Peace prize, Malala Yousafzai did get a meeting with the Obamas last week, and she didn’t shy away from criticizing US drone policy. She recalled,

“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”

As Omid Safi points out this post at Religion News Service, Malala, like so many Muslim reformers and other activists in the global South, is in a position where she must speak out “against both abuses of Muslim extremists and Western colonial powers.” 

“As for Malala, it means simultaneously to speak against the misogynist policies of the Taliban AND the violence inflicted on the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan by American drones. It takes a bold person to speak that type of truth to power, especially when the power is the charismatic power of the Office of the President of the United States.”

At least when she’s in the states, talking to the US media and Western leaders, it would no doubt be easier for Malala to stick to her important, but rather uncontroversial, message calling for women’s education and denouncing the Taliban. Kudos to her for taking the far more challenging path of opposing injustice whatever its source.

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Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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