I came across this story this morning while researching for another article. Wading through the reams of Islamist related material is a daunting task and oft times a depressing one. Rarely, do I find a story that inspires such profound encouragement as this one does.
Eleven year old Tuba Sahaab, a Pakistani girl living on the outskirts of Islamabad, has taken on the Taliban. Without apology, she writes poems detailing the suffering of children in her country at the hands of Islamist hardliners. She is strongly opposed to these religious extremists who restrict girls from going to school and often hunt down, prosecute and murder teachers who seek to educate youngsters.
Despite numerous threats of death, Sahaab states, ” I want to give peace to my nation; I will fight for it. If they kill me, do not worry, I want everyone in Pakistan to be equal. This is very shocking to hear that girls cannot go to school, they are taking us back to the Stone Age”.
Tuba Sahaab is managing to accomplish what most western feminist groups and nation governments have either been incapable or unwilling to do; standing up to Islamists without apology, round table discussions, inter-faith dialogues, multicultural folly, religious/cultural relativism and ludicrous concession. She succeeds because her motivation is pure and simple, unfettered by political clap-trap and a western obsession with moral castration. She does not defend herself because she believes first and foremost in her own dignity, her right to a life of value and a hopeful future absent of bigotry, hatred, misogyny and violence.
So while we dither with how best to accommodate sharia in the west and appease those Islamists and their supporters among us, eleven year old Tuba squares them off with simple bravery in the hope for peace. I suspect that there are hundreds if not thousands of children like Tuba risking life and limb to procure a better life, defying the face of religious radicalism. We would be wise to learn much from Tuba and her example of courage. Oh, by the way, she would one day like to be an astronaut. Embarrassed?