Melissa Harris-Perry closed her show Sunday with a statement supporting Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old girl who has become a folk hero in Pakistan following her shooting at the hands of the Taliban, directing some of her statements toward the men who tried to kill her.
“You may have harmed Malala physically, but you have not harmed her cause, you’ve helped it,” Harris-Perry said. “Your cowardly actions will now serve as a rallying cry for other young girls and women seeking empowerment and a better life through education. Your gutless, terrorist actions have created a thousand Malalas.”
Yousafzai, who won the country’s National Peace Prize last year and was featured in a New York Times report three years ago on Taliban efforts to keep her local schools closed, was shot in an Oct. 9 attack that also injured two other girls for continuing to seek an education.
“I want to get an education,” Yousufzai said in the report. “I want to become a doctor.”
Underscoring Harris-Perry’s point, NBC News reported Sunday that a rally in Karachi, the nation’s capital, drew tens of thousands. The head of the party that organized the event, Muttahida Quami Movement, called the gunmen “beasts” in a telephone address from London.
“Malala Yousufzai is a beacon of knowledge,” Altaf Hussain said. “She is the daughter of the nation.”
Harris-Perry’s address backing Yousufzai, aired Sunday on MSNBC, can be seen below.