Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani activist who was shot in the head by Taliban forces in October 2012, addressed the United Nations general assembly in New York City on Friday.
“There are hundreds of human rights activists and social workers who are not only speaking for human rights, but who are struggling to achieve their goals of education, peace and equality. Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them,” she began her speech.
“I remember that there was a boy in our school who was asked by a journalist, ‘Why are the Taliban against education?’ He answered very simply. By pointing to his book he said, ‘A Talib doesn’t know what is written inside this book,’” she said. “They think that God is a tiny, little conservative being who would send girls to the hell just because of going to school. The terrorists are misusing the name of Islam and Pashtun society for their own personal benefits. Pakistan is peace-loving democratic country.”
She concluded, “So let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.”
The entire text of the speech can be read here.
Watch the video, uploaded to YouTube by Khalil Ullah Homaam on July 12.