Education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai says the people of Pakistan need to do some serious soul-searching in the wake of the recent slaying of a university student who was beaten to death for professing progressive views about Islam.
Mashal Khan, 23, was lynched by an angry mob after a heated debate about religion spilled out of a dorm and out into the open. According to Reuters, witnesses claimed police hesitated to save Khan, and an imam at the local mosque refused to read the last rites at his funeral.
“This was not just the funeral of Mashal Khan, but a funeral for the message of our religion, which is peace and tolerance,” said Yousafzai, 19, in an Urdu video message broadcast on Pakistani news outlet Geo News.
“We have forgotten our values and are not representing our religion,” she continued, adding that the incident “has brought disgrace to our country.”
The newly anointed honorary Canadian citizen suggested that those who complain about Islamophobia in the West would be well-advised to consider the deeds of some of their compatriots and fellow believers.
“No one is maligning the name of your country or religion… we ourselves are bringing a bad name to our country and religion,” she lamented, according to translated transcripts published by English-language Pakistani dailies Dawn and The Express Tribune.
Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by a Taliban militant for campaigning for girls’ right to education, urged lawmakers and political parties to “shun their silence, take a stand and bring justice to Mashal and his family.”