‘I am a girl seeking education, do I threaten you?’

Published: May 10, 2014
Email

Schoolgirls are so strong that they can actually cause chaos in an Islamic society and should instead just be married off or used as sex slaves in times of war — at least according to the ‘Nigerian Taliban’. This thought led the Boko Haram to conduct mass abduction of young girls from schools in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria and take them deep down into the forests bordering Cameroon.

This is not the first time that young girls were subjected to terror and attack at the behest of extremists demanding Shariah law. In Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai was shot for advocating education, in an incident that attracted worldwide condemnation.

Islam calls for education for all. Our religion has never suggested that a girl is just limited to bearing children, serving meals.

This dangerous belief stems from fanatic patriarchal thought systems that survive on subjugating women for cheap media tactics and attracting more men into joining them.

Nigerian women have told the government that they would march naked and go into the forests to confront the militants, social media is flooded with #BringBackOurGirls and the US has already offered diplomatic, military and intelligence assistance in recovering the missing girls.

Amid the global outcry against the kidnapping, the International Criminal Court prosecutor is in the last stages of deciding whether or not to open an investigation into the matter.

Can you imagine the horror of a mother who sends her child off to school and the child does not come home?  I cannot. Being a girl myself, I know that if I were not educated, you would not have been able to read this. I would probably have no voice.

I would not know the importance of education. If these girls never return home, does that mean they will have a chance of being heard, educated or becoming what they wanted?

Maybe Deborah, Naomi, Hauwa, Pindar, Mary, Monica, Grace, Esther, Aisha, Ruth, Saraya, Blessing, Gloria, Christy, Tabitha, Helen, Amina, Hasana and Rhoda all had dreams of becoming doctors, engineers or lawyers. Militants would never understand this because they are blinded by an agenda for their personal pursuits where using young ‘unarmed’ girls is the best they can do.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2014.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (7)

  • Awori
    May 10, 2014 - 9:58AM

    An excellent piece.

    Recommend

  • mujahid
    May 10, 2014 - 3:26PM

    Islam calls for education for all. Our religion has never suggested that a girl is just limited to bearing children, serving meals.

    Recommend

  • Kammi Kameen
    May 10, 2014 - 4:39PM

    I am a girl seeking education, do I threaten you? <— not at all, in fact I want you to become prime minister one day!

    Recommend

  • May 10, 2014 - 9:46PM

    just like journalism, education is being used as a tool of war in this war of civilizations. SO the education that promotes my views is education the one that criticizes my views is propaganda. It is similar to the polio campaign by the morally corrupt dr afridi, who for the sake of american citizenship and money never thought about repercussions of using polio campaign for american wars.

    Recommend

  • faraz
    May 10, 2014 - 10:53PM

    @mujahid: Somebody has to bear children and men can’t do it of course. Well, serving meals can be shared I guess!

    Recommend

  • AP
    May 10, 2014 - 11:47PM

    My lady you need re-education about your reality since you are not able to face the truth

    Recommend

  • Joey Belmondo
    May 19, 2014 - 3:20AM

    Dear Hifza,

    Your words are beautiful, and i am happy that i read them. They uplifted me and encouraged me to continue living in the path of truth.

    I would like to quote you here : “Being a girl myself, I know that if I were not educated, you would not have been able to read this. I would probably have no voice.” These words are astonishingly simple yet they are necessary in order to bring us all back to the basics of why we are all outraged at such crimes against the girls of our world in the first place. So i applaud you for putting your heart into your writing.

    May you writings continue to uplift your fellow Sisters and Brothers Hifza…… God bless you. <3

    Recommend

More in Pakistan