The speech that Malala Yousafzai gave to the United Nations on 12 July 2013, the date of her 16th birthday and “Malala Day” at the UN.
Dear friends, on 9 October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born…
…I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all the terrorists and extremists. I do not even hate the Talib who shot me. Even if there was a gun in my hand and he was standing in front of me, I would not shoot him…
…let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first. Thank you.
Why is it that we were able to reach an understanding in the end? I believe one reason is that we gradually developed a personal rapport that became increasingly friendly over the years. Eventually we reached a degree of mutual trust.
Sometimes our outlook might be different, but our common need to look for a way out can bind us and help us build trust with one another. Friendship remains.
A week ago, I learned from my friend Alan Yu’s FB page that “80% of Muslim conversion narratives reference to a dream. Not a dream about Jesus but meeting Jesus in a dream.”
And then today, I come across this:
Alarming reports have been coming in for years: Christianity is being expelled from the Middle East. According to Walter Russell Mead, more than half of the Christians in Iraq have fled the country since 2003. Today it’s happening in Syria. Swedish journalist Nuri Kino reports on a “silent exodus of Christians from Syria” in the face of “kidnappings and rapes.”
It’s a regional trend. Two years ago Caroline Glick reported that “at the time of Lebanese independence from France in 1946 the majority of Lebanese were Christians. Today less than 30 percent of Lebanese are Christians. In Turkey, the Christian population has dwindled from 2 million at the end of World War I to less than 100,000 today. In Syria, at the time of independence Christians made up nearly half of the population. Today 4 percent of Syrians are Christian. In Jordan half a century ago 18 percent of the population was Christian. Today 2 percent of Jordanians are Christian.”
That’s only half the story. At the same time that traditional Christian populations are being driven out, Muslims are converting to Christianity at what missionaries and other Church leaders describe as an unprecedented rate. Joel Rosenberg claims that “more Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ today than at any other time in history.”
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10, ESV)
You become like what you worship. You reflect the one you worship.