Pakistan’s Rosa Parks


December 01, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, an ordinary African-American lady, Rosa Parks refused to take the bus driver’s order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. She was arrested for civil disobedience, to face the writ of the law which was heavily in favor of the US’ white population. Her act of defiance became the turning point in the civil rights movements in modern history which touched the peak when in ’60s Martin Luther King, Jr declared ‘I have a dream’. She became an international icon of resistance against racial segregation; later the US congress recognized her as ‘the first lady of civil rights’ and ‘the mother of the freedom movement’. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and a posthumous statue in Washington’ National Statuary Hall.
One wonders if Malala Yousafzai who was shot at point-blank range on Oct 09 is Pakistan’s Rosa Parks in the nation’s fight against terrorism and religious extremism. Rosa’s act united the African-American community to stand against racial discrimination and segregation. It’s encouraging to see Pakistan’s political parties and civil society getting united to denounce Taliban’s barbarism. Though there are voices to deceive the Malala’s mission by bringing in drone attacks, Americans presence in Afghanistan, occupation of Palestinians lands, atrocities in Kashmir and Burma; but we all know these are there to fool the general public, to divide the resolve against religious extremism.
Rosa lived a long life to see her dream come true when a black president took over the White House in 2008. Will Malala survive to see her country getting rid of barbarians forever?
Jubail, Saudi Arabia