The readers’ forum

Malala gets the people’s prize


The Norwegian Nobel Committee shunned Malala Yousafzai, who was shot for speaking on behalf of women’s right to education, but this courageous little girl has won the hearts of many around the world. A living martyr, Malala embodies the spirits of luminaries like Toussaint Louverture, Martin Luther King Jr. and Helen Keller. And yet, she displays uncommon humility for a 16-year-old enjoying such adulation, and more courage than all of the Taliban men combined. Those who want to maintain half of their country’s population in ignorance and total obedience are just cowards, for they are afraid that educated women will gain legitimate power. Malala rose up against this iniquity, becoming the Rosa Parks of the Muslim world.

Instead, the choice of the Nobel Committee went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Past choices have been controversial and sometimes political with the purpose of influencing ongoing international conflicts, instead of an actual achievement. I am not sure if that was the original intention of Alfred Nobel, but the group named for the Peace Prize this year is just doing an assigned job. Those who deserve that prize should be the persons or organizations who have worked actively to trigger the action. It is like your teenager decided to clean the house one morning, and when you woke up and saw that the house was clean, you gave the credit to the vacuum cleaner.

The people’s winner this year is Malala. She ought to be the hero for young people around the world and her pictures should grace the walls of teens, not only in countries where women are still second-class citizens, but anywhere injustice prevails. You cannot achieve peace without justice, and the right to an education is synonymous with freedom and justice. I am sure the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is doing a fine job, but on behalf of all men who elevate women on the highest pedestal, we proudly present Malala with a Peace Prize of our own. May God bless this classy and courageous little lady!

Harry Angus, Pembroke Pines

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Ceci Sanchez, as a toddler, with her father, Jose Ignacio Maciá, and mother, Cecile, in Cuba.

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