Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai has addressed the United Nations as part of her campaign to ensure free compulsory education for every child. Taliban gunmen shot Malala on her school bus last October following her campaign for girls’ rights. She marked her 16th birthday by delivering the speech on Friday at the UN headquarters in New York. She said:
I am here to speak for the right of education for every child. 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. This is the compassion I have learned from Mohamed, the prophet of mercy, Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha. This the legacy of change I have inherited from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
This is the philosophy of nonviolence that I have learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa. And this is the forgiveness that I have learned from my father and from my mother. This is what my soul is telling me: be peaceful and love everyone.