Malala highlights how majority of victims of conflict and wars in Middle East are Muslim and calls for unity

Malala also called upon Muslims to show unity by following the true message of Islam 

Heather Saul
Thursday 20 October 2016 16:54 BST
Malala Yousafzai  speaks at the UK's first Girl Summit to discuss FGM and forced marriage, 29th August 2014
Malala Yousafzai speaks at the UK's first Girl Summit to discuss FGM and forced marriage, 29th August 2014

Malala Yousafzai has highlighted how many of the victims of the terror attacks and conflict in the increasingly turbulent Middle East are Muslim as part of a call for peace through unity.

The campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner gave a powerful address at the Investing in the Future MENA Conference on Wednesday evening in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, about the need to empower women through access to education.

Duirng her speech, Malala also called upon Muslims to follow the true message of Islam, peace, and urged people to unify and “join hands in the struggle for peace”.

“We cannot talk about investing in our future in this region without calling for an end to these bombings and these attacks,” she said.

“We must not forget that the majority of those suffering because of these conflicts and wars are Muslims."

The 'Building the Resilience of Women and Girls in the Arab Region’ two-day conference was jointly held with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Malala survived being shot in the head by the Taliban at the age of 15 after being targeted for campaigning for the right to education in Pakistan. She has pushed for education for young women globally and in her address called on men to help engender female independence.

“Quality education for girls is not just learning books, passing exams and getting jobs. It is empowerment, freedom and nourishment," she continued. "It is independence, giving them the ability to stand on their own two feet, making them resilient.

“Women’s emancipation and empowerment is not complete without men’s participation, which is what we need right now.”

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