Apologies to Malala

The apology by Rehana Haleem, sister of a prime suspect in Malala Yousufzai’s shooting, to the victim comes as a reminder that we should treat people as individuals and avoid judging them because of the actions committed by those who were or are affiliated with them.
In a CNN interview, Ms Haleem said, “Please convey a message to Malala that I apologise for what my brother did to her. I’d like to express my concern for Malala on behalf of my whole family; I hope she recovers soon and returns to a happy and normal life as soon as possible. I hope Malala doesn’t consider me or my family as enemies. I don’t consider Attaullah my brother anymore.”
While our first reaction might be to condemn Ms Haleem because she was born as the sister of a suspected terrorist, we should realise that this fate was not in her control and we must remember to assess each person as an individual, based on his or her own actions. Ms Haleem’s courage must be recognised. Though her brother has not yet been convicted of the crime, she publicly expressed her stance on the issue despite being related to the suspect, who is potentially connected with a group that rests at the nadir of anything remotely human.
Perhaps, we will see more such people standing up, speaking out and acting against the countless injustices the people of our country face every day. Perhaps, we will not forget the injustices that Malala, Kainat and Shazia faced, if we ever decide on how and whether to eradicate terrorists. The fact that Kainat, upon returning to school recently, had trouble finding a van to take her to school — because the drivers fear another attack — suggests that the government might have become uninterested in protecting its people from evil. Perhaps, somebody else has some apologising to do to Malala, Shazia and Kainat. Nonetheless, it is a wondrous sight to see the national and international community stand united in this regard


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