Scottish MEP backs Taliban attack schoolgirl for Nobel prize


  SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith has backed 15 year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

The young campaigner for girls’ right to education in Pakistan has shown tremendous courage in the face of oppression and violence, having been shot in the head by the Taliban for her campaigning.

Malala has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her courage and bravery in her fight to end gender discrimination in Pakistan.

Mr Smith said: “This is a quite incredible young lady who has faced terrible violence and has remained courageous and determined in the face of it.

“In spite of the physical wounds she has suffered her spirit has appeared to be unshaken and she seems, in some ways, even stronger now and quite determined to carry on her campaigning.  She is an inspiration to us all.”

He added; “Malala’s story highlights the barriers to basic human rights, like education, that many young girls around the world face.  Your gender shouldn’t determine whether you have access to an education and being born female shouldn’t be a handicap.

“Her fight for what is right has become a beacon of hope for millions around the world; her determination to carry on is lighting a path that other campaigners can follow.  Once in a while, perhaps once in a generation, there comes a person whose inspiration for others seems too big to fit in one life and their flame can light the fires of liberation and equality around the world.

“Malala’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize is a tiny thing in comparison to what she has already done and I am humbled to add my name in support of that.”