Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Behind the Lines: The Courage of Malala Yousafzai

< Previous Page

Welcome to Behind the Lines, a weekly conversation with Salt Lake Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley and BYU economist Val Lambson.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Lambson: You know I am a fan of your work even when I disagree, which is of course most of the time. On occasion, however, you transcend politics and draw a cartoon that is truly great. This is one of those occasions. (Also, I am pretty tired of discussing the election. Can’t it be over already?)

Bagley: Both of us sing from the same hymnal when it comes to the courage and hopes of Malala Yousafzai. This 15-year-old Pakistani girl simply wanted to learn, and for other girls like her to have the opportunities that education affords. The world is repulsed by the medieval mindset of the people that want her dead.

Lambson: This underscores the importance of government based on individual rights. This is certainly not inconsistent with religion in general or mainstream Islam in particular. Bret Stephens (Wall Street Journal (9/19/2012) wrote, "A principled defense of free speech could start by quoting the Quran: ‘And it has already come down to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah [recited], they are denied [by them] and ridiculed; so do not sit with them until they enter into another conversation.’ In this light, the true test of religious conviction is indifference, not susceptibility, to mockery."

Bagley: You can be the first Libertarian missionary to go and instruct the natives in Pakistan’s tribal region about civil society.

story continues below
story continues below

Lambson: Which raises the interesting question of what our responsibility is to the natives in Pakistan’s tribal region. Of course, you understand that I don’t believe our government ought to be involved in missionary efforts, libertarian or otherwise, that involve arms or troops or money. I would have no objection to our President, or anyone for that matter, instructing the natives in Pakistan’s tribal region about civil society.

Bagley: If Pakistan is going to be a place where girls have a right to an eduction, Pakistanis are going to have to want to effect that change. It’s their country, after all. In the meantime perhaps we should be concerned with reactionary tribal areas closer to home where knowledge and science are denigrated, like Fox News.

Lambson: You just can’t help it, can you? Perhaps the best thing we can do for girls in Pakistan is to show, by example, that tolerance of all peaceful religions and creeds in a context of personal freedom and responsibility is consistent with maintenance of an ordered and prosperous society.

Bagley: Not nearly as pithy as "freedom through firepower". See the problem? So long as Americans mistake ideology for knowledge they are going to continually be surprised when they invade countries and discover that they are full of foreigners. Perhaps we should follow Malala’s example and open a book. Travel would be good, too. Some airy-fairy liberal once wrote "...nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people." Oh, wait, that was Mark Twain.

Last week’s Top Comment goes to plainview2: When you think about it Death stars do equal jobs.

General Eisenhower must be rolling over in his grave.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.