“I am a Muslim and I believe that when you pick up a gun in the name of Islam and kill innocent people, you are not a Muslim anymore.” — Malala Yousafzai
On Wednesday, April 12th Pakistani education activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai became the youngest and the sixth person to receive an honorary Canadian citizenship before her Canada bestowed this title upon Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), Karim Aga Khan IV – a religious leader, Raoul Wallenberg – a Swedish diplomat and Aung San Suu Kyi – a Burmese leader. 19-year-old In her inspiring speech to parliament said “I’m humbled to accept honorary citizenship of your country, while I will always be a proud Pashtun and a proud citizen of Pakistan, I’m grateful to be an honorary member of your nation of heroes,”
She acknowledged the fact that her first trip to Canada was in 2014 which was cancelled due to a gunman’s attack in the Parliament Hill exactly in the building where she was standing now.
“The man who attacked the Parliament Hill called himself a Muslim but he did not share my faith. He did not share the faith of one and a half billion Muslims, living in peace around the world. He did not share our Islam a religion of learning, compassion and mercy, I am a Muslim and I believe that the moment you pick up a gun in the name of Islam and kill innocent people, you are not a Muslim anymore” she said.
“Instead the gunman, shared the hatred of the man who attacked the Quebec City mosque in January, who killed civilians and a police officer in London three weeks ago, who killed 132 school children at Pakistan’s Army Public School in Peshawar, the same hatred as of the man who shot me.”
Praising Canada she mentioned the motto and stand “Welcome to Canada” is more than a headline or a hashtag. She added “It is the spirit of humanity that every single one of us would yearn for if our family was in crisis. I pray that you continue to open your homes and your hearts to the world’s most defenceless children and families, and I hope your neighbours follow your example,”
Check out her full speech: