From the Editor: Nobel Committee damages reputation by snubbing Malala

By ANDREW PAXTON

The Nobel Committee, which recognizes achievement in fields such as science, literature and peace, has made a string of debatable decisions over the years, leading many to question the true motivation behind their selections.

The committee further damaged its reputation by recently awarding their Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, overlooking qualified candidates in favor of scoring a few political points.

The decision was shocking to many experts, considering the field of well-known nominees who have inspired people around the world.

Malala Yousafzai, a teenage girl from Pakistan who was nearly killed by the Taliban for advocating education for girls, was the most deserving candidate and should have been awarded the prize.

Her efforts to educate the world about the plight of young girls living under extremist religious leaders began with blogs written in 2009, and she quickly drew the ire of militants in the area.

On Oct. 9, 2012, while riding to school, her bus was stopped by Taliban gunmen. They asked for Malala by name, and upon recognizing her, shot her in the head. But she miraculously survived.

She said being shot has only strengthened her resolve. She has given a speech at the United Nations, done countless interviews and written a book, “I am Malala,” all in her continuing efforts to bring attention to the need for education, women’s rights and peace.

“They thought the bullets would silence us, but they failed,” she said in her U.N. address.

“I raise up my voice, not so that I can shout, but so those without a voice can be heard. Those that have fought for their rights. Their right to live in peace.”

Malala has won numerous awards for her work, including Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, the 2013 Clinton Global Citizen Award and was also recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in The World.

However, the Nobel Committee decided to give the most known peace award not to Malala, but to a faceless intergovernmental organization that has done little to actually promote peace since its inception more than 15 years ago.

The OPCW has gained publicity for its recent work to rid Syria of chemical weapons, a country where people continue to die and be displaced while the world is distracted by the chemical weapon sideshow. Killing with bullets and bombs in the country continues unabated.

The Nobel Committee has named several questionable individuals and organizations as peace laureates in the past. Their decision to overlook Malala in favor of a group that has diverted attention away from a continuing humanitarian crisis tops the list of terrible choices.

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Malala Yousafzai giving a speech at the United Nations.

 

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