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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/8/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'If we remain silent then this will spread, this will happen more and more and more,' she says

Becoming an emblem for the plight of girls everywhere who take their lives into their own hands pursuing an education, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived a shooting by Taliban insurgents, warns that the world must not stay silent over the abduction of more than 200 girls in Nigeria.

'If we remain silent then this will spread, this will happen more and more and more,' education advocate Malala Yousafzai says.

"If we remain silent then this will spread, this will happen more and more and more," education advocate Malala Yousafzai says.

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/8/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Malala Yousafzai. school girls, Nigeria, advocacy


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "If we remain silent then this will spread, this will happen more and more and more," Malala says.

Kidnapped almost a month ago by Islamist Boko Haram militants in north-east Borno state, the whereabouts of more than 250 schoolgirls remains foremost in the world's mind.

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Malala is all too familiar with those who wish to hinder the intellectual growth of girls and young women; she was shot in the head in 2012 for campaigning for girls' education. Surviving after months of surgery and rehabilitation in the United Kingdom, she has become the world's foremost voice for girls' access to education worldwide.

Referring to the Nigerian girls as her "sisters" who are "in a prison", Malala said that the only way to stop similar abductions happening in future was to speak out.

Malala described Boko Haram as a group of extremists who did not understand that Islam said believers had a duty to educate themselves, and be tolerant and kind towards others.

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan has also appealed for action, criticizing both the Nigerian government and other African nations for not reacting faster to the kidnapping.

As to be expected, the schoolgirl abduction has overshadowed the World Economic Forum which opened in the Nigerian city of Abuja on Wednesday evening.

The United States, United Kingdom and France have dispatched teams of experts to Nigeria to help recover the girls.

The terrorist group Boko Haram has been accused of carrying out another attack in Borno state earlier this week, in which some 300 people are reported to have died.

Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau admitted earlier this week that his fighters had abducted the girls. Aged 16 to 18 years of age, the students were taking their final year exams at their school in the town of Chibok on April 14.

Boko Haram has threatened to "sell" the students, saying they should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married.

Another 11 girls were kidnapped on Sunday night after two villages were attacked near the militants' forest hideout.

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