Today is a day to celebrate Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday and the courage she represents. As an article in the July 12, 2013, New York Times points out, however, the struggle among girls in Taliban-controlled sections of Pakistan continue unabated. And the situation indeed looks grim. What kind of government would deem it proper to deny any child the right to an education, just because that child happens to be female? The right of the child to discover, to fly, to dream, to imagine, and more… these are the very foundation of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Anything less is against the dignity of children and all the people associated with them. The Taliban does not represent the interests of the people, of humanity, or the Muslim faith, which would never condone such actions. (I know several female scholars and leaders of the Muslim faith.) It’s a day of celebration. It’s also a day of mourning, when children do not go to school because they fear for their safety – not just the taunts of bullies, but their very survival. It is also a day to recognize the many heroes, otherwise ordinary people, who are defying the decrees of the Taliban. By doing so, they stand for the dignity of the children of Pakistan and children the world over.