As these words are written, Malala Yousafzai is in critical condition in a hospital. The girl, now 14 years old, came to fame when the world learned she was the pseudonymous BBC blogger who advocated for girls’ education and criticized the atrocities of Islamic extremists in her city. She has been a contender for a prestigious international peace prize for children. Yesterday, on the eve of the International Day of the Girl, she was shot in the head and neck.

The world is outraged at the Taliban’s act of terror which is described like so by the Christian Science Monitor:

“Which one of you is Malala? Speak up, otherwise I will shoot you all,” a hooded, bearded Taliban militant asked a bus full of schoolgirls on their way home earlier this week. “She is propagating against the soldiers of Allah, the Taliban. She must be punished,” the Taliban militant shouted louder. Then, recognizing her, he shot her at a point blank range.

We pray for Malala’s recovery and honor her courage and contribution to peace and the rights of girls. Let us keep the 14-year-old girl, truly a world leader, in our thoughts and prayers. Taliban officials claimed responsibility for an attack on her which leaves her in critical condition at this time, citing her work on behalf of education for girls as an “obscenity.” Let us keep them in our prayers as well, praying that fundamentalist extremists everywhere would wake up and grow up!

The struggle for girls’ rights is one face of Spirit’s next move, and we are all called to love and compassion to aid them. It is fitting on this day that the leadership team of the Center for World Spirituality expresses our support for the International Day of the Girl, a new day for working to make the world a better place for girls everywhere.

Together with many other organizations and cities in nearly 100 countries around the world, we proclaim our support. We announce:

WHEREAS, the Center for World Spirituality is a leading voice in the emergence of a global spirituality based on the best ethical insights of the wisdom traditions of pre-modern, modern, and postmodern cultures;

and WHEREAS, the Center for World Spirituality recognizes that every girl is no less than the personal face of essence, God having a You-as-a-girl experience;

and WHEREAS, the United Nations established October 11 as the annual International Day of the Girl Child supported and co-sponsored by 98 countries;

and WHEREAS, The “Day of the Girl” campaign calls on communities across the globe to recognize that girls worldwide face many injustices such as discrimination, gender stereotypes, child marriage and lack of education; and empowers girls to fight for their rights;

and WHEREAS, the Center for World Spirituality supports the goals of other organizations participating in the “Day of the Girl” campaign including increasing girls’ participation in sports, science and math-related activities, high school graduation rate, and providing equal opportunities for all girls by speaking out against gender-based injustices, celebrating all girls’ potential, and encouraging all girls to pursue their dreams;

and THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED that We, the Leadership Team at Center for World Spirituality, hereby do proclaim October 11, 2012 as the Day of the Girl throughout our organization across the world.

God bless Malala Yousafzai and girls everywhere.

The CWS Leadership Team