Madonna dedicated a song to the Pakistani victim of a Taliban shooting during her performance last night in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Malala Yousafzai, 14, an outspoken advocate of education for women, was shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunmen Tuesday near Karachi.
“This made me cry,” Madonna said. “The 14-year-old schoolgirl who wrote a blog about going to school. The Taliban stopped her bus and shot her. Do you realize how sick that is?”
The crowd cheered as Madonna shouted, “Support education! Support women!” Later, the singer stripped off her costume and turned to reveal the name “Malala” written on her back. “This song is for you, Malala,” Madonna said as she started “Human Nature.”
Madonna has also used her back on the MDNA tour to display messages of support for President Obama (which backfired when she tried to joke that he was “a Black Muslim”) and jailed Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Although one member of the punk collective was released on appeal yesterday, Madonna noted that two more remain imprisoned in Moscow.
“One thing I’ve realized during my travels is how lucky we Americans are,” she told the L.A. audience. “We are for sure an imperfect country with an imperfect government. But I tell you – the shit I have seen in the Ukraine and in Russia . . . May I remind you that two members of Pussy Riot are still in jail. In St. Petersburg, 75 men were arrested for being gay.”
The singer’s support for gay rights at a concert in St. Petersburg this summer resulted in a lawsuit demanding $10.5 million in compensation for “moral damage.”