(LOS ANGELES) — Madonna hasn’t been shy during her current tour about speaking out on issues that concern her, and her Wednesday show in Los Angeles was no different. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the star dedicated the show to Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was hospitalized after an assassination attempt by the Taliban on Tuesday.
Despite her young age, Malala is an activist who has advocated for girls’ rights to education in the Middle East. As late as 2009, under the Taliban regime in Pakistan, girls were not allowed to go to school. On Tuesday, a Taliban gunman shot Malala in the head and neck while she was coming home on a school bus, and she’s now unconscious in a hospital. A Taliban spokesperson has said that if the girl survives, they’ll try to kill her again.
During the concert, Madonna told the crowd that Malala’s plight “made me cry,” adding, “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?” She shouted, “Support education! Support women!” Later, during the portion of the show where she strips down to her bra, Madonna displayed the word “Malala” written on her back.
Madonna has been a big supporter of female education in Malawi, the African nation from which she adopted her children David and Mercy.
As she has done on other U.S. tour stops, Madonna also told the crowd to remember the freedoms they have in America. “We are for sure an imperfect country with an imperfect government,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “But I tell you, the s**t 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.”
Among the stars in the crowd for the show: Jessica Alba, Heidi Klum, Neil Patrick Harris, Revenge star Emily VanCamp, and Darren Criss of Glee.
In other Madonna news, she’s taped an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that will air October 28.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brian Stelter, CNN Newswire
Jim Bennett, Deseret News