behind a girl named malala are hundreds of millions of people including muslims seeking a future and full education for their children. Tonight, a million children have signed a petition, only with... See More
behind a girl named malala are hundreds of millions of people including muslims seeking a future and full education for their children. Tonight, a million children have signed a petition, only with their thumb prints, because they can't write. And the government of pakistan just this year voted to make education compulsory for every child in that country. And remember, worldwide, there are more than a billion muslims. 1% in the shadows, the 1% who are dangerous, when it comes to the education of women we asked nicholas christof of the new york times why. There is perception they are under assault. And particularly the notion of honor of their women is kind of emblematic of that. And they see girls education as a road toward women controlling their fertility and having fewer children, listening less to their husband, wanting to go work. Kind of symbolizing the end of that way of life. Reporter: Rayna idiliby writes about moderate muslims in the world. An empowered woman is a catalyst for change. An empowered woman is one that cannot be controlled. Anyone who puts a bullet through a 12-year-old's head is evil. Such criminal evil behavior doesn't deserve a rational explanation. Reporter: Through the decades I traveled the world. Including kabul just after the taliban arrived. It's always confounding that the hard liners are not just men but women who also fight change for this broadcast we travel to the red mosque in islamabad, where 3,000 girls are learning islamic culture, the head mistress says some of them came with questions as malala did. They have some arguments with us. But then we talk to them and explain things to them. Reporter: Some of the girls from this school in 2007 covered themselves and took to the streets with whips to punish people for not following sharia law. Back auto n england we traveled to meet a group of extreme hard line fundamentalists there. I sat there to find out why they oppose a full education of the kinds girls get in the west. What are girls learning that is wrong? Freedom and democracy. Freedom and democracy cannot coexist. It is either islam or no islam. Either you are muslim or no muslim. There is no in between. Reporter: They choose to wear the niqab. A woman is seen as no more than a sex object in society. Her contribution to society depends how much cleavage or leg she shows. Islamic teaching teaches us us to guard honor, guard chastity. Protect ourselves. Reporter: When you see somebody completely uncovered like me, what do you think? Oppressed. Because you are not subservient to the one who created you. You are slave to your own desires. If you were not famous diane sawyer and had not achieved what you achieved in your life would you be happy being a mother? Reporter: You think it is possible to have both. in the western side, the women, all they're trying to do is achieve what men are achieving. They're trying to have babies, and then go to work, and still be a size zero. This it's just so -- it's so difficult being a woman in the western world. I'm so glad I'm not in the western world. So difficult being a woman in the western world. Reporter: Tonight, u.S. Director of an american muslim organization says, there is a battle for the soul of islam, good muzz licks like a girl like malala will win. To me she represents what islamic values are. She embodies islamic values of seeking knowledge, standing up for justice. If the taliban believe in god, they should know god said killing of an innocent person is equivalent of killing entire humanity. You have this girl willing to speak up dramatically for change, even when she got letters from the taliban warning her not to. Even after she was shot. It's a reminder at times we can find leadership in the most unexpected quarters. The greatest threat to the taliban is not american drones, it's girls like malala. Reporter: We want you to know in coming weeks on world news we'll look more deeply at the fierce arguments of the radical minority in iz policeman, and what could possibly make that change.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.