Note from Rafik Beekun: Typical of the Taliban, they committed the cowardly act of shooting an unarmed, 14 year old school girl–all because she wanted an education for our sisters and spoke up for the rights of children. Bu then maybe we should not be surprised. What do the Talibans know of Islam? The Prophet’s first wife, Khadija (ra) was CEO of her own business, and employed our Prophet (s). With the Taliban, she would have no chance. Some of the greatest scholars in Islam have been women; again with the Taliban, they would have no chance to shine. The Prophet (s) said that the mother is a teacher. If one were to follow the extremist and distorted interpretation of Islam adopted by the Taliban, Muslim women could not be teachers since they would be denied even the most basic remnants of education.
Taliban Gun Down Girl Who Spoke Up for Rights
By DECLAN WALSH, New York Times
KARACHI, Pakistan — At the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her dreams. As turbaned fighters swept through her town in northwestern Pakistan in 2009, the tiny schoolgirl spoke out about her passion for education — she wanted to become a doctor, she said — and became a symbol of defiance against Taliban subjugation.
On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen answered Ms. Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out the 14-year-old on a bus filled with terrified schoolchildren, then shooting her in the head and neck. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack. All three survived, but late on Tuesday doctors said that Ms. Yousafzai was in critical condition at a hospital in Peshawar, with a bullet possibly lodged close to her brain.
A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed by phone that Ms. Yousafzai had been the target, calling her crusade for education rights an “obscenity.” [...]
That Ms. Yousafzai’s voice could be deemed a threat to the Taliban — that they could see a schoolgirl’s death as desirable and justifiable — was seen as evidence of both the militants’ brutality and her courage.
“She symbolizes the brave girls of Swat,” said Samar Minallah, a documentary filmmaker who has worked among Pashtun women. “She knew her voice was important, so she spoke up for the rights of children. Even adults didn’t have a vision like hers.”
Ms. Yousafzai came to public attention in 2009 as the Pakistani Taliban swept through Swat, a picturesque valley once famed for its music and tolerance and as a honeymoon destination.
Her father ran one of the last schools to defy Taliban orders to end female education. As an 11-year-old, Malala — named after a mythic female figure in Pashtun culture — wrote an anonymous blog documenting her experiences for the BBC. Later, she was the focus of documentaries by The New York Times and other media outlets.
“I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taliban,” she wrote in one post titled “I Am Afraid.”
The school was eventually forced to close, and Ms. Yousafzai was forced to flee to Abbottabad, the town where Osama bin Laden was killed last year. Months later, in summer 2009, the Pakistani Army launched a sweeping operation against the Taliban that uprooted an estimated 1.2 million Swat residents.
The Taliban were sent packing, or so it seemed, as fighters and their commanders fled into neighboring districts or Afghanistan. An uneasy peace, enforced by a large military presence, settled over the valley.
Ms. Yousafzai grew in prominence, becoming a powerful voice for the rights of children. In 2011, she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Later, Yousaf Raza Gilani, the prime minister at the time, awarded her Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize. [Please click here to read the remainder of the article.]
- Malala Yousafzai: The Latest Victim in Pakistan’s War on Children (world.time.com)
- Revulsion as girl who spoke out shot (smh.com.au)
- Taliban causes disgust by shooting girl (guardian.co.uk)
- Fury over attack on Pakistan girl (bbc.co.uk)
- Fourteen-Year-Old Pakistani Activist Shot by Taliban (nymag.com)