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Posted by wmmbb in Terrorism Issues.

A group of assassins boarded a school bus in the Swat Valley, Pakistan, terrifying the students on board before identifying and shooting 14 year old Malala Yousafzai and two other school girls.

Malala developed a media presence, after beginning her blog as an eleven year old, and then appearing on the BBC Urdu program and subsequently other programs. Here she is on CNN, subject to critical questioning, but taking a strong stand grounded in her understanding of Islam:

She had anticipated that she might be a target of the Tahreek E Taliban, yet continued to be outspoken.  A Taliban spokesman claimed:

[That] Malala was targeted because of education [is] absolutely wrong. Malala was targeted because of her pioneering in preaching secularism. . . and so called enlightened moderation. And whoever does so in the future will be targeted again.

Kamila Shamshie in The Guardian writes:

The truth is both Malala Yousafzai and the Taliban were fashioned from the clay of Pakistan. When I say this about Malala it is not in a statement of patriotism about my homeland but instead an echo of a sentiment expressed by the novelist Nadeem Aslam: “Pakistan produces people of extraordinary bravery. But no nation should ever require its citizens to be that brave.”

Because the state of Pakistan allowed the Taliban to exist, and to grow in strength, Malala Yousafzai couldn’t simply be a schoolgirl who displayed courage in facing down school bullies but one who, instead, appeared on talk shows in Pakistan less than a year ago to discuss the possibility of her own death at the hands of the Taliban.

Within Pakistan there are a range of issues, which include differing interpretations of Islam. I recall that the Taliban in Afghanistan made a point of attacking Sufi shrines. Her story was humanized by her photograph and her name. She was not an anonymous victim, whose story was unknown and could not be told.

Mara Ahmed comments on Facebook:

The attack on 14 year old Malala Yousafzai by a criminal gang in Swat is repulsive. It’s even more repulsive that the Pakistani Government will be incapable of apprehending the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.

There is no accountability or justice at any level of society, anyway. Do we know the names of 14 year old girls (or the names of their mothers or fathers or baby brothers) who are incinerated by drones? – “carbonized bodies, burned so fully they could be identified by legs and hands alone, the bystanders sent flying like dolls through the air to break, with shattered bones and sometimes fatal brain injuries, upon walls and stone” (in Kathy Kelly’s words).

All dead children are not equal. It makes my blood boil when people use Malala’s horrific ordeal to justify America’s drone warfare. If the “militants” (that mysterious designation reserved for the exclusive use of president Obama and his henchmen) are worth going after, at the cost of other lives, then let that sacrifice be yours and your family’s, not that of the people of Waziristan.




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