Report By: Nina Rai
Islamabad, Oct. 16, 2012
The Pakistani teen who was shot in the head and neck by gunmen deserved to die for speaking against the militant group and idealizing US President, declared unrepentant Taliban insurgents here Tuesday.
Describing Malala Yousufzai as a "spy of the West," Pakistan’s Taliban group condemning the peace activist in a statement declared chillingly: "For this espionage, infidels gave her awards and rewards. And Islam orders killing of those who are spying for enemies."
The statement also adds: "She used to propagate against mujahedeen (holy warriors) to defame (the) Taliban. The Quran says that people propagating against Islam and Islamic forces would be killed …. We targeted her because she would speak against the Taliban while sitting with shameless strangers and idealized the biggest enemy of Islam, Barack Obama."
Malala Yousufzai, 14, who was shot at point-blank range on a school bus in the Swat Valley one week ago, was flown to Britain Monday for further treatment, where doctors inform that she has every chance of making a "good recovery."
Dr. Dave Rosser, the medical director of Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital where Malala is being treated, said: "Doctors...believe she has a chance of making a good recovery on every level," going on to add that her treatment and rehabilitation could take months.
The day after the attack, Pakistani surgeons managed to remove a bullet from close to her spinal cord during a three-hour long operation. However, she will still require intensive specialist followup care, which will be carried out at the UK hospital.
The eighth grader was attacked as punishment for advocating girls' rights to education and free expression, sparking worldwide condemnation, more so in Pakistan. Furthermore it has galvanized many Pakistanis against the latter for their cowardly act. While authorities claim they have made several arrests in the case, they have, however, not given any details as yet.
The indomitable Malala Yousufzai had wanted to become a doctor initially. However, giving in to her father's wishes, she agreed to strive to be a politician. Today the brave teen campaigner has become a powerful symbol of resistance against the Taliban, whose endeavor is to keep girls backward by depriving them of even basic education.
Probably as a kind of face-saver, the Taliban group declared: "We did not attack her for raising voice for education. We targeted her for opposing mujahedeen and their war." Then going on to justify their action added: "Sharia (Islamic law) says that even a child can be killed if he is propagating against Islam."
Meanwhile, sensing the public anger, a million dollar bounty has been announced by Pakistan’s Interior Ministeron the leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTT) Pakistan, who had claimed responsibility for shooting Malala Yousufzai and allegedly had hatched the plot in Afghanistan.
Malik, who announced the $1 million (US) bounty, said: “On his head, which is more than, you know, (inaudible) of Pakistani, 100 million apiece, because we want to definitely get him and all our line forces, intelligence agencies are hunting all those who were involved.”
Opinion: The one significant thought that comes to mind in this issue is why the Taliban as a group is opposed to a woman’s education. Just why have they chosen to target a 14-year-old so viciously? They may claim they are against Western culture and values and the so-called evils associated with it, but then the Pakistani school girl never removed her headscarf as a devout Muslim, neither did she wear jeans or go partying or date guys or indulge in any of the acts that may be considered "Western" by the Taliban standards.
So what was their fear from a chit of a girl, even going on to claim they will kill her if she recovers? Why are they condemning her for allegedly “promoting western culture”? Well, the innocent school girl’s only fault has been that she was campaigning for the right to education for girls right from the tender age of 11.
Malala Yousufzai was absolutely fearless in her pursuit of education not just for herself but for all the girls in the scenic Swat Valley. Besides, she was feted by both the Pakistan government as well as foreign nations for her tireless endeavor. That is what raised the ire of the Taliban, whose only motive for ages has been to subjugate women, ensuring that they are under veils forever or prohibiting their movements out of their homes, unless absolutely necessary.
An educated woman would be an absolute threat to their fanatical ideologies, dogmas and doctrines which are all directed toward keeping woman as second-grade citizens. Now when they saw a young girl campaigning for education it went against everything they stood for. It was like a red flag waved at them. So they have taken the cowardly route of silencing the young voice. Unfortunately, instead of succeeding in instilling fear among girls, it has emboldened many not to buckle under their pressure.
By trying to kill Malala, Taliban has unwittingly succeeded in making her into an icon. The young girl has now become the face of girl’s education movement. They have created a female symbol of education which cannot be extinguished easily. If one Malala goes, there will many more like her raising their voices for literacy, this in turn will greatly help propel developing economies in their forward march.
Sources: Reuters/ABC.Net/ The Hindu
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