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Pakistan: Religious Extremists Attack Malala Yousufzai

Extremists severely wounded a 14 year old education for girls activist, Malala Yousufzai.

Malala was intercepted by the Taliban, and bullets were fired on her as she was returning home from school. A bullet pierced through her neck that had put her life in acute danger. Recent media reports say that the bullet has been successfully removed, and the girl is out of danger.

Who is Malala Yousufzai?

Malala Yousufzai is a Swat girl and an ardent education for girls activist. She openly speaks for the right of girls to attend school. Moreover, she publicly criticised the Taliban's attack on girl schools in the Swat valley.

Picture extracted from youtube.com

She came on the global scene in 2009 when she wrote a diary for BBC URDU. The ‘Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl originally appeared on BBC URDU with an anonymous pen name of ‘Gul Makai'. The chronicle speaks about the atrocities Taliban did against girl education in the swat valley.

During the time when extremists controlled swat, girl schools were forcefully closed down and right of education was exclusively granted to boys. It was Malala who wrote down about the atrocities committed by the Taliban. Here is a small excerpt from her diary:

Only 11 students attended the class out of 27. The number decreased because of Taleban's edict. My three friends have shifted to Peshawar, Lahore and Rawalpindi with their families after this edict.

Malala Yousufzai was also nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by advocacy group Kids Rights Foundation in 2011.

She is the voice for the thousands of girls who want to be educated, and play their role in the uplift of the society.

Taliban's Stance

The banned terrorist group, Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), swiftly accepted the responsibility of this horrendous act. The groups says that Malala's work was spreading moderation in the society and ‘whomsoever will commit so in future too will be targeted again by TTP'. Taliban spokesperson also said that “whom so ever leads a campaign against Islam and Shariah is ordered to be killed by Shariah.”

TTP spokesmen, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said in an interview:

[Malala] has become a symbol of Western culture in the area…[and the attacks were justified because] she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas.

Activists of Minhaj-ul-Quran Women's League hold photos of Malala Yousaf Zai and chant slogans against the attack. Image by Owais Aslam Ali. Copyright Demotix (10/9/2012)

Societal Reaction

The attack was criticised across every spectrum in the society. Not a single tweet was present that supported the Taliban's justification of gunning down a 14 years old innocent bairn.

Twitter users condemned this attack in the severest words:

@SabahatMS:An 11 old Rimsha Masih was a danger to Mullah's Islam & 14 year old Malala Yosufzai a threat to Taliban's Islam!! #Disgusting#Pakistan

@EeshAsh: To what extent can #Taliban go to? All prayers for #Malala. May Allah grant her speedy recovery

Mubashar Shah comments:

Malala Yousafzai is [the] *daughter* of Pakistan and also *daughter* of world. *God* bless you.

Pervez says:

Malala Yousufzai is decidedly an exceptional person and brave beyond her tender years. The TTP are cursed but those behind the TTP are doubly cursed.

A flood of netizen prayed for the better health of Malala. They took a deep breath when the news came that Malala is out of danger.

Feroz writes:

I hope the inspiration shown by Malala will make a marked impact and the younger generation throws up Malala like souls in the thousands. Those attempting to push Pakistan into the stone age must be repelled in every way possible. Malala, the entire world is praying for your speedy recovery.

The female literacy rate in Pakistan stands at a low 45% (2009). The threat by Terrorist against female education will take this number to new lows.

Adam B Ellick recalls about the time he spent with Malala Yousufzai. Malala took him to her ruined school that was converted into debris. On the wall of the her school it was written: ‘This is Pakistan'. Upon seeing this, Malala said impromptu:

“Look! This is Pakistan. Taliban destroyed us.”

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