Despite Malala Yousafzai's awe-inspiring speech at the United Nations on July 12, officially dubbed "Malala Day," the Taliban's retaliation to the overwhelming support Malala has received from around the world has been deadly. A month before Malala Day, militants attacked a bus carrying female students, 12 of whom died on the bus, followed by an even more gruesome bombing and on the hospital where the survivors of the bus attack were taken. Twenty-three people in total were killed in the massacre, and though no group has stepped forward to claim responsibility, the Pakistani Taliban are the obvious suspects.
This week, a senior member of the Pakistani Taliban, Adnan Rasheed, wrote Malala a letter to explain what he believed to be the Taliban's motivations for attacking Malala. He seems apologetic at times, but only after attempting to make the case for why his political party would shoot a little girl in the FUCKING HEAD. Take his English with a grain of salt, in part because it's his second language, but also because the Taliban systematically makes seeking an education in Northwest Pakistan a life-threatening endeavor.
Here are some highlights of the letter:
"First of all please mind that Taliban never attacked you because of going to school or you were education lover, also please mind that Taliban or Mujahideen are not against the education of any men or women or girl. Taliban believe that you were intentionally writing against them and running a smearing campaign to malign their efforts to establish Islamic system in swat and your writings were provocative."
"Now I come to the main point that is EDUCATION, it is amazing that you are Shouting for education, you and the UNO is pretending that as you were shot due to education, although this is not the reason, be honest, not the education but your propaganda was the issue and what you are doing now, you are using your tongue on the behest of the others and you must know that if the pen is mightier than the sword then tongue is sharper and the injury of sword can be hailed but the injury of the tongue never hails and in the wars tongue is more destructive than any weapon."
"At the end I advise you to come back home, adopt the Islamic and pushtoon culture, join any female Islamic madrassa near your home town, study and learn the book of Allah, use your pen for Islam and plight of Muslim ummah and reveal the conspiracy of tiny elite who want to enslave the whole humanity for their evil agendas in the name of new world order."
Rasheed noted that he doesn't express the official views of the Taliban, RT's are not necessarily endorsements, etc. But his confused arguments about why Malala deserved to be attacked, coupled with a backwards interpretation of Islam's stance on education (which, by the way, is that learning is always good. Period.), hint towards the illogical motivations behind the indiscriminate attacks the Pakistani Taliban has made their trademark in Pakistan. The irony, of course, is that the root for the Taliban's name comes from the Arabic word for "student," talib. And when a teenager girl, along with bus-loads of female students, are attacked by said group for being students, you know something is deeply fucked up.
Image via Getty.