Shooting Malala Yousafzai: Another Low in Taliban Politics of Death

It was not a random act of violence: it was a targeted shooting sanctioned by the higher echelons of Taliban in Swat. The target: a fourteen year old, courageous girl who chose to speak against the Taliban. That this is a new low in the list of Taliban atrocities in Pakistan is fairly obvious. But this act alone provides us yet another proof that there is nothing holy, Islamic, or honorable in the way the Taliban conduct their daily business. This act is also a reminder to us all that if we do not stand strong against the death-politics of Taliban, even our children, who otherwise should be safe in a just war, can be targets of premeditated, cold-blooded murder. That this organization, this monstrosity called Taliban, fights and kills in the name of Islam is yet another thing to seriously ponder. Do we, at the end of the day, want them to hijack what Islam means and express it in such acts of murder?

Our ulama, it seems, are still ambivalent about Taliban. Other than a few words by some fringe groups, I have not yet heard any loud condemnations of these actions by the stalwarts of major Islamic political parties in Pakistan. What does this silence mean? Are the Jamaat and Jameat busy consulting their scholarly commentaries to figure out that shooting  fourteen year old girls in cold blood is not right?

Meanwhile, it seems that this might be the turning point for the Taliban fortunes in Pakistan: not many Pakistanis can now offer any legitimizing apologetics for the actions of these so-called Muslim fighters. It has been my opinion for quite some time now that the Pakistani people need to clearly express their distaste and opposition to Taliban: this act of terrorism against an unarmed minor should, therefore, become a lightening rod in mobilizing the public sentiment against the Taliban and their apologists.

The reason given by Taliban leadership for the attempted murder of Malala is also ludicrous and would have no standing in any interpretation of Jihad or rules of engagement. The Taliban spokesman said that she had been targeted for “openly criticizing Taliban,” and we are to take that as a crime punishable by death at the hand of a masked assassin. What law, what Islamic rule, what Qura’nic verse suggests that criticizing the “mighty” Taliban, killers of children, is a capital offense?

What is Taliban vision anyway? Is it to make Pakistan “Islamic” through death and murder? And if so, does it not prove the point made by detractors of Islam that Islam is a so-called religion of the sword. What good is an Islamic nation, if Islam is  imposed by a violent minority and kept in place through acts of murder and fear of reprisals? These are the questions that we Pakistanis should be asking ourselves and of the Taliban.

Death, death, death: Is that the only way Islam can work as a political force? I hope not.

So, let us stand together steadfast and resolute. Let us tell these murderers that our children and our daughters, Malala and others, are not open targets and those who kill and hurt children are neither Muslims nor decent human beings and, I am pretty sure, there is a separate hell for people who hurt children.

And let us ask our Ulama to take a stand: condemn the killing and maiming of our children!!

Note: This where we will post any statments against this atrocity  by Pakistani religious scholars. Please post them in comments for us to collate:

1. Thank you Ulama of Sunni Ittehad Council for issuing a Fatwa against the shooting of Malala Yousafzai.

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By M R

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory and the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies.
Raja tweets @masoodraja

5 replies on “Shooting Malala Yousafzai: Another Low in Taliban Politics of Death”

It’s sad. The grisly event horrifies one and all across the globe. My heart goes out for Malala and hundreds of others who must indeed be through similar hell though not reported. The Taliban is the primitive face of barbarism. It has nothing to do with values of any religion. When it spouts the name of Islam, it becomes all the more ludicrous. This article is balanced and reaches out to our heart. People of Pakistan are showing great grit in challenging the Talibanist savagery. Yes, it’s the only way through which its savage fangs can be dismantled. Malalas in our society do have an extraordinary power to work for greater good come what may. This is the only solace we have to live by.

When a 14 year old girl must be assassinated in order to protect an ideology, that ideology has no place in humanity.

Some questions arising with the incident of the Malala Yusufzai,
why she was attacked so late, after a year ago after operation in Swat?
Why she was attacked soon after the release of anti-Islamic film.
I’m not here to disgracing Malala, She is truly admirable and proud full for Pakistan. But we all want to know the fact and answers of the arising question.

I was very saddened by the cruel targeting and shooting of Malala by the Taliban. I terrible act in the midst of many terrible acts in today’s Middle East.

I do put the blame upon the West and most strongly upon the USA and its continued manipulation of countries since the coup of Iran in 1953. A terrible history getting worse.

Malala is a very brave and intelligent girl but I do wonder about the BBC and its possible abuse of her youth to get them stories and to put her at risk in the Swat Valley which is a hotbed of Taliban tyranny. I do wonder if Malala and her family understood the risks.

On another note I am quite interested in Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar and her ability to create peace. I see great strides already in India where she seems well loved already. I do hope to see peace between India and Pakistan, soon as possible.

One of the big problems is the USA and its Predator Drones and the bombing and firing of Hellfire missiles in the regions of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. This is crazy and it is pushing people to join with the Taliban because of the horrors imposed by the USA.

I do talk about these events and many others on my blog.

Have a good day.

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