The Attempted Murder of Malala

Oh Pakistani Taliban, did it ever occur to you when you raised a weapon to fire live rounds at a teen aged girl, that perhaps you are just really shitty at interpreting the Qur’an? Malala Yousufzai did not renounce Islam. She did not burn a Qur’an. She didn’t even draw a picture of the Prophet Muhammad. You shot this girl because she wrote a blog criticizing the fact that the Taliban closes down girls schools in her part of the world. You attempted murder on a young girl because she defended her right to learn, study, and think.

The fact that you even refer to yourselves as Taliban (students) is incomprehensible. Take, for example, the following from your justification for the shooting:

“If anyone argues about [Yousafzai’s] young age, then [consult] the story of Hazrat Khizar in the Koran relating that Hazrat Khizar — while traveling with the Prophet Musa — killed a child,” the letter reads. “Arguing about the reason for his killing, he said that the parents of this child are pious and in future [the child] will cause a bad name for them.”

Any student of the Qur’an knows that that story is an example that the rationale for God’s actions (in this case, exemplified by a prophet) may not be obvious at the time and that apparently bad actions may in fact be good. It does not then follow, however, that the Taliban are prophets who are free to play fast and loose with the Islamic prohibition against murder. Secondly, the rationale of Hazrat Khizar in the above story, that child will bring disrepute upon his pious parents, does not apply here. Malala’s father was in fact proud of his daughter for her activism so either (if they were in the wrong) her parents were not pious and were therefore not worthy of being protected from disrepute or they were in the right and you in fact brought disrepute to Islam by this crime against an innocent.

The other point of the Taliban’s justification was that Malala deserved death because she criticized the Sharia is simply wrong. From what I can tell from her writings, Malala did not criticize the Sharia (which permits the education of females), she criticized the Taliban’s application of it because they denied education to females. This doesn’t make her a criminal, slanderer, or an apostate, this makes her a better student of Islam than you are. Some of the most revered scholars in Islamic history were women. Would you have shut their schools down and opened fire on them? Hafsa bint Umar, the wife of the Prophet and daughter of Umar, was literate. The vast accumulation of ahadith reveal no instance of the Prophet trying to kill her. Lastly, the very first revealed surah of the Qur’an began “Iqra” (read).

The language of the Qur’an, while addressing people in the masculine pronouns, is considered binding upon both men and women. The Qur’an does not promote illiteracy and ignorance, in fact the number of surahs that extoll people to refer to their knowledge are too numerous to name here. The Prophet Muhammad did not deny education to females then attempt to murder them for speaking out. You call yourselves Taliban, use your brains, your knowledge, and common sense and stop bringing disrepute upon Islam and the rest of the world’s Muslims with your murderous actions. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Malala and her family and may she be protected from thugs.

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