Pakistani blogger shot at for supporting education for girls.

A 14-year-old Pakistani school girl and a blogger was fired at inside a school bus.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility saying her promotion of education for girls was pro-Western.

One of the two bullets hit her in the head, travelled downwards and was lodged close to her spine, army doctors have managed to take it out, but the next few days are crucial for her.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said she would not be spared, and would be targeted again if she survived. [Link]

Her father said that of all the things he loved about her, it was her fairness – her democratic ideals – that he loved the most.

Malala, then a dimpled 11-year-old with dark eyes, shot to fame when she wrote a blog under a pen name for the BBC about living under the rule of the Pakistani Taliban.

Malala had started to organise a fund to make sure poor girls could go to school… [Link]

This part of the news article troubled me.

But despite the threats, he said he had turned down offers of protection from the security forces.

“We stayed away from that because she is a young female. The tradition here does not allow a female to have men close by,” he said.

So maybe there should be women security guards for women, and women police, and women doctors, women sales people, factories owned and run by women, employing women, producing helmets and guns meant only for women, and a women’s army? Maybe we need a separate world for women where they can feel safe?

28 thoughts on “Pakistani blogger shot at for supporting education for girls.

  1. Seeing such atrocities happening day in and day out, it just saddens me. Earlier I used to get outraged every time. But now its a mix of outrage and sadness. When will they open their eyes? When will they understand? When will they treat women as humans? When?

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  2. What is sad and ironic is that this happens just before The International Day of the Girl Child, which is today- for focusing on the right of the girl child to basic necessities, including an education. Just posted about it on my blog. Haven’t been able to forget Malala’s bright face from the news doing rounds on FB. Depressing.

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  3. IHM,
    Though I saw the news, I did not notice the point u highlighted. Even none of the Pakistani liberals who expressed revulsion in this attack on twitter seems to have noticed this point of how traditional/religion based patriarchal attitude towards women is the root of the problem. This father and the terrorists think in the same patriarchal way.

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  4. //it was her fairness – her democratic ideals – that he loved the most.
    //The tradition here does not allow a female to have men close by
    It is hard to believe that the same man said both the lines. These are two entirely different lines of thought. And the way he is behaving, it seems he is ok for his daughter to die to save the traditions.

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    • Maybe the “does not allow” is quite literal, as in, they’ll stone the family to death or something? It is under Taliban rule after all!

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  5. “We stayed away from that because she is a young female. The tradition here does not allow a female to have men close by,” he said.

    So he’d prefer to follow societal norms (laid by some random people) than worry (and act upon) about the safety of his own daughter?😐 Sigh….
    No comments!

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  6. Why pass Indian judgement on people whose lives are barely imaginable to anybody in this blog? Writing a letter to the BBC and getting armed security from the enemy are two totally different levels of provocation. Why would anybody in that part of the world want that kind of attention?We can’t even comprehend what such a decision, to get armed security from the govt, means in situations like these. You might be making yourself a juicy target for suicide bombers and god knows who else by so openly picking sides. I know she finally got shot but hindsight is always 2020 and i suppose most people want to live their own lives on their own terms but attract the least amount of attention possible in that part of the world. In some conflicts, the only way you can survive is by putting up a neutral stance and not picking sides. Anyway there should be some issues that are off limits to certain kind of discussions, especially when the worlds that they deal with are so different from ours. And movements should be local, keeping in mind the local realities and not something global with the same arguments used for every problem.

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    • Anon.
      What ppl here are judging is the reason given by that brave girl’s father for not using the services of security forces. Such reasons show the level of influence patriarchy has on the thoughts of ppl in those areas. That is why when Taliban says girls need not be educated there are ppl to support it. Religious extremism thrives by the silent consent of the majority. If more and more ppl are brave enough to fight for their rights like this young girl, Taliban will whither away. No fight for justice in an oppressive society can be done without attracting attention to one self. You either fight or succumb. Choice is yours.

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      • things are not simple in that part of the world where you have the good security forces that will protect you and bad taliban that will kill you. I think this is a well known fact but some people choose to ignore it, just to make their point. It is easy for people here to talk big, but the father and daughter live in the land of the taliban. It would have been normal for him to shut her down and lock her up but he let her do something brave, but all you people can do is to nitpick statements. I believe that the father should be applauded for backing his daughter in spite of all this, and you people are criticizing him.

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        • Yes, t girl should be applauded for her bravery and clear thinking. Father should also be appreciated for his support, but should be criticised for the statement regarding why he negated security.

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    • Anon. Edmund Burke is said to have said:

      “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

      That’s how societies create monstrosities like the Taliban and the Nazis.

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  7. It is sad that a pathetic movie can rouse violent displays of disapproval; while something so abhorrent causes a murmur on twitter and intellectual debates. Had it been the other way round, there would be no taliban.

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  8. well sorry but we dont have the right to say anything about someone’s traditions etc.. thats their way of living. Every nation has its own.. lets first solve our own traditional problems before we go and stick our nose into others ..

    Regarding the shooting at the girl by taliban .. that is nothing but being a Coward, ISLAM does not teach shooting a innocent , especially if its a child .. This is what the problem is .. TALIBAN when started may have had their own thoughts etc but now it has all become muddy and what not ..

    It is sad that we live in a world where such atrocities are taking place and yet we are nothing but mere spectators.

    I do hope good sense prevails and all the religious organisation do actually do what religion teaches in ACTUALITY and not what they think it says or teaches ..

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    • You’d be surprised at what organized religion DOES teach, Bikram.

      “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death.” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

      This is from the Old Testament. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Koran has something similar in it.

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      • Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion has more instances of Biblical justice; including that of a father who offered his daughter to the mob “to do as they please”.

        I’ve not read the Bible, but these quotes made my skin crawl. Of course, the Song of Songs is a beautiful poem, so its often confusing how the Good Book has such contradictory content.

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    • “well sorry but we dont have the right to say anything about someone’s traditions etc.. thats their way of living”

      We do have the right to speak out about injustice. It’s called freedom of speech.

      A border is an imaginary line on a map, what magical property of this border makes it okay for you to talk about the culture of Indians who live 1000km away from you, but not foreigners who live 1000km away from you ?

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      • Not feeling as if we have the right to say something about “someone’s traditions” is exactly how we will allow ignorance to continue to harm people. I don’t care how old your culture or tradition is, if it is actively hurting people, and harming their well being, than it is my right as a human being to speak up about that.

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  9. I think people are being a bit too harsh on her father in this regard. She worked as a reporter for Geo TV working with male crew and frequently visited various other TV shows. Her father supported her in all of this. He does not have same thinking as Taliban.

    I have been to this place even before 9/11. Its a super conservative area. I did not see a single local woman with open face there. He was breaking some traditions. But may be not fully, may be he did not trust the police or may be he really wanted her to have a normal childhood as he says in the next sentence.

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  10. The father seems open enough, again one cannot expect him to live steeped in tradition and suddenly break out and radically change, the fact that he supported her in that environment is radical enough, as for men not providing security, i’m sure there is more to it, we have a friend in pakistan who never uses security for his family – the guards cannot be trusted NOT to comit atrocities !!!!! so yep if i were suspicious of security i wouldn’t let them near my kids either . As for living in taliban areas the risk is two fold our friend tells us , they come, bomb, kill and do worse without the slightest provocation god forbid you go against them. inthe end everyone wants to live happily with ALL HIS/HER family members intact .
    but again I’d say brave girl and prayers for her speedy sfe recovery and hope she keeps her spirits up and continues against all odds. — ver few of us have that courage and determination

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  11. I was extremely saddened by this news, I could not get the picture of the brave little girl out of my mind yesterday. More so because ironically, it was also the UN International Day of the Girl Child, like Sandhya pointed out above. The news bits also included The Khaps statements related to marrying off girls to avoid sexual assaults.

    (So, IHM, I had written this poem which I would like to share. But, you can edit out this part if you dont want to include the link: http://thepoetmamma.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/the-day-of-the-girl/ )

    I agree with Radha and B. We should be a little cautious before judging some situations, and the people in them. We risk viewing the world through the same colored glass. Most of us unfortunately, are armchair activists.

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  12. Pingback: “Tell me will you ever think of putting any posts on facebook after this?” “No.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  13. Violence against the women and the girls is increasing day to day. I pity the brave girl shot for a supporting for a good reason. I appreciate the Malala’s ideals and braveness. It would be great if there are women security guards and women doctors to save her from further attacks on her. I hope for speed recovery of the Malala, and she will be keep her in my prayers.

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