Thursday, July 18, 2013

That’s alright then (that’s not alright then)

Malala Yousafzai wasn’t shot in the head for going to school. She was shot in the head for defying the Taliban. By going to school. And saying bad things about very bad people. So of course, that’s perfectly alright then. It was actually a reasonable act, as all should be able to see.

Adnan Rasheed sent Malala a letter explaining why his organisation shot her – a 15 year old girl - in the head on the way home from school.  I’m sure she appreciated it. Who would want to be shot in the head without a rambling, barely coherent letter from someone who a) falsely claimed he wished it hadn’t happened, b) pretended he wished she’d been warned before being shot in the head, as if that would somehow be a comfort, c) told her in detail exactly what she had done wrong when she had done nothing wrong at all and d) told her how to repent for having to be shot in the head by them for doing nothing wrong.

So Malala should consider herself lucky that Rasheed was thoughtful enough to clear all that up for her.

In the letter, Rasheed claimed that Malala was not targeted for her efforts to promote education, but because the Taliban believed she was running a "smearing campaign" against it.

The natural, reasonable and proportionate reaction to a 15 year old girl saying that bad people are bad is to shoot her in the head. She should have known that. It’s her own fault, really. Surely, she understands that?

From the letter:

"You have said in your speech yesterday that pen is mightier than sword," Rasheed wrote, referring to Malala's UN speech, "so they attacked you for your sword not for your books or school."

But she didn’t have a sword. She had a pen. But they sure as shit had guns.

Rasheed – a former member of Pakistan's air force, who was among 300 prisoners to escape jail in April last year – advises Malala to return to Pakistan, join a female Islamic seminary and advocate the cause of Islam.

How fucking gracious. The Taliban is prepared to forgive her – now that she has recovered from their shooting her in the head – providing she becomes the poster girl for obedience to their demands.

There’s more here. I can’t write any more without ripping my pink trousers and punching some helicopters. 

Malala is an immensely courageous and inspirational woman and if I could have spared her suffering, I would have. But let’s not forget the other Malalas. We’re in danger as always of creating poster children and forgetting about the countless others in the same boat.

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