Using commando style tactics, members of the Taliban burst into a transport vehicle yesterday and sprayed bullets at the person they considered “Public Enemy Number One” two of the bullets hitting the intended targets throat and head. Unbelievably the victim survived the brutal attack and was successfully airlifted to a nearby military hospital under military protection and is expected to survive the attack. Was the victim the President? A key military official? No, a 14-year-old girl whose major crime was to advocate literacy and education for Afghani women.
14-year-old Malala Yousufzai is so extraordinarily brave that she may become the very kind of hero the Taliban desperately does not want to create. The story of the brutal and savage attack swept across Pakistan and Afghanistan creating outrage over the continued abusive treatment of women by the Taliban. Malala was admired across a battle-scarred region of Pakistan for exposing the Taliban’s atrocities and advocating for girls’ education in the face of religious extremists.
In 2008, at age 11, in a country where radical Islam wants to maintain an illiterate and uneducated female population, Malala created a pseudonym (Gul Makai) and began writing for the BBC regarding the treatment and abuse suffered by Afghan women and particularly in her home Swat Valley.
In her BBC blog, Malala wrote about not wearing her uniform to school after officials warned it might attract the Taliban’s attention, and how many other students moved out of the valley after the Taliban issued an edict banning girls from school. She wrote about the Taliban movement had kept her family from going out after sunset.
While chairing a children’s assembly supported by UNICEF in the valley last year, the then-13-year-old championed a greater role for young people. ”Girl members play an active role,” she said, according to an article on the U.N. organization’s website. “We have highlighted important issues concerning children, especially promoting girls’ education in Swat.”
The unrepentant Taliban immediately took “credit” for the vicious attack. The extremist movement was quick to claim responsibility for shooting her. ”This was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter,” Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan by telephone.