A Painful Moment
Although this blog is almost always given over to bookish topics of one sort or another, I find it impossible to ignore the vile, obscene story that came to us from Pakistan about the shooting of a 14-year-old girl by the Taliban. You most likely read it with the same utter astonishment that I did. A teenage Pakistani girl named Malala Yousafzai who defied the Taliban wicked ideology against women by declaring she wanted to be educated to grow up to be a doctor was gunned down on her school bus by a group of cowardly, face-covered Taliban thugs.
Such is the sick nature of terrorism.
According to The New York Times, a spokesman for the Taliban in Pakistan — of whom you might hope when he becomes ill will be unable to find a doctor — confirmed the hit men targeted the girl because her crusade for education rights was an “obscenity.” And if the girl does not die from her wounds, the spokesman said more killer goons will be sent after her to finish the job. It would make an absurd movie plot if it were only fiction.
You see, Malala first declared her desire for education as an 11-year-old, and for three years the Taliban killers have been carefully plotting how best to get rid of her. Just like they have murdered and attempted to murder who-knows-how-many women in Pakistan and elsewhere.
How do we or anyone else respond to acts like this? Rage is certainly hard to limit, and revenge appears on many lips. Understandably. I share those emotions, at least for a time. But I confess I don’t know what the best response is beyond calling attention to the nature of the act and the belief system responsible for it, and commending the remarkable, awesome courage and bravery of this 14-year-old girl. She lives in a world most of us can never comprehend — mercifully for us — and she has paid a terrible price for it.
My tears and my heart join so many others in her behalf. May those who brought this action against her find their ultimate punishment to be just as awesome.