ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A 14-year-old Pakistani student who won international acclaim for speaking out for girls barred from school by the Taliban was critically wounded Tuesday by a gunman who boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, aimed his pistol at her head and fired, officials said.
Today, the army promotes Swat as a tourist destination — it sponsored a festival there in July, trying to restore its reputation as the Switzerland of Pakistan. Residents say militants rarely strike, but Tuesday’s daylight attack demonstrated the Taliban’s continued ability to infiltrate the area, which adjoins Pakistan’s insurgency-plagued tribal belt.
Two months ago, Taliban gunmen shot and seriously injured the president of Swat’s hotel association in Mingora and vowed further attacks on those it considers pro-government.
Many Pakistanis view Yousafzai, who also promoted literacy and peace, as a symbol of hope in a country long beset by violence and despair. In 2011, the Pakistani government awarded her a national peace prize and 1 million rupees ($10,500).
She also was a finalist last year for the International Children’s Peace Prize, awarded by a Dutch organization that lauded her bravery in standing up for girls’ education rights amid rising fundamentalism when few others in Pakistan would do so.
Yousafzai was flown by helicopter to a military hospital in Peshawar, where doctors on Wednesday said they removed a bullet lodged near her spine. The girl’s condition was improving, but officials said she had not yet regained consciousness. President Asif Ali Zardari directed that Yousafzai be sent abroad for further medical care if needed; the Interior Ministry arranged documents for her to enter Britain or the United Arab Emirates.
“Islam guarantees each individual – male or female – equal and inalienable rights to life, property and human dignity,” Kayani said. “We wish to bring home a simple message: We refuse to bow before terror. We will fight regardless of the cost. We will prevail insha Allah [God willing].”
[More at the source]
To say that I’m infuriated would be a severe understatement. The fact that adult men think it’s somehow acceptable to shoot a young woman for advocating equal rights is beyond my understanding. I wish her all the best in her recovery. I felt it was important to add the last excerpt, because I really don’t want any Islamophobia coming from all of this, especially not from my blog.
I don’t think it’s Islamophobic to admonish individuals for shooting women’s rights activists in the head.
Her condition is no longer critical and when she recovers from this she will be stronger than before.