Analysis Fix

In Targeting Malala, Taliban Attacked Islam

By Mehran
Shamit
Senior
Reporter
TORONTO,
Canada – The assassination attempt on Malala Yousafzai by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan was nothing more than an attack on
Islam.
The 14-year-old education
rights activist from Swat Valley and Pakistan’s National Peace Prize winner was
shot by the Taliban because she spoke out against Taliban atrocities and fought
for girls’ education, a fundamental right that she is entitled to in Islam.
The
Taliban’s baseless justification for targeting Yousafzai was “
because of her pioneer role in preaching secularism and so
called enlightened moderation,” essentially just promoting their own agenda of male
dominance in society. The obvious truth behind this is that the Taliban did not
target her because she preached secularism, but because she defied
and condemned the anti-Islamic values of the Taliban
and wanted to
spread the truth that all girls had the right to an education.
The Taliban viewed the empowerment
of girls as a threat and used bullets in an attempt to silence Yousafzai,
because violence is their only known way of communication. Every
time religious fanatics like the Taliban decide to do something completely anti-Islamic,
they go on to justify and defend their violent actions taking Islamic Law out
of context and completely misrepresenting Islam and creating more
misconceptions about none other than every peace loving Muslim.
As
a Muslim, it is outrageous that groups like the Taliban, who continuously strive
to attack Islam by going against its teachings and justifying violent attacks
in the name of Islam, put Muslims in a position where people judge us and
define who we are based on misconceptions of Islam and the bigotry created by
these fanatics.
Living
in the West, I always find myself defending my religion. I can say that the
extremist beliefs and values put forth by an anti-Islamic and misogynist group
like the Taliban do not in any way represent Muslims, and they definitely do
not represent the teachings of Islam.
Malala Yousafzai’s official Facebook photo

 

Malala Yousafzai in an undated photo


Islam
teaches us to seek knowledge and develop our ability to think critically and
logically so that we can grow intellectually and apply our intellect to
actually understanding Islam and truly believing in its teachings. The only way
it is possible for us to do that is by getting an education.
Prophet
Mohammad said, “Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim.”

The
Quran also says, “
Are those equal, those who know and
those who do not know?”
In
Islam, clearly education is not only a right but the responsibility of both
males and females. Contrary to what many people may believe, Islam does not
restrict or limit opportunities for women and it certainly does not deny them
their fundamental right to an education. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir
Bhutto, who was
the first female prime minister of a
Muslim country, once said, “We learned
at an early age that it was men’s interpretation of our religion that
restricted women’s opportunities, not our religion itself.”
I think that people really have to understand this.
The fact is that it is not Islam, but sexist interpretations created and forced
into society by men, that restrict and limit rights and opportunities for
women.  I want people to know that the
Taliban and their highly condemnable acts are far
from what Islam teaches and that they do not represent or define Muslims in any
way.
Malala
Yousafzai is a brave young girl who fought for her right to an education, a
right given to her in Islam and a right that no girl should ever be denied. In
Islam, we are taught that killing an innocent person is the equivalent of
killing humanity as a whole. The brutal attack on Malala was an attack on
all of humanity and we should all pray for her recovery. 



Also see these other YJI pieces about Malala Yousafazai:


Taliban Attack On Teen Girl ‘Unbelievable’


Pakistanis Blame Taliban, Government For Attack On 14-Year-Old Malala Yousafazai


Pakistan Prays For Malala, Against Taliban


Malala Yousafazai’s Brave Voice Is Heard


Everyone Should Stand Up For Malala


Pakistani Girl Spoke Peacefully, And For Many, In Her Push For Girls’ Education