The Price of Education

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was doing what she did every day; coming home from school, when two men stopped the bus she was riding in and shot her in the head and neck.  Two other girls were also shot. Yousafzai remains in critical condition but has luckily not suffered any lasting brain damage.

The man responsible for the attack on the Peshwar native is one of the Taliban’s most feared commanders, Maulana Fazlullah.

The young girl and the dangerous leader have a long history. In 2009, the then 11-year-old Malala went toe-to-toe with the man nicknamed “Radio Mullah” for his fiery radio broadcasts.

Fazullah had taken over Swat Valley and ruled with extreme violence and fear tactics.  He also ordered the closure of girls’ schools, which was the final straw for Malala. She began to speak out against Fazlullah and the Taliban and blogged for the BBC under a pen name. She also launched a campaign for girls’ education, which won her Pakistan’s highest civilian honor and death threats from the Taliban.

That Malala survived the hit on her life is nothing short of a miracle; however the violence is far from over.   According to reports, Sirajuddin Ahmad, a spokesman of Swat Taliban, has said publicly that because they failed to kill Malala, they would target her father and Ziauddin Yousafzai – the headmaster of a girls’ school – because both encourage the education of girls.

“We have a clear-cut stance. Anyone who takes side with the government against us will have to die at our hands,” Ahmad warned. “You will see. Other important people will soon become victims.”

Read Malala’s blog; Diary of a Pakistani School Girl

 

Rachel Roth

Executive Assistant

Campaign Consultation, Inc.

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