published Thursday, October 18th, 2012

The truth about the Taliban

Remember Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl whose name is rapidly and understandably becoming synonymous with the word courage. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman last week for what a spokesman for the group called an "obscenity." The so-called profanity? Malala wanted an education, encouraged other girls and woman to live fulfilling lives and publicly criticized the behavior of the militant group in the region where she lived.

Now, the young woman is recovering in a London hospital, where she can be treated for her grievous wound without fear from additional attacks from the Taliban, which clearly intends to kill her for violating their extraordinarily narrow-minded and dangerous view of the way women should live.

Malala's courage in spite of the personal danger is undeniable. She has become an inspiration to women around the world and a symbol of hope to the oppressed. Most importantly, her campaign for an education and equality has exposed the terrible brutality of the Taliban for the world to see.

The shooting of Malala and two of her classmates as they returned from school isn't the first time the Taliban has acted so cruelly to repress women. The group has destroyed about 200 schools for girls in Pakistan in recent years. The Taliban routinely threaten and beat girls who go to school, poison wells and use toxins to foul the air at girls schools, and publicly flog and sometimes execute women who violate their so-called codes of proper behavior. Such depraved acts publicly expose the inhumanity of the Taliban.

Malala, among the latest and certainly the most visible victim of such barbarous behavior, is, as of this writing, recovering. Specialists report, though, that it is still too early to determine if she will suffer brain damage or other permanent damage as a result of her wound. Hers is a high price to pay for dreams that should be common and achievable for girls everywhere.

"I have the right of education," she's said. "I have the right to play. I have the right to sing. I have the right to talk. I have the right to go to market. I have the right to speak up." That's little enough for girls and women to seek.

The Taliban oppose such goals and employ violence to enforce their beliefs. Such intransigence is a threat to women and to global peace. Nations of the world should unite to eradicate it. It is the right thing to do.

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nucanuck said...

The world is aghast at the Taliban treatment of women. We find it incomprehensible, but that does not mean that we should engage in endless worldwide warfare against ignorance and injustice.

Opposing the Taliban should be a political position, not a military adventure.

October 18, 2012 at 11:12 a.m.
Leaf said...

nucanuck - agreed. The strength of America has been that the world wanted to emulate us. If we stop being jerks, they will again. It's starting to happen as Obama repairs our diplomatic and cultural reputation, and extracts us from middle-east wars.

I'd hate to think what would happen if Romney were elected and decided to invade Iran to prove his loyalty to Israel. For a supposed religious dude, he sure does rattle his saber a lot.

October 19, 2012 at 10:09 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Leaf said... "....For a supposed religious dude, he sure does rattle his saber a lot."

I find that to be true of most religious dudes, and dudettes.

October 19, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.
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