Condemn Taliban Attack on 14-year-old Pakistani Activist

Target: Ihsnaullah Ishan, Taliban Spokesperson

Goal: Get the Taliban to formally renounce their stance against female education in Pakistan

Recently, members of the Taliban in Pakistan gunned down 14-year-old student and social activist Malala Yousafzai, in what was clearly a premeditated assassination attempt. The girl miraculously survived the attack and while doctors say her condition is improving she is still in critical condition and her recovery is not a certainty. A Taliban spokesperson has confirmed that the attack was carried out in response to Malala’s outspoken stance against the Taliban’s edict prohibiting female education in the region.

So far the Pakistani outcry against this attack has been overwhelming, but a unified global voice is also needed to condemn this sort of ignorant violence, and hopefully limit any future occurrences of a similar nature.

The attack took place in what is known as Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan, an area that was controlled by the Taliban as recently as 2009. Under Taliban rule, the education of women was banned in the region because it is seen as a manifestation of secular ideology stemming from “Western” influence. When the Taliban rule ended, Malala and many other Pakistani girls like her began attending school, although not without conflict.

According to Malala, who began blogging to speak out against the opposition to female education in her region, the girls who attend school in the Swat Valley still endure daily threats of violence against them and their families. Obviously the threats were not empty ones.

Malala and two other girls were being driven home in a school bus one day when Taliban gunmen boarded the bus and asked for Malala by name. When someone on the bus identified her the gunmen opened fire, shooting her once in the neck and once in the head.

People in Pakistan are both enraged and heartbroken by this unspeakable act of ignorant violence, and it is time for the rest of the world to speak up in turn. Violence must not be accepted as a form of discourse by the Pakistani people, or by the rest of world’s population.

As Malala Yousafzai now fights for her young life, sign this petition in solidarity with those who are fighting to bring an end to the ignorant hatred that robs young women of their freedoms. The Taliban must stop violently restricting women from becoming educated.


Dear Ihsnaullah Ishan,

The world community has been saddened and upset by the news of the attack on Malala Yousafzai carried out by your Taliban soldiers. Yet,  even more saddening and upsetting are your comments justifying the attack. To attempt to murder someone simply because they disagree with you is never justifiable no matter what you may offer as justification.

To violently resist allowing women to finally be educated in Pakistan, a change that defies your beliefs without harming them, is the height of ignorance. The worst of humanity’s atrocities have been born out of such concessions to reactionary and intolerant mindsets like those you and your group now espouse.

The growing majority of the world does not recognize the value of one sex over another; they believe education is everyone’s right. The growing majority of the human species sees the life of Malala Yousafzai and young women like her as precious, something to be nurtured and treasured, not to be cut down.

Whether or not you eventually come to appreciate all human life as precious is not the goal of this letter; rather, this letter is meant to inform you that the space where you can safely practice your belief in violent ideology is shrinking. Progress is closing in on you in the form of a caring, diverse, educated and relentlessly progressive populace. I implore you to make a concerted effort to reform your stance on educating women.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit by Michael Foley Photography via Flickr

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  1. These people really are the scum of human society. What kind of hero shoots at a young girl?

  2. TRUDY NICKOLS says:



  4. these young girls need to be protected from a male dominated country
    everyone has the right to freedom of speech

    • Janice Sprow says:

      Ronnie, Unfortunately you are incorrect—- there are millions without freedom of speech as well as many of the other freedoms we too often take for granted.

      Everyone SHOULD HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND OTHER BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. It is up to all of us to keep standing up and speaking up for those who can not

  5. valda purvis says:

    They really are running -scared these -gutless cowards of the Taliban when they shoot a young girl all because she wants an education,they are so uncivilised and uneducated-women don’t even need an education to be smarter than them -they are -grubbs.

  6. steve stevens says:

    Trouble is western society has gone ‘soft’. ‘Human Rights legislation, is a civilised concept that smacks headlong into the wall of terrorism. If a pet dog goes mad and runs around biting people, societies laws demand that it is removed permanently.Humans that do the same are not brought to account for their wicked acts. We allow 9/11s & 7/7s and do not get to the root of this evil. In fact our governments go out of their way to facilitate and lessen the knowledge of what these people are really about. Earlier this year there was a demonstration by radical Islamists in London, where amid the anti west chants were placards saying ‘Kill all Christians’ & ‘We will Not Rest Until ALL the World Embraces Islam’ & ‘9/11 U.K. YOU Are Next’.. They were allowed to preach this hate on our streets and what did OUR government do… They slapped a ‘D’ notice on the event, making it illegal for any of the media to report it !!! Meanwhile terrorism and piracy is increasing around the world and we all await the next act of barbarism in the name of Islam..

    • Linda Indyke says:

      You can’t war on everybody. Saber rattling has never solved any problems. I think the West stands the high ground by not stooping to the level of these groups. And lets continue what the world community is doing in the case of Iran – strict and effective economic sanctions.

    • Janice Sprow says:

      Freedom of speech and protesting something is one thing— but when people are advocating killing others and spewing hate— that is another matter entirely— It may have been a good thing that the media did not report it though– because that just broadcasts their message to more people—- If these people are not citizens, they should be deported— if they are, they should be arrested and/or put on a watch list of suspected terrorists.

  7. Linda Indyke says:

    From what the latest publicity is from the Taliban, they continue to plan to assassinate this young girl. I don’t get it: what threat could a 14-year-old girl possibly be to anyone? This only proves to me how cowardly and inhumane this group of fanatics truly is.

  8. islam in a nutshell…

    • Janice Sprow says:

      Not fair Marc

      The Taliban are extreamists– there are many Islamic people who are just as appalled by terrorists and Christians.

      Many terrible things have been done in the name of various religions including Christianity.

      Most legitimate religions are based on a Loving God and ask tht people be loving as well. There may be many differences but I believe that there are some similarities and variations of the Golden Rule.
      ( People more knowledgeble than I — Please recite some from other religions)

      • Janice Sprow says:

        Sorry I made a bad typo that changes what I was trying to say

        Although there probably are Islamics who are appalled by Christians, I meant that there are many appalled by terrorists just like Christians are appalled.

        What a difference a word can make “and” should have been “as”

  9. These cowardly people that shot or approved of shoting a 14 year old girl should receive the penelty of death so they can see allah in the flesh.

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