On Monday, a senior Taliban official wrote a letter to Malala Yousefzai, Pakistan's beloved anti-Taliban teen activist. The summary? Sorry we're not sorry for trying to kill you.
Adnan Rasheed, the Taliban commander who drafted the letter, began with remorse for Malala’s suffering.
But what would this advice have been? Stop speaking against the Taliban. Rasheed said that Malala was not shot because of her educational pursuits, but because her defamation against the Islamic group.
Rasheed refused to determine the morality of the incident, saying “Was it islamically correct or wrong, or you were deserved to be killed or not, I will not go in this argument now, let’s we leave it to Allah All mighty, He is the best judge [sic].”
Even so, Rasheed spent the rest of the letter justifying the Talban’s attack. He explains that Malala’s education was not the problem, but what her activism represented –Western political and social domination.
As a member of the Taliban, Rasheed’s main objective is to establish an Islamic utopia, with no crime, no poverty, and where conservative religious doctrine dictates civil law.
And he explained that sacred things are turned lethal once they are infected with Western doctrine.
“Why Taliban are blowing up schools [sic]?” he asked. Because they are oftentimes hideouts for the Pakistan Army. But why is the Army a problem? Well, they refuse the Taliban’s demands and seek to maintain the status quo. Which from Rasheed’s point of view, means that the Army promotes the spread of Western doctrine through education.
“This so called education system for which you are ready to die, for which UNO takes you to their office to produce more and more Asians in blood but English in taste, to produce more and more Africans in color but English in opinion, to produce more and more non English people but English in morale. This so called education made Obama, the mass murder, your ideal. isn’t it [sic]?”
In the end, Rasheed’s letter is just became a rant about American foreign policy.
He tried to persuade Malala to sympathize with the Taliban’s pursuits by exposing America’s wrongdoings. He asks, How can you ignore the American drone strikes? Don’t you remember when America instituted a polio vaccination in order to psychologically control Pakistani children? Have you forgotten that America spearheads Western support for the Israeli occupation? And that only America and its closest allies have the power to veto the demands of the rest of the world in the UN?
This part of the letter becomes a bit conspiratorial, though Rasheed does makes a few valid arguments against American imperialism. But just as America has no right to commit crimes abroad for the sake of our political interests, the Taliban has no right to kill indiscriminately in the name of Islam.
Rasheed talks about murder as if there is no avoiding it. The Taliban has not only bombed schools, but has also attempted to gas female students to death. They commit murder on a daily basis, and in the names of their Islamist dream.
Well to be frank Rasheed, it sucks.
In conclusion, Rasheed asked Malala to return to Pakistan, join the Taliban, and use her "pen for Islam."
But Malala will continue to serve the right side of justice. She has done more in her 16 years, than most of us will ever do. She'll keep forging forward and we'll keep loving her for it.
Uchechi is a politics intern at PolicyMic and an all-around great gal.