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Q: What is the cruelest thing an adult may do to a child?

A: Fail to educate the same.

There are zero dull days for anyone “tracking” conflicts via the World Wide Web, but the past several days have been especially touched by the attempted murder of Malala Yusufzai, a 14-year-old schoolgirl braving the Taliban — insulting them, actually — by merely taking ownership of her right to go to school.

This video featured Malala in 2009, and it starts this way: “In the area where I live, there are some people who want to stop educating girls through guns.”

Given the rush of expanding attention those intending to “stop educating girls through guns” have brought upon themselves by demonstrating the kind of thing they themselves seem to have learned to do best, they may have brought to the Swat Valley Region of Pakistan a more committed and vigorous national and international effort to renew civility, education, and global modernity — its freedoms and its values — all around themselves.

A couple of hours ago, Angelina Jolie donated $50,000 to editor and publisher Tina Brown’s Women in the World Foundation (read it in the Hollywood Reporter).

Reported by Reuters yesterday: “”We targeted her because she would speak against the Taliban while sitting with shameless strangers and idealized the biggest enemy of Islam, Barack Obama.”

If you think that’s a bit upside-down, considering what the conservative right in America and elsewhere has been saying about Obama these past and long four years, consider the same source said to Reuters, “The Quran says that people propagating against Islam and Islamic forces would be killed.”

A careful and close reader might catch the ambiguity and ambivalence embedded in that claim.


Afridi, Waheed.  “Police make progress in Malal Yousufzai case, three arrested.”  The News Tribe, October 12, 2012.

Ahmed, Qanta.  “Dying for education in the Swat Valley.”  Haaretz, October 16, 2012.

Amir, Ayaz.  “Forked tongues of the holy armies.”  The International News, October 12, 2012.

Aziz, Mudasser.  “Karzai telephones Zardari, condemns attack on Malala Yousafzai.”     The News Tribe, October 10, 2012.

Brumfield, Ben.  “Who are the Pakistani Taliban.”  Article with video narrated by Fionnuala Sweeney.  CNN, October 17, 2012.

Dawn.  “Skewed Narrative.”  October 15, 2012.

Haberler.Com.  “Pakistanis Love Conspiracy Theories.”  October 16, 2012.

Farooq, Ahmed.  “Altaf threatens to expose Ulema if they don’t condemn Taliban’s attack on Malala.”  The News Tribe, October 11, 2012.

Farooq, Ahmed.  “Pakistani clerics condemn Taliban attack on Malala.”  The News Tribe, October 12, 2012.

Fazle-Haider, Syed.  “Malala Has Won.”  The New York Times, Op-Ed, October 11, 2012.

Freedom From the Forbidden.  “Young Malala Yusufzai Shot: praying for her safe recovery.  October 9, 2012.

Jolie, Angelina.  “Angelina Jolie: We All Are Malala.”  The Daily Beast – Women in the World Foundation, October 16, 2012.

Khan, Hamza.  “Pakistan child activist facing ‘critical’ 24-36 hours.”  The News Tribe, October 12, 2012.

Nomani, Asra Q.  “Wake Up, Pakistan: Shooting a Teenage Girl Should Be a Tipping Point.”  The Daily Beast, October 11, 2012.

Paracha, Nadeem F.  “We Are All Malala: Why can’t Pakistanis condemn the Taliban for sho.oting a 14-year-old girl?”  Foreign Policy.  October 10, 2012.

Reuters.  “Taliban says its attack on Pakistani schoolgirl justified.”  October 16, 2012.

Rodriguez, Alex.  “Pakistan outraged over girl’s shooting, but crackdown on Taliban unlikely.”  Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2012.

Sadar, M. Husain.  “So, Pakistanis are praying for Malala!”  Viewpoint, October 12, 2012.

Shah, Haider.  “Attacking Malala: the soul of Pakistan, Daily Times,13/10/12”.  Note: Dr. Haider Shah’s blog.

Shahid, Kunwar Khuldune.  “Don’t blame the Taliban.”  Pakistan Today, October 12, 2012.

Shamsie, Kamila.  “What has Malala Yousafzai done to the Taliban?”  The Guardian, October 10, 2012 (Facebook page).

Siddiqa, Ayesha.  “Get well Malala, and find another home, because we can’t protect you.”  The Express Tribune, October 17, 2012.

Synovitz, Ron.  “Malala Yousafzai, the Girl Shot by the Taliban, Becomes a Global Icon.”  The Atlantic, October 12, 2012.

Szarkowski, Lisa.  “Standing with Malala.”  CNN World, October 16, 2012.

The Express Tribune.  “Altaf advises people to only pray behind leaders condemning Malala attack.”  October 12, 2012.

The Frontier Post.  “Communist Party flays attack on Malala.”  October 12, 2012.

The News.  “Private Schools Remain Closed.”  October 11, 2012.

The New York Times.  “World: Class Dismissed in Swat Valley.”  Video.  October 13, 2009.


All Pakistan Women’s Association.

Child Care Foundation of Pakistan.

Foundation for the Future.

The Citizens Foundation.

Women in the World Foundation.

UNICEF Gender Equality.