She refused to remain silent

The October 9 shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a student in Mingora in the Swat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, shocked and outraged millions of people around the globe. The teenager became a target of a Taliban faction after speaking out in favor of education reform and women's rights. Although shot in the head, she remains alive--though continued threats on her life may force her out of the country.

In a statement, Malalai Joya--a former member of Afghanistan's parliament, known the world over as a courageous opponent of the U.S. occupation, the corrupt regime presided over by President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban and other conservative Islamist forces, whether they are battling or supporting the Afghan government--writes about the roots of this attack and the way forward for women's rights in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Malala YousafzaiMalala Yousafzai

ONCE AGAIN, we see a crime against women by dark-minded and brutal fundamentalists. Malala Yousafzai was shot by Pakistani Taliban because she did not remain silent about the ongoing crimes and brutalities against women; because, despite her young age, she had the consciousness to stand for her rights and say "no" to the terrorism and misogyny of the creatures of the Stone Age.

I strongly condemn this disgraceful act of targeting an innocent 14-year-old girl. This is the real nature of Afghan and Pakistani fundamentalist Taliban. These dirty rascals pose as "manly," but this heinous crime shows how unmanly and disgusting they are to try to kill a defenseless young girl.

Malala was targeted because, in her limited capacity, she wanted to inform the world about the brutalities going on against women by extremists. She wanted to wake up the women of the rural areas of Pakistan to stand up and defend their due rights.

This was a warning for those who only understand the language of the gun. This cowardly attack on her proves that these medieval-minded groups are aware of the potential power of awakened women and are afraid that she may become a role model for many more women. So they tried to stop her in the very beginning. But it was a failed attempt because, across Pakistan and around the whole world, people are on Malala's side and they are condemning her enemies.

The world should know that the West, and in particular, the U.S. government, have nurtured, supported and armed these dirty inhuman bands for the past three decades. They should know that still in our unfortunate Afghanistan, the U.S. and NATO rely on brothers-in-creed of the Taliban--the Northern Alliance warlords such as Qanooni, Fahim, Ismael Khan, Atta Mohammad, Abdullah, Sayyaf, Mohaqiq, Khalili and others--who have made life a torture for Afghan women. They should know that Karzai's puppet regime is calling the murderer Taliban "brothers" and trying to share power with this anti-humanity band of killers.

I send my salutations to Malala Yousafzai and am sure that her great sacrifice will not be in vain. She marks the shining pages of history, while her enemies will soon go into the dustbin of history.