An evil and repugnant ideology

Malala Yousufzai, 14

Malala Yousufzai, 14

Many of you have been shocked by the story of Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year old Pakistani girl shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist because of a blog she wrote and interviews she gave starting in 2009, criticizing the Taliban and calling for the education of women.

This lovely, self-possessed girl, who speaks and writes on a level far above her age, and who planned to enter politics (video), may or may not survive. If she does not, it will be an enormous loss for Pakistan and for the world.

This is not simply an atrocity of war. This was not done out of hatred, anger or because someone was crazy. Nobody lost control in the heat of battle or was infuriated by a ridiculous YouTube video. No low-level extremist was responsible for this.

No, it was something else entirely. Read about the letter sent by the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership to international media today:

The letter, written in English, says a Taliban gunman “successfully targeted” Yousafzai “although she was young and a girl and the TTP does not believe in attacking women.” It says Yousafzai, who gained global recognition at the age of 11 through an online diary she wrote for the BBC about TTP influence in her hometown of Mingora, was shot because “whom so ever leads a campaign against Islam and Shariah is ordered to be killed by Shariah.”

The letter accuses Yousafzai of being “pro-West,” promoting Western culture, and speaking out against Taliban militants — charging that Yousafzai’s “personality became a symbol of an anti-Shariah campaign.” Using the term for Islamic holy warriors to refer to Taliban militants, the letter says that “Yousafzai was playing a vital role in bucking up the emotions” of Pakistan’s military and government “and was inviting Muslims to hate mujahideen.”

The letter goes on to argue that “[i]t is a clear command of Shariah that any female who, by any means, plays a role in the war against mujahideen should be killed.” It then seeks to justify the shooting of the schoolgirl by citing passages from the Koran in which a child or woman was killed…

The Taliban’s justification concludes with a threat, saying: “If anyone thinks that Malala is targeted because of education, that’s absolutely wrong and is propaganda by media. Malala is targeted because of her pioneer role in preaching secularism and so-called enlightened moderation. And whom so ever will commit so in the future too will be targeted again by the TTP.”

The TTP also warned that if she survives, they will try again, and that it is intended as a warning to other children.

The Taliban has thus provided a coldblooded ideological and strategic explanation of their actions, a clear window into their thinking.

And what do we see through this window? For one thing, the emptiness of the idea that all disputes are based on a lack of understanding or communication between the sides. No amount of ‘communication’ can make me accept or understand the principle that promoting secularism is a death penalty crime for an eighth-grader.

We also see that these are not abnormal humans who are missing their moral senses. They are not Ted Bundy or Charles Manson. They are logically acting on the implications of the ideology that they are committed to, the ideology which informs their moral perceptions in the first place.

The ideology is Shari’a, Islamic law. A demand for strict observance of Shari’a characterizes radical Islamists everywhere, from Iran to Pakistan, to the UK.

Do I need to add that this ideology is evil and repugnant?

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One Response to “An evil and repugnant ideology”

  1. Robman says:

    Now, now, Vic.

    We all know that acts like these will all stop just as soon as Israel stops oppressing those poor Palestinians, and gives them a state in the West Bank. Oh, and also ends the blockade of Gaza.

    At least, that’s what the Leader of the Free World says, and I believe him! Why shouldn’t I? According to almost all the national news media, he’s the greatest president we’ve had since…since…FOREVER. Indeed, some say he’s Lincoln, FDR, and JFK all rolled into one (I’m not making that up; I’ve seen exactly that claim in my local newspaper).

    What fantastic times we live in, that we can witness such amazing leadership in action. How fortunate we all are.

    And how blessed we are to live in times so nearly perfect, that the entire solution to every problem that ever was or ever will be can be found in just one small event: peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Surely, in order to have a PERFECT world, that would be worth ANY cost, right? Even if that means no more Israel! Why do the Jews have to be such spoil sports about everything? Really! When you think about it, when it comes right down to it, it is the Jews who are standing between the rest of us and a perfect world [Where have we heard that before?]! At least those Jews that support Israel…which really is pretty much all of them, no matter what else they say, because everybody knows what deceitful liars they all are. Yeah, every time I see some editorial written by some guy trying to make Israel look good, I can see that the name is always something like Krauthammer, Rosenthal, etc….It’s always some Jew, never anybody else, ’cause everybody else knows Israel is wrong, and those Jews, they just have an agenda, so you can’t believe them. That’s how we know they’re all liars [and that's why I can no longer get pro-Israel letters published in my local paper, because I don't have a Jewish sounding name]. They are just sooo selfish, cheating the rest of us out of a perfect world with their endless excuses for their militaristic, oppressive, illegitimate fossil-of-colonialism country.

    Everything I said above has got to be true, because even the best and most expensive universities throughout the world, where the very smartest people on earth teach, say pretty much that in just about every history or political science class that talks about the Middle East.

    And this article above, about some poor miguided young woman…well, that is nothing but hate speech. Just because a lot of Muslims think differently than we do, and do things most of us would never do [like shoot some woman in the head for speaking her mind and expecting to be treated like a human being] doesn’t mean we have the right to judge them. Anyone who would judge them is just being a narrow-minded ignoramus, and a bigot. I’m sure that’s what our current Secretary of State would say, and it would be downright unpatriotic to disagree with her. I mean, freedom of speech is nice but you can take any good thing too far, right? It’s just a cultural difference, really. “Free speech” means one thing in our culture, and another thing in theirs. How can one culture judge another?

    Yes, what incredible times we live in. We are all marching FORWARD to a BRIGHTER DAY

    [A new Dark Ages].