BY NICK CHILES
I know Western journalists are supposed to avoid imposing our Western values on other cultures, but this has to be the most outrageous, unbelievable, mind-bending story I’ve heard in a long time, no matter what country you live in: the Taliban in Pakistan is so upset that they have been negatively portrayed in the press after they shot 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the head that they allegedly have targeted the responsible Pakistani news outlets and journalists for terror strikes.
Yes, you read that right: the Taliban said the stories written about the terrorist group after they unsuccessfully tried to assassinate the heroic 9th grader are unbalanced and make them look bad.
We are not making this up. As my wife would say: LONG. BLANK. STARE.
In case you don’t remember the case of Malala Yousafzai, who we wrote about last week, let me offer a quick refresher:
Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan on Oct. 9 when they attacked her school bus as it made its way back home from school. They targeted her because Malala had the gall to pen a column for the BBC—under a pen name—speaking out on behalf of children’s rights and girls’ education. A seventh-grade girl also was shot in the leg when the Taliban opened fire on the bus. Apparently they didn’t care if they took out other kids along with Malala. Cause that’s how the Taliban rolls.
On the day of the attack, Ihsanullah Ihsan, chief spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said in calls to the media that Yousafzai was targeted because she generated “negative propaganda” about Muslims.
“She considers President Obama as her ideal. Malala is the symbol of the infidels and obscenity,” Ihsan said.
Malala became an international sensation after the attack as people around the world expressed their dismay over the brutality of the Taliban and the courage of the girl. She is now recuperating in a British hospital, far from the ridiculously inhuman reach of the Taliban, which has vowed to go after her again until they succeed at assassination.
And now the Taliban has taken an incredibly bad situation and somehow made it a million times worse.
The Taliban is mad because people are saying bad things about them for trying to assassinate a 14-year-old girl who simply wanted an education. And they want their reasoning for the attack to get higher placement in the stories. Is this mind-boggling or what? Do these guys really inhabit the same planet as the rest of us humans?
Mullah Yahya, a former high-ranking Afghan Information Ministry official, told The Daily Beast, “First of all, attempting to kill a 14-year-old girl is a low act. Second, claiming responsibility for it is a sign that the [Pakistani] Taliban are not aware of the media’s importance. I have seen more anger against the religious elements in the past week than in all my 40 years of life.”
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Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.