Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan seem to have been caught off guard by the outpouring of support for Malala. (AP)AP
Oct. 9, 2012: A wounded Pakistani girl, Malala Yousufzai, is moved to a helicopter to be taken to Peshawar for treatment in Mingora, Swat Valley, Pakistan.AP
October 10, 2012: Pakistani members of Minhaj-ul-Quran Women League hold up pictures of 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai in Lahore, Pakistan.
Al Qaeda doesn’t get why the civilized world is rallying behind Malala, the 15-year-old girl shot in the head by Taliban thugs for fighting to help get Pakistani girls an education.
Al Qaeda’s Pakistani spokesman, Ustad Ahmad Farooq, has issued a statement on the assassination attempt, wondering why people in Pakistan and around the world have made the girl a heroine.
"Why is Malala's blood more important than those killed by the army?"
- Ustad Ahmad Farooq, Al Qaeda’s Pakistani spokesman
An excerpt from the letter, titled "Why Mourn Malala so Much?" and addressed to"[my] beloved Pakistani brothers and sisters," was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. The letter claims that the West has done far worse to Muslim women. Specifically, Farooq asks why the media and the public are silent about women who die due to poverty and women killed during military operations in Swat and Waziristan.
“Nobody spoke up for thousands of such Malalas who became victims of military operations, and nobody protested for them on the roads,” Farooq wrote. “But these circles made so much noise when we targeted this girl who made fun of jihad, the veil and other Islamic values on behest of the British Broadcasting Corporation. This attack created shockwaves in the ruling circles around the world. They issued a number of statements condemning the attack on Malala. I may ask why? Why is Malala's blood more important than those killed by the army?"
Malala Yousufzai is recuperating in a United Kingdom hospital, where she was taken one week ago after doctors in her homeland removed the bullet from her shoulder. She stood for the first time since her shooting and is "communicating very freely," according to a hospital official.
The brave girl still cannot talk because she has a tracheotomy tube inserted to protect her airway, which was swollen after the shooting, but she is writing messages, according to Dave Rosser, director of University Hospitals Birmingham.
Malala has become an international symbol for the rights of girls in fundamentalist Islamic societies. She was shot in the northwestern district of Swat more than a week ago in a shocking attack that triggered anger in Pakistan and around the world. The Taliban claimed responsibility, but appeared to be caught off guard by the reaction.
Thousands of people have rallied across Pakistan in support of Malala, and citizens have called for the government to act. Pakistani authorities claim to have made a number of arrests.
Doctors have said it is possible Malala will make a near-full recovery, although Rosser told reporters there "is certainly physical damage to the brain." The bullet entered above her left eye, moved down through her jaw and into her left shoulder.
Many well-wishers have sent messages of support for the teen, and the hospital has set up a bank account for donations to pay for future surgeries and rehabilitation. She is likely to require reconstructive surgery on her skull and possibly on her jaw.