Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who inspired the world after surviving a Taliban bullet to the head, has again been targeted for death by the militant group.
Nearly a year after Malala was almost murdered by the Pakistan Taliban for defying a ban on female education, one of its leaders told the Daily Telegraph she’s still not safe.
“We are not against Malala herself but we are against her ideology,” Shahidullah Shahid told The Telegraph by telephone from an unknown location.
“Anyone who campaigns against our religion and criticizes Islam, like she is doing with her secular ideology, is our enemy and so we will target her again, and again,” Shahid added.
Malala, who is now 16, was shot in the head on October 9, 2012, while riding a bus from school in her home town of Mingora. A fierce supporter of girls’ education, she chronicled Taliban abuses and the challenges of daily life under Islamic rule in a blog, which made her a target.
"She accepted that she attacked Islam so we tried to kill her, and if we get another chance we will definitely kill her and that will make us feel proud. Islam prohibits killing women, but except those that support the infidels in their war against our religion," Shahid said, according to a Sky News report.
Malala was flown to England after the shooting for extensive surgeries to repair her skull. Joined by her family, she now lives in Birmingham, England, where she returned to school in March and has been writing a book.
“I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban,” will be released Tuesday, a day before the anniversary of her attack.
The teenager has received worldwide attention and praise from human rights groups for her outspoken stand on education. The latest Taliban comments follow efforts by Islamic militants to limit public criticism with a series of lengthy press releases attempting to justify why they shot a 15-year-old girl and two of her friends.
A senior Taliban commander wrote an open letter to Malala in July, expressing regret that he hadn’t warned her to end her campaign. “When you were attacked it was shocking for me. I wished it would never happened and I had advised you before,” wrote Adnan Rasheed, according to the Telegraph.
Malala spoke to the BBC recently about what she’ll do after completing her education.
"I will be a politician in my future. I want to change the future of my country and I want to make education compulsory," she said. "I hope that a day will come [when] the people of Pakistan will be free, they will have their rights, there will be peace and every girl and every boy will be going to school."
Malala is in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced Friday.