The Pakistani Taliban claims the 16-year-old women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who they attempted to assassinate in 2012, has “done nothing” to deserve a humans rights award.
Beginning when she was just 11, Malala Yousafzai has promoted women’s education in Pakistan, something the Taliban has banned. She was shot in the face by a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan gunman on Oct. 9, 2012 as she rode a bus home from school.
Yousafzai has become a global ambassador for children’s right to education. She was awarded the Sakharov human rights prize from the European Parliament.
She is also potentially the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history. The award winner will be announced on Friday.
TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid spoke with AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location claiming that Yousafzai is being rewarded for being anti-Islam and reiterated threats that the Taliban intends to make another assassination attempt on the 16-year-old “even in America or the UK.”
“She has done nothing,” Shahid told AFP. “The enemies of Islam are awarding her because she has left Islam and has became secular. She is getting awards because she is working against Islam. Her struggle against Islam is the main reason for getting these awards.”
Her autobiography “I am Malala,” written with Christina Lamb, was just released in Pakistan. The Taliban has warned it would attack bookstores stocking it.
“Malala is the enemy of Islam and Taliban and she wrote this book against Islam and Taliban,” said Shahid.
Yousafzai now lives in Britain, where she moved for treatment after the shooting. She continues her education in the central city of Birmingham. She has dismissed the threats on her life and maintains a desire to return to her home in Pakistan.
She says she doesn’t feel she has done enough to earn the Nobel, but she wants to do more practical work to promote education.
“Malala bravely stands for the right of all children to be granted a fair education,” said the European Parliament’s president Martin Schulz. “This right for girls is far too commonly neglected.”