It comes as no surprise to learn that Malala Yousafzai is getting the chance to share her message with the world; she spoke at the UN just last Friday.
It might come as something of a shock, however, to learn that one of those offers is from the very men who put a bullet in her head last October.
On Monday, the 16-year-old Pakistani teen “received” a letter from Taliban commander Adnan Rasheed. In it, he expressed regret that Taliban thugs ambushed Yousafzai and her friends as they returned from school. He called it an “accident.”
Yet he stopped short of offering a full apology, instead trying to explain exactly why they tried to silence her.
“Taliban never attacked you because of going to school or you were education lover, also please mind that Taliban or Mujahideen are not against the education of any men or women or girl,” the letter says, according to Channel 4 News.
“Taliban believe that you were intentionally writing against them and running a smearing campaign to malign their efforts to establish Islamic system in Swat (Valley) and your writings were provocative.”
The Associated Press and Channel 4 obtained copies of the letter, dated July 15, and verified their authenticity.
Yousafzai survived the attack, after which she was airlifted to England to undergo life-saving surgery.
She now lives in the UK, and has become a champion for girls’ education. Some consider her a candidate to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Yousafzai was writing a blog for the BBC about girls’ limited access to education as the Taliban targeted schools around her Swat Valley home in Pakistan.
They took it a step further with Yousafzai, and carried out a personal attack on the girl and her friends. Rasheed is now encouraging Yousafzai to return home to fight the “tiny elite.”
“Use your pen for Islam and plight of Muslim (community) and reveal the conspiracy of tiny elite who want to enslave the whole humanity for their evil agendas in the name of new world order,” his letter says.
Former British prime minister Gordon Brown, now a UN envoy on education, slammed Rasheed’s letter. He met Yousafzai in New York alongside Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“Nobody will believe a word the Taliban say about the right of girls like Malala to go to school until they stop burning down schools and stop massacring pupils,” Brown said, according to the Associated Press.
The Yousafzai family said it has learned about the letter, but will not comment.
Malala framed her opinions on Friday. It was her 16th birthday, and Yousafzai said she’s “just one” of many victims of terrorism.
The UN declared it “Malala Day,” but the young girl rejected that, saying, “Today is the day of every woman, every boy, and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.”
The full letter can be seen below.
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