A group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan have issued a fatwa against the Taliban assailants who tried to kill a 14-year-old girl, famous for campaigning for the right of young females to an education. As reported in The Guardian, “The Islamic scholars from the Sunni Ittehad Council publicly denounced attempts by the Pakistani Taliban to mount religious justifications for the shooting of Malala Yousafzai and two of her classmates as they sat inside a school bus on Tuesday. Hamid Saeed Kazmi, a former religious affairs minister, replied that Islam “holds the killing of one innocent person as killing the entirety of humanity”. There was continued outrage over the attack, which has left Yousafzai in a critical condition at a Pakistani military hospital after surgery to remove a bullet from near her spinal cord. Authorities are offering a reward of $100,000 for the capture of her attackers.
“Across the country, a national day of prayer was observed in schools and mosques for the young peace activist who became famous after writing a blog in 2009 for the BBC Urdu service about life under the Taliban insurgency. Some newspapers on Friday even suggested the army might now consider mounting operations in North Waziristan, the centre of the country’s militancy problem, which the military has long resisted confronting despite entreaties from the US.Sceptics, however, fear nothing will change, noting the handful of tiny public demonstrations on behalf of Yousafzai have been dwarfed by the huge, violent protests that greeted the YouTube trailer for the blasphemous Innocence of Muslims film last month. One human rights activist said that while there was “a great big moderate majority” in Pakistan but “it never speaks up”. Several commentators have also noted that, although almost all political parties have condemned the act, often in extremely harsh terms, most are unwilling to single out the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, even though it gleefully claimed responsibility.”