Most people in the United States of America are perhaps unaware of many of the severe atrocities that take place daily in the strange and cruel world we live in. Something happened this week that was particularly disturbing in the Swat region of Pakistan. A fourteen year old girl who had proclaimed her desire to be educated was so threatening to the beastly Taliban that she was singled out on a school bus, a school bus that was stopped and searched by masked men asking for her. When she was located on the bus, these beastly cowards of the Taliban shot her and left her for dead. She now is reportedly in stable but critical condition in a military hospital in Pakistan with a bullet in her head and neck.
Apparently her crusade for educational rights for women was considered to be an “obscenity” by the Taliban who have already sworn that if she lives they will try to kill her again. It is very difficult for many of us in the so called modern Western world to understand what kind of mindset it takes to perpetrate such hideous acts of violence. However we have had similar occurrences here as well. It was not that long ago that a certain Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Or more recently the shooting of Senator Gabrielle Giffords by the madman Jared Lee Loughner in Arizona.These acts of murder have a frighteningly similar focus of hate spurred on by doctrines of small minded paranoid humans. Doctrines based on the idea that somehow by destroying parts of the world that one disagrees with or does not understand one can make the world a better place for others.
A member of a civilized society therefore has a responsibility to ensure that people are allowed to live with individual freedoms. The caveat being that these freedoms of thought and expression must never impinge on the safety or well being of others. Pakistan officials to their credit have flatly stated that this kind of violence will not be tolerated. Here in the United States we would be wise to consider this case carefully and not think we are immune from such hatred and extremism. Pray, please pray for Malala Yousafzai a young woman who wishes to be a doctor and maybe we can begin to heal the world together.
“To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation – is that good for the world?” — Christopher Hitchens
“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying.” — Kurt Vonnegut Jr.