A 14 year-old girl who wants to be a doctor when she grows up and goes to bat for education with her blog would be a prize in most places, but in Pakistan's Sharia Belt, she gets a hit put on her;
Malala Yousufzai, 14, remains in critical condition a day after surgeons removed a bullet lodged in her neck. Taliban militants shot Malala and two other girls Tuesday as the girls headed home from school in Pakistan's conservative Swat Valley. The two other girls were not seriously injured.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for targeting Malala, who enraged the militant group by writing about her daily battle with the extremists who used fear and intimidation to force girls to stay at home instead of going to school. Malala's online writing earned her Pakistan's first National Peace Prize in November.
An irony here is that Taliban means students in Arabic; students of the Koran by implication, but they are gunning down a coed talib (that's the singular form) for wanting to be educated.
Educated in something other than 24/7 Koran. That might be the craw-sticker. Over in Nigeria, the jihadist group Boko Haram declares western-style education to be non-halal and harasses Christians and folks who don't oppose a secular approach to things. There might be a bit of that here.
However, since the Taliban come from the barefoot and pregnant school of culture (not so much religion; you'd be hard pressed to quote Muhammad sura and verse to back illiterate girls), a teenaged girl treating herself as their peer, if not their superior, is double-trouble.
It's one thing to send a prank 911 call to send a SWAT team to an offending blogger's house, it's another to send a Swat Valley team of hit men to kill a juice-boxer blogger. It shows something of the desperation of the Taliban to terrorize Pakistani culture to a point where the only thing you can do is survive and have your nose in a Koran when you're not doing the minimum to survive.