Adnan Rasheed, a senior member of the Pakistan Taliban, wrote the following letter to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage girl who became a global symbol for women’s educational rights after a Taliban gunman shot her in the head last year in her native Swat Valley.
Rasheed, who was sentenced to death for his role in an attack on former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in 2004, escaped prison last year after a Taliban raid on a prison in the city of Bannu. Malala now lives in the United Kingdom with her family.
Rasheed apparently wrote the bizarre and rambling letter in English.
The letter has been edited and annotated for clarity:
“IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST MERCIFUL AND BENEFICENT
From Adnan Rasheed to Malala Yousafzai
Peace to those who follow the guidance
“Miss Malala Yousafzai,
I am writing to you in my personal capacity -- this may not be the opinion or policy of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or other jihadi factions or groups.
I heard about you through BBC Urdu [language] service for the first time, when I was in Bannu prison. At that time I wanted to write to you, to advise you to refrain from anti-Taliban activities you were involved in. but I could not find your address and I was thinking how to approach you with [either a] real or pseudo name. My… [feelings] were brotherly for you because we belong to same Yousafzai tribe.
Meanwhile the prison [break at Bannu] happened and I was supposed to be in hiding. When you were attacked it was shocking for me -- I wished it [had] never happened and I had advised you before.
Taliban attacked you, was it [according to the tenets of Islam], or [did you deserve] to be killed or not, I will not go in [these arguments] now. Let’s we leave it to Allah Almighty, He is the best judge.
Here I want to advise you as I am already late, I wish I would have advised [you during] my [time in prison] and this [shooting ] would never [have] happened. First of all please [keep in] mind that Taliban never attacked you because of [your] going to school or [because] you were [an] education lover.
Also please [keep in] mind that Taliban or Mujahedeen are not against the education of any men or women or [girls]. Taliban believe that you were intentionally writing against them and running a [smear] campaign to malign their efforts to establish Islamic system in [Swat] and your writings were provocative.
You have said in your speech yesterday [at the United Nations] that [the] pen is mightier than [the] sword, so they attacked you for your sword not for your books or school. There were thousands of girls who were going to school and college before and after the Taliban insurgency in Swat, [so] would you explain why were only you on their hit list?
Now to explain you the second point, why [are] Taliban blowing up schools. The answer to these questions [is] that not only [are] Taliban in KPK [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province] or FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] are blowing up the schools, but [the] Pakistan Army and Frontier Constabulary is equally involved in this issue.
The reason for this action is common between them -- that is [they are] turning... schools into hide outs and transit camps once [they come] under control of either party Pakistan Army or Taliban.
In 2004 I was in Swat, I was researching on the causes of failure of the first [revolutionary] attempt by Sufi Muhammad [founder of Pakistani militant group, Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi]. I came to know that FC [Frontier Corps, federal military reserve force] was stationed in the schools of Swat in Tehsil Matta [district] and the FC was using schools as their transit camps and [hide] outs. Now tell me who [is] to blame?
Dozens of schools and colleges are being used by Pakistan Army and FC as their barracks in FATA, you can find out easily if you like. So when something sacred is turned [into something] lethal it needs to be eliminated -- this is the policy of Taliban.
Blowing up schools when they are not using strategically is not the [Taliban’s doing], some black sheep [in the] local [government] administration may be involved to extract more and more funds in the name of schools to fill their bank accounts.
Now I come to the main point that is EDUCATION, it is amazing that you are shouting for education. You and the [UN are] pretending that as you were shot [because of your commitment to] education, although this [was] not the reason. Be honest, [it was] not the education but your propaganda [that] was the issue and what you are doing now. You are using your tongue [at] the behest of the others and you must know that if the pen is mightier than the sword, then [the] tongue is sharper and the injury of [the] sword can be hailed, but the injury of the tongue never hails and in… wars [the] tongue is more destructive than any weapon.
I would like to share with you that [the] Indian sub-continent was [once] highly educated and almost every citizen was able to read or write before [the] British invasion. Locals used to teach British officers Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and Persian. Almost every mosque was acting as [a] school too and Muslim emperors used to spend a huge sum of money on education. Muslim India was rich in farming, silk, and jute and from [the] textile industry to ship building. No poverty, no crises and no clashes of civilization or religion -- because the education system was based on noble thoughts and noble curriculum.
I want to draw your attention to an extract from the [minutes] written by Sir [Thomas Babington] Macaulay to [the] British parliament dated 2nd February 1835 about what type of education system is required in [the] Indian sub-continent to replace the Muslim education system.
He stated: “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and color, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”
This was and this is the plan and mission of this so called education system for which you are ready to die, for which [UN] takes you to their office to produce more and more Asians in blood but English in taste, to produce more and more Africans in color but English in opinion, to produce more and more non-English people but [who are] English in morale. This so called education [that] made [US President Barack] Obama, the mass [murderer and] your ideal, isn’t he?
Why [do] they want to make all human beings English? Because Englishmen are the staunch supporters and slaves of Jews. Do you know [19th century Muslim philosopher and activist] Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder and symbol of English education in India was a [Freemason]?
You say a teacher, a pen and a book can change the world, yes I agree with [this], but which teacher which pen and which book? It is to be specified, Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, said I am sent as a teacher, and the book He sent to teach [was the Holy] Quran. So a noble and pious teacher with [a] prophetic curriculum can change the world, not [one] with [a] satanic or secular curriculum.
You have given the example that once a journalist asked a student that why a Talib [is] afraid of this education -- he replied a Talib didn’t know what was in this book. The same I say to you -- and through you to whole world -- that why [are] they afraid [of] the book of Allah? Because they don’t know what is in it.
Taliban want to implement what is in the book of ALLAH and [UN wants] to implement what they have in man-made books. We want to connect the world to their creator through the book of Allah and [UN wants] to enslave the world to [a] few evil creatures.
You have [talked] about justice and equality from the stage of [an] unjust institution [UN], the place where you were standing [calling] for justice and equality. All the nations are not equal there, only five wicked states [permanent members of the UN Security Council] have the veto power and rest of them are powerless. Dozens of time when all the world [united] against… Israel only one veto was enough to press the throat of justice.
The place you were speaking to the world is heading towards [a] new world order. I want to know what is wrong the old world order. They want to establish global education, global economy, global army, global trade, global government and finally [a] global religion. I want to know is there any space for the prophetic guidance in all [the aforementioned] global plans? Is there any space for Islamic Shariah or Islamic law (which UN call inhumane and barbaric)?
You have talk about [attacks] on polio [teams sent to vaccinate children in Pakistan], would you explain why the then American foreign secretary of state Henry Kissinger, a Jew, said in 1973 [called for the reduction] of the Third World’s population by 80 percent. Why the sterilization and eugenics programs are running in different countries in one way or another under the umbrella of [UN]?
More than 1 million Muslim women have been sterilized in Uzbekistan forcibly without their consent. [British philosopher] Bertrand Russell [wrote] in his book [on] the impact of science on society that “diet, injections and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable and any serious criticism of power that be will become psychologically impossible”.
This is why we have [concerns about the] so called polio vaccination program.
You say ‘Malala Day’ is not your day -- it is the day of every person who has raised voice for their rights. I ask you why such a day in not assigned to Rachel Corrie [American peace activist killed by Israeli Defense Forces], only because the bulldozer [that crushed her to death] was Israeli?
Why such a day in not assigned to Affia Siddique [Pakistani woman sentenced in the U.S. to 86 years in prison for allegedly serving as courier and financer for al-Qaeda] because the buyers are Americans?
Why such day is not assigned to Faizan and Faheem [Pakistanis killed by CIA contractor] because the killer was Raymond Davis? Why such a day in not assigned to those16 innocent Afghan women and children who were shot dead by an American [soldier] Robert [Bales]?...
I ask you and be honest in [your] reply, if you were shot [by] Americans in a drone attack, would [the] world have ever heard updates on your medical status? Would you be called ‘daughter of the nation? Would the media make a fuss about you? Would General [Ashfaq Parvez] Kiyani [Pakistan’s armed forces chief] have come to visit you and would the world media be constantly reporting on you? Would you [be] called to [the] UN? Would a ‘Malala day’ [ever have been] announced?
More than 300 innocent women and children have been killed in [drone] attacks -- but who cares [about them?] because attackers [were] ‘highly educated, non-violent, peaceful’ Americans?
I wish, the compassion you learnt from Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, should be learnt by [the] Pakistan Army so they could stop [the] shedding of Muslim blood in FATA and Baluchistan. I wish, the compassion you learnt from Prophet Jesus should be learnt by [the] USA and NATO so they should stop shedding blood of innocent Muslims across the world and I wish the same for followers of Buddha to stop [the] killing of innocent unarmed Muslims in Burma, and Sri Lanka. And [I] wish the same for [the] Indian army to follow [the teachings of Mahatma] Gandhi.. and stop [the] genocide in Kashmir.
And yes, the followers of Bacha Khan [Indian independence activist, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan], the ANP [Awami National Party of Pakistan] has an example of non-violence in their five years regime in KPK province. For example, [in] Swat, where a single shot was not fired and we witnessed the followers of Bacha Khan [implementing] the philosophy of nonviolence in its true soul, with support of jets, tanks and gunships.
At the end I advise you to come back home, adopt the Islamic and [Pashtun] culture, join any female Islamic madrassa near your [hometown of Swat], study and learn the book of Allah, use your pen for Islam and [learn about the] plight of Muslim ummah [global community] and reveal the conspiracy of [a] tiny elite who want to enslave the whole [of] humanity [to support] their evil agendas in the name of new world order.
All praises to Allah the creator of the Universe."
SOURCEL Daily Telegraph and Defence.Pk
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.