When news spread that 14 year old Malala Yousafzai had been shot on her way home from school by the Taliban for being an advocate of  girls’ education, huge numbers of people showed up at the hospital to see if they could give blood or help in any way and held protests in her defence.

Like I said, Muslims (real or implied) are not a homogeneous community  – not in Britain and not in Pakistan or Iran.

Take a good look at Malala and also photos from some protest rallies and relish as I did the face of human resistance and dissent.

Islamists: this is the power that will eventually defeat you.

Now if only the nice liberals and post-modernist Left in Britain and the west could muster up the courage that is so often shown by people in the Middle East and North Africa…

I can hope can’t I?



  1. Pft. Above was response to Crissa’s up there. Coulda sworn I hit the appropriate ‘Reply’.

    (/You know the one… Up at… Umm… Well, it’s one of the #2s. Have I mentioned how awesome threaded comments are? Really, they’re great.)

  2. Well, yeah, fair enough, there’ve been some at it a long time, and some always at it. Come what may, pay attention who may. This, too, well worth emphasizing.

    (/And, obviously, continuing to pay attention to.)

  3. AJ Milne – Well, y’know, do pray. Please. I mean, it’s the least you can do.

    This post – so very well said.

    1. … meh. Closer reading of sources and patterns needed re this:

      … as this is probably mostly secondary sources overreading a Facebook post by an NYT reporter. She wasn’t in a coma to begin with, or not lately. And she’s not ‘fully conscious’ yet, either; sounds like same basic information as has been coming out over last 24 hours or so. So it’s probably not really news.

  4. Also, and at the risk of appearing to be dragging things off-topic, on the day after the UK Drug Policy Commission’s report has been unceremoniously rejected by the Government, we should not forget that if we want to disempower the Taliban, we need to legally regulate the sale of heroin and cannabis (in whatever form of regulation, however restrictive or liberalised, turns out to be best at reducing harms, just as long as it is not so restrictive as to allow the black market to flourish). Take the Afghan opium and cannabis profits out of the illegal black market and you cut off one of the Taliban’s major revenue sources. Yes, Pakistan isn’t quite the drugs cash cow for them that Afghanistan is, but everything is connected. Less black market profits = fewer guns for them to shoot schoolgirls with.

  5. There is a real & intense battle going on in Pakistan, unfortunately this battle is going on in the rural and countryside of Pakistan far from the urban areas like Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore.
    In contrast to the urban areas where popular sentiment as shown on media is in favor of Taliban, in the rural areas where this battle is intense majority of the people are against Taliban. Malala’s father is one of hundreds of thousands of people fighting against Talibans. This battle is not reported on any media, nor the people fighting against these Talibans are properly funded. But these people are fighting because Taliban’s threat their way of living. They hate Taliban because they hate their Islam. Despite being illiterate and simple, people in such areas know there rights and love their way of living. Taliban way of living is alien to them. Their Islam is different in fact opposite of Talibani Islam.
    It is ironic that despite being in minority Talibans and their associates are heavily funded by Saudi Arabia & Iran in South Punjab, Sindh and KPK. They (Suadi and Iranian) setup madarassahs where they teach children extremism, and prepare them for the suicide attacks. Whereas US/NATO fund only the military of Pakistan of which most of the money ends up in the hands of same extremist elements.
    It is imperative for the world to reach out to the remote parts in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, fund these people, set up education institution, set up media outlets and give these people all the support, as they are not only fighting for themselves but for the whole world.

    1. pejamistri,
      most of your information is correct,some may not be wrong(correct).

      you said : ……It is ironic that despite being in minority Talibans and their associates are heavily funded by Saudi Arabia & Iran in South Punjab, Sinadh nd KPK.

      Me: Shia’s and Sunni Talibans are just like mangoose and snake…Iran is SHIA…it is highly impossible they love each other…
      Btw,I am neither shia nor Taliban.

      I think you are not a heavily funded western (which is trying to find weapons of mass destruction in Iran like in IRAQ.)propaganda agent…

  6. The media should pay more attention to protests like this, but it also seems to me – from the news articles I read – that a lot of these protests are relatively small scale and from a relatively stable number of activists (who participate regularly in similar protests). I don’t think public support or fear of the Taliban is going to change that fast..

    But if there really is a broad nation-wide outcry against this, stronger than the support for terrorism and violence – that would be wonderful.

    1. If we work quickly enough, every Muslim we meet, we should ask where and why they stand on this attack. And voice our opinion on their view. That will show them what we think of this attack.

  7. Is this the same country where, just a year or two ago, the appointed body-guard of a politican shot the guy dead because he opposed an anti-blaspemy law and the murderous little bastard was a national hero? Is it possible that the Taliban has finally gone too far even for the people of Pakistan?

  8. I pray for our sister Malala Yousafzai…
    i am really concerned about lenient punishment for attackers if they are caught because Mariam Namazie would fight to save the brutal murdrers.

    Attackers are lucky in Mariam Namazie’s DREAMLAND…
    Mariam Namazie and her gang is “against death penalty”.

    1. Well, y’know, do pray. Please. I mean, it’s the least you can do.

      truly the least.

      But, speaking of, see, there’s this little problem you may find with the death penalty, too…

      That being: it works about as well as does prayer.

      Or are you imagining, perhaps, that when you kill the man who shot Malala the bullet will magically leap from her brain?

      Good luck with that, I guess.

      A little more seriously and kindly: listen, I’m not entirely unsympathetic. I get my moments of blood lust same as anyone. But the thing is (apart from my not being the governor of Texas, and thus able to indulge such whimsical impulses), after such brief, red flashes of rage, generally I calm down, and I get to thinking, nooooo… No, I don’t think killing this guy works for me, on balance…

      No. And in this case especially, I don’t want to give that rat bastard or his two-faced, lying little pals any delusions of martyrdom.

      On the contrary, I want them treated with appropriate impersonal bureaucratic coldness and objectivity, like the common criminals they are. Placed in cells as nice little object lessons for their brethren, and kept there, so that they and all who have supported them may think long and hard on why the world has passed their kind by. Yea, let them go through the day by day drudgery of parole hearings and so on, and be reminded continually: no, you’re nothing special, no, you’re no bold resistance fighters…

      And no, you did nothing for anyone’s fucking imaginary friend. What happened here is: you shot one incredibly brave little girl whose shit you are not even worthy to eat, and people were disgusted by the reek of what you had become, and they put you in here, and now you’re going to have a long, hard road explaining to them why you should ever get out.

      Meanwhile, Maryam isn’t the one living in the dream world here. She’s calling to you, rather, kindly enough, from this world we like to call the 21st century. A world half of whose nations have abolished the death penalty, and another third or so of which haven’t used it in a decade.

      Among the places where it’s still used? The US is the remaining holdout in nations with complex, developed economies. And then there’s the PRC. Beyond this, the bulk of the actual deaths are taking place in impoverished little authoritarian states that are mostly using it as a tool of political terror. So Ms. Namazie is making some pretty good sense, to my mind, if she’s trying to coax that tool out of their hands.

      Not to worry, mind. Nations will still kill, I expect, if you’re feeling a peculiar need to know there is still organized murder, on a properly institutional scale, and which also involves copious paperwork…

      There will still be wars, I expect, after all.

      1. I was about to tear into your criticism of logicthought’s prayer as being presumptuous white-splaining douchebaggery, but a Google suggests that logicthoughts is a bit of a troll around here, so perhaps there’s a history there that contextualises your seemingly disproportionate response. Either way, it seems to me that even though a prayer will do nothing for her directly, the kind of thought and sentiment behind it can and is fuelling action. If action can start with deep thought, it can also start with heartfelt prayer. I don’t think we need to agree on every aspect and belief to support that.

        1. ‘Whitesplaining’? ‘Douchebaggery’?

          Yeah, umm…

          Listen, this is FTB. Are there no chapels?

          And seriously, even given that, if it had just been the prayer, I probably would have left that one in the drawer.

          But then, seeing as you’re saying you didn’t, I guess I won’t.

  9. The protests will die down. The Taliban will move back into position. The politicians will accept their bribes. It won’t be long and it will be back to business as usual. Islam has been a ratbag religion for 1400 years – there’s no reason to expect it to change any time soon.

  10. It is heartening to see.

    It’s kind of painful, however, that the Taliban have to shoot a fourteen year old girl in the face for people to start getting pissed enough at them to oppose them this vocally.

    It’s a good start, again, though. Sea change? Let’s hope. These things are very much about tides and wave motion. You need this critical mass of people speaking at once, to make them harder to isolate and frighten. One person saying ‘these bastards have to go’ is just going to wind up dead. You need to get the dynamics going the other way, so it’s fifty people saying ‘this bastard has to go to jail’, and then they put him there. And those fifty people saying ‘actually, yes, we want women going to school’, and making sure they get there, and if anyone tries to stop them, it’s them feeling alone.

    1. Yep. I’m optimistic because I think we’re seeing tipping points all over the world. Like the psychological sceanario where a large croud will watch a single bully beat up a single person, but once someone from that croud steps up to defend the bully, the overall resistance of the croud to step in and help diminishes until that point is reached where…bam. ain’t no goin’ back.

  11. I like the fact that there are several men in the bottom photo with long hair but no beard, or very short beard – their personal grooming is, in its little way, a defiance of the Taliban, even if their dress code is fairly halal.

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