I am sure most of us know the story of Malala Yousefzai who was shot by the Taliban for advocating education for girls. News.

Malala has dedicated her childhood to championing education for girls like her in Pakistan. As she lies in a hospital bed, a tragic victim of Taliban gunmen, let's help make her dream come true.

One part of Pakistan has already started a successful programme of paying families which send their girls to school regularly. But in Malala's province the government is dragging its feet. Senior politicians have offered Malala help, and if we act now we can get them to commit to rolling this out nationwide.

Before the media spotlight moves on, let's raise our voices to demand that the government announces funding for all Pakistani girls who attend school. In days the UN Education Envoy will meet Pakistan's President Zardari and he says hand delivering 1 million signatures will strengthen his case. So let's help make Malala's dream come true and sign this.

 

Views: 435

Tags: Malala, Yousefzai

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on October 20, 2012 at 4:46pm

I always sign petitions for human rights. I have seldom seen one move as fast as this. Over 750,000 signatures in 4 days. It should exceed the requested one million.

Comment by Strega on October 20, 2012 at 8:51pm

It's moving at around one signature every 5 seconds, sometimes faster.  Thanks for the pointer!

Comment by Ed on October 20, 2012 at 9:00pm

This little woman's courage deserves our support!

Comment by Obfuskation on October 20, 2012 at 9:37pm

Done.  Good find Reg.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on October 21, 2012 at 12:18am

I'm all for supporting a good cause but I never sign online petitions - every time they end up sending me a bunch of spam, trying to get me to sign all sorts of other petitions - sometimes going so far as to threaten to 'unsign' previous petitions if I don't take part.

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:08am

Taliban shoot 14-year-old Pakistani peace campaigner

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Taliban gunmen in Pakistan shot and seriously wounded on Tuesday a 14-year-old schoolgirl who rose to fame for speaking out against the militants, authorities said.

Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head and neck when gunmen fired on her school bus in the Swat valley, northwest of the capital, Islamabad. Two other girls were also wounded, police said.

Yousufzai became famous for speaking out against the Pakistani Taliban at a time when even the government seemed to be appeasing the hardline Islamists.

The government agreed to a ceasefire with the Taliban in Swat in early 2009, effectively recognizing insurgent control of the valley whose lakes and mountains had long been a tourist attraction.

The Taliban set up courts, executed residents and closed girls' schools, including the one that Yousufzai attended. A documentary team filmed her weeping as she explained her ambition to be a doctor.

"My friend came to me and said, 'for God's sake, answer me honestly, is our school going to be attacked by the Taliban?'," Yousufzai, then 11, wrote in a blog published by the BBC. "During the morning assembly we were told not to wear colorful clothes as the Taliban would object."

The army launched an offensive and retook control of Swat later that year, and Yousufzai later received the country's highest civilian award. She was also nominated for international awards for child activists.

Since then, she has received numerous threats. On Tuesday, gunmen arrived at her school and asked for her by name, witnesses told police. Yousufzai was shot when she came out of class and went to a bus.

Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said his group was behind the shooting. "She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her ideal leader," Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location. "She was young but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas," he said, referring the main ethnic group in northwest Pakistan and southern and eastern Afghanistan. Most members of the Taliban come from conservative Pashtun tribes.

Doctors were struggling to save Yousufzai, said Lal Noor, a doctor at the Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital in the Swat valley's main town of Mingora.

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:10am

Pakistani girl shot by Taliban now in UK for care

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — A teenage Pakistani activist shot in the head by the Taliban arrived in Britain on Monday to receive specialized medical care and protection from follow-up attacks threatened by the militants.

The attack on 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai as she was returning home from school in Pakistan's northwest a week ago has horrified people across the South Asian country and abroad. It has also sparked hope that the Pakistani government would respond by intensifying its fight against the Taliban and their allies.

Malala was targeted by the Taliban for promoting girls' education and criticizing the militant group's behavior when they took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived. Two of her classmates were also wounded in the attack and are receiving treatment in Pakistan.

The Taliban have threatened to target Malala again until she is killed because she promotes "Western thinking."

Malala, who had been receiving treatment at a Pakistani military hospital, arrived at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in central England on Monday afternoon. Doctors believed Malala "has a chance of making a good recovery," said Dave Rosser, the hospital's medical director.

Pakistani doctors at a military hospital earlier removed a bullet from Malala's body that entered her head and headed toward her spine.

The military has described her recovery as satisfactory and said she was able to move her legs and hands several days ago when her sedatives were reduced. It has not said whether she suffered any brain damage or other permanent damage.

The hospital, which is also home to the Royal Center for Defense Medicine, is the primary receiving unit for military casualties returning from overseas, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is designated as one of the country's 16 major trauma centers which specialize in treating severe gunshot wounds, major head injuries and road accident victims, and has advanced equipment that would help Malala's treatment.

On Monday, the military said damaged bones in Malala's skull will need to be repaired or replaced, and she will need "intensive neuro rehabilitation." The decision to send the girl abroad was taken in consultation with her family, and the Pakistani government will pay for her treatment.

[Story edited for brevity - arch]

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:11am

Taliban says its attack on Pakistani schoolgirl justified

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Taliban insurgents said on Tuesday that the Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousufzai, 14, its gunmen shot in the head, deserved to die because she had spoken out against the group and praised U.S. President Barack Obama.

The attack on Yousufzai, who had been advocating education for girls, drew widespread condemnation.

Authorities have said they have made several arrests in connection with the case but have given no details.

Pakistan's Taliban described Yousufzai as a "spy of the West".

"For this espionage, infidels gave her awards and rewards. And Islam orders killing of those who are spying for enemies," the group said in a statement.

"She used to propagate against mujahideen (holy warriors) to defame (the) Taliban. The Quran says that people propagating against Islam and Islamic forces would be killed.

"We targeted her because she would speak against the Taliban while sitting with shameless strangers and idealized the biggest enemy of Islam, Barack Obama."

Yousufzai, a cheerful schoolgirl who had wanted to become a doctor before agreeing to her father's wishes that she strive to be a politician, has become a potent symbol of resistance against the Taliban's efforts to deprive girls of an education.

Pakistanis have held some protests and candlelight vigils but most government officials have refrained from publicly criticising the Taliban by name over the attack, in what critics say is a lack of resolve against extremism.

"We did not attack her for raising voice for education. We targeted her for opposing mujahideen and their war," said the Taliban. "Shariah (Islamic law) says that even a child can be killed if he is propagating against Islam."

----------

If the Pakistani government had half the courage of this fourteen-year old girl, there would be no Taliban left in Pakistan.

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:13am

Taliban Demands Unbiased Coverage of Its Attempted Murder of a 14-Y...

Pakistan's Taliban insurgency faces a spate of bad press in mainstream Pakistani outlets related to the jihadists' failed assassination attempt of Malala Yousafzai, a young blogger who dared protest the Taliban's ban on educating girls. Now the Taliban are plotting terror strikes on TV stations and other media organizations, but local newspapers refuse to stay silent.

The first report of these plots were surfaced by an urdu-language reporter on Saturday, who uncovered a special directive by the chief of the banned Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Hakimullah Mehsud. As local newspaper Dawn reported, "Mehsud directed his subordinate to target the offices of media organisations in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and in other cities of the country especially those media organisations and media personalities who were denouncing TTP after attack on child activist Malala Yousufzai." In response, the Interior Ministry has beefed up security near media organizations. But the Taliban are still whining.

Yesterday, local paper The News International gave voice to the Taliban's pathetic complaints of bias, which offered a rare window into terrorist media criticism. TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said his group would "continue to respect journalists" except for highly biased outlets. The spokesman for another Taliban insurgent group, Sirajuddin Ahmad of Maulana Fazlullah, spoke at greater length:

He said media provided an opportunity to all those people who were opposed to the Taliban and their activities and used insulting language against them on media. “Right from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Hillary Clinton and President Obama, all of them used whatever bad language and words they could use on the media but when we tried to reply to them, no media organisation was willing to give us importance. The media is not even allowed to use the real name for Maulana Fazlullah but calling him derogatory names like Mulla Radio,” Sirajuddin complained, but refused to admit that they planned attacks on the media.

Wow, Columbia Journalism Review, here we come. Clearly Pakistani reporters should be giving equal weight to the pros and cons of shooting children in the face. 

[more...]

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:14am

nd the story continues --

Official: Shot Pakistani girl is moving her limbs

LONDON (AP) — A 14-year-old girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting female education has been doing better since she was airlifted to England for specialized treatment and has been moving her limbs, a Pakistani official said Wednesday.

Although it's difficult to gauge what such an improvement might mean given that the exact nature of Malala Yousufzai's brain injuries have yet to be made public, one expert said the news was good.

"Any progress is hopeful," Dr. Jonathan Fellus, chief scientific officer at the New Jersey-based International Brain Research Foundation, said. "This is the natural course of recovery that we would expect."

The Pakistani official, who spoke anonymously because he wasn't cleared to talk on the record about the case, said he had been briefed by doctors and that Malala's condition was "definitely much better" since she arrived in England on Monday. He added that the girl was moving her limbs, although he didn't elaborate.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where Malala is being treated, released a statement Wednesday saying Malala was in "stable condition and continued to impress doctors by responding well to her care," but didn't go into detail. The hospital's acting head of communications, Carole Cole, said there would be no further news on the case until Thursday. Malala's family, which the hospital said was still in Pakistan, could not be reached for comment.

Fellus said in a phone interview that physical abilities were often the first to return in cases of traumatic brain injury, and that didn't mean that the teen would necessarily make a full recovery.

Still, he said, "the earlier you start to see recovery, the better.

-----

If she recovers, wouldn't even the Taliban assume it was the will of Allah?

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