Al Qaeda weighs in on the Malala shooting

Ustad Ahmad Farooq, al Qaeda’s spokesman for Pakistan, issued a statement on the Taliban’s assassination attempt of Malala, the Pakistani schoolgirl from Swat who has spoken out against the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP) and was targeted by the group. While the TTP’s argument for the attempted assassination is essentially that she was a legitimate target because she violated sharia, or Islamic law, al Qaeda has approached the controversy from a different angle. Farooq contends that the media has galvanized behind Malala but ignored supposed atrocities against Muslim women.

Farooq’s speech, titled “Why Mourn Malala so Much?”, is not aimed at influencing the Western media or non-Muslims; it is specifically targeted at Muslims and is addressed to “[m]y beloved Pakistani brothers and sisters.” An excerpt from the speech, which has been translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, appears below. It provides the general thrust of Farooq’s argument.

Farooq asks why the media and the public are silent about other supposed atrocities against Muslim women, such as the detention of Aafai Siddiqui, the “Lady al Qaeda”; the raid against the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa, the radical mosque and madrassa in Islamabad in which he claims women were killed; the rape of Muslim women by the Pakistani military and in Bangladesh; women who die due to poverty; and women killed during military operations in Swat and Waziristan.

Excerpt from Farooq’s speech:

Where were these people mourning Malala when Swat and Waziristan were destroyed, when the army violated the sanctity of homes and honor, when the air force pounded villages with tanks and aircraft, killing men, women and children indiscriminately? Nobody spoke up for thousands of such Malalas who became victims of military operations, and nobody protested for them on the roads. But these circles made so much noise when we targeted this girl who made of fun of jihad, the veil and other Islamic values on behest of the British Broadcasting Corporation. This attack created shockwaves in the ruling circles around the world. They issued a number of statements condemning the attack on Malala. I may ask why? Why is Malala’s blood more important than those killed by the army? The attack on Malala has been termed a national tragedy, but no one pays any attention when thousands of people are killed in tribal areas, when the army targets gems of the Ummah who come to Khorasan to wage jihad from Arab lands and other places of world. Why these double standards? Why this hypocrisy? Why this injustice?

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Gerald says:

    Just when you think these bums can`t sink any lower,they never fail to disappoint!

  • Neonmeat says:

    Er, hold on a minute Farooq, this is an atrocity committed against a Muslim woman. Idiot.

  • mike merlo says:

    Another fine example of the many pathologies that rage among the many Islamic extremists

  • Muslim says:

    There is some translation mistake above attributed to Ustad Ahmed Farooq. You have written:
    “But these circles made so much noise when WE targeted this girl “.
    Please note that the word “WE” here is misleading and incorrect. Ustad Ahmed had NOT taken responsibility for it on behalf of AlQaeda Organization rather he has only targetted the hypcritical stance of the liberals and western backed media outlets in Pakistan including Military and liberal politicians. Therefore you ought to correct it before this impression goes viral without any basis.

  • Chris says:

    Let me get this straight Farooq. Because
    some Muslim women are victims of atrocities
    ( mainly by Muslim men); that gives al Qaeda
    the right to shoot a 14 year old Muslim girl??
    What brave “men” you guys are……

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Muslim, This translation was provided by SITE. If the translation is incorrect, I’ll bring it up. Neither SITE nor I have characterized the statement as al Qaeda claiming credit for the attack on Malala.

  • Stephanie says:

    Typical AQ propaganda. Total double-standard / hypocrisy, as usual.

  • B Devine says:

    For the western world Malala represents exactly what we would hope for Pakistan. That it would become a land of hope and progress and peace.
    Malala championed this dream advocating with great boldness and courage for the education of Pakistani girls as a fundamental right. It’s the rightness of her cause and her unflinching courage and her potential that has captured the world’s attention. This is what greatness looks like. All the more striking in one so young. When she was shot by the Taliban, being unlearned men and foolish of heart, they had no idea what they had done. Instead of silencing her voice their actions only caused her righteous purpose to ring out as a clarion call across the globe. Indeed, the Taliban will be confused and frustrated as their dastardly deeds return on their own heads and cover their faces in shame. Rise up Oh Pakistan and toss off these evil men and impostors and drive them into the heart of the sea.

  • solidpoint says:

    Maybe we should try arming school girls. Smarter, better educated, and more motivated than some of the dumb-and-dumber recruits that show up for training in the Afghan Army.
    We want equality for women? Let’s put our money where our mouth is. Train them to defend themselves.

  • Farooq poses an interesting question and I think he must look internally for the answer. There is a universal outcry on behalf of Malala because 1) her cause is just and true 2) She is an innocent child 3) there was a deliberate attempt to murder her because of it, ie she was not collateral damage
    Perhaps there should be an outcry for the deaths of innocents occurring as a result of the war on Al Qaeda and the Taliban. But there will not be one because most Muslims along with everyone else, do not sympathize with their brand of jihad, do not think their cause is just and believe murder for any reason at all, is wrong.


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