On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen boarded a bus filled with schoolchildren in Pakistan and shot a 14-year-old girl in the head. Her name is Malala Yousafzai, and she is now in critical condition in a Peshawar hospital. She openly voiced her belief that girls in Pakistan should be able to get an education. For that reason, men covered their faces and hunted her down. The details of her attack come from an article in The New York Times, which featured the following statement from the Taliban:
A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed by phone Tuesday that Ms. Yousafzai had been the target, calling her crusade for education rights an "obscenity."
"She has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it," Mr. Ehsan said, adding that if she survived, the militants would certainly try to kill her again. "Let this be a lesson."
Two other girls were wounded in the attack.
In the past year or so, a lot of the U.S. news regarding female education in Pakistan revolved around the trials of Greg Mortenson. Malala Yousafzai's story should do something to draw attention back to the ongoing fight for girls' education on the ground in the country.
Read the The New York Times article by Declan Walsh to get a sense of the attack on Malala Yousafzai. Then watch the 32-minute documentary at the top, Class Dismissed, which offers an intimate look as Yousafzai and her father fight for girls' education in their hometown of Swat.