A reply to TTP commander Adnan Rashid’s letter to Malala

Published: July 19, 2013

TTP commander Adnan Rashid. PHOTO: FILE

Dear Mr Adnan Rashid,

Your letter has left me confused.

Right after you expressed regret to Malala over her shooting you write:

‘Taliban attacked you, was it Islamically correct or wrong…I will not go in this argument now.’

I wonder if you and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are aware that our religion forbids the killing of any human being unless acting out of self-defence? It preaches nothing but compassion to children and forbids the killing of the offspring of one’s enemies. So, Mr Rashid, how you can even suggest an ‘argument’ when the actions of your party were so vehemently against the teachings of Islam?

You have the audacity to go on and say:

‘Taliban want to implement what is in the book of Allah’

I want you to tell me where exactly God gave the TTP the authority to shoot at children who go in search of knowledge?

According to the holy book that you so confidently claim to follow, the killing of innocents of any religion, class, culture or creed is forbidden, and so, if anyone has failed to implement the Holy Quran, Mr Rashid, it is you and the Taliban.

Forgive me, but your regret is half-hearted and insincere.

I cannot understand whether you are genuinely misinformed or simply confused about your party’s policies when you write:

‘First of all, please mind that Taliban never attacked you because of going to school or you were education lover, also please mind that Taliban or Mujahideen are not against the education of any men or women or girl.’

Contradicting yourself a little there, aren’t you? Did the Taliban not release a statement banning girls from attending school and do we not all remember the countless pictures of schools bombed to smithereens? Coloured hair ribbons were strewn across the destruction serving as morbid reminders of the hundreds of innocent lives that the rubble had once been inhabited by. How do you expect us to believe you after this?

‘You (Malala) say a teacher, a pen and a book can change the world, and yes I agree with, but which teacher which pen and which book? A noble and pious teacher with prophetic curriculum can change the world not with satanic or secular curriculum.’

The intolerance reflected in your words above is a product of the sheer ignorance. Why are you so misguided as to believe that our religion and the study of physics, biology and maths are mutually exclusive? Do you not know that Islamic empires have produced scholars of great quality such as Ibn Sinah and Ibn Battuta and that what Malala and her friends study at school is far from satanic curriculum?

In fact, when they learn about the workings of the universe through physics, they are glorifying God who created this world to adhere to his timeless laws of gravity and magnetism. They are learning more about God’s might when they learn of their utter insignificance with respect to the sheer magnificence of the diversity of species in this universe. Education provided at school is knowledge and knowledge, as instructed in the Holy Quran, is God’s to give; so how dare you deny children the right to glorify God through studying His creations?

What was so ignoble, Mr Rashid, about the thousands of school teachers your party has killed in the north who were teaching their students to be good, honest and God-fearing human beings? A ‘prophetic curriculum’, Mr Rashid, is not what you teach in your madrassahs to the poor children; you brainwash them into believing that they will be blessed with heaven upon killing non-Muslims.

Is this not blatantly against the teachings of our Prophet (pbuh) who never raised a hand against non-Muslims unless of out self-defence and always preached peace?

Have you forgotten his compassion at the mountains of Taif and at the conquest of Makkah?

You go on to dismiss Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and his contributions to the Muslims of the subcontinent by deeming him a ‘freemason’. Do you know of the abysmal state of Muslims in British India that Sir Syed radically improved by giving them access to the education they needed to rise up and fight for their rights? He liberated Muslims from the illiteracy that was paralysing them by sowing the seeds of an education movement that produced leaders who would go on to fight for a free Muslim state.

‘More than 300 innocent women and children have been killed in drone attacks,’ you say in your letter.

The irony of your words is something I am unable to stomach. You condemn the drone attacks but completely ignore the terrorism you have carried out against the same people in the once peaceful lands of the north.

There have been several terrorist attacks carried out by the TTP since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office. Those attacks alone have claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent Muslims.

You condemn the West of a crime you commit yourself everyday and you attack the same Muslims you claim to protect. Do you not realise that this is just a reflection of your hypocrisy and damagedd ideology?

The reason we are suffering significantly as a nation is because people like you paralyse progress by engendering hate and suspicion. Stop believing that everything is a conspiracy of the West against you. Your attack against polio campaigns is just another example of how you are holding us back because of your own bigoted beliefs.

Polio drops prevent children from living  dependent and low quality lives and you would deny them that because you are ignorant enough to believe that they will sterilise them. Every child has the right to a healthy and happy life and I do not understand how you expect them to reproduce and carry further this great Muslim progeny that you feel the West is threatened by, if these children are suffering from diseases you withheld the eradication of.

Lastly, I beg of you to stop giving ultimatums as to madrassahs being the only sources of legitimate study:

‘I advise you…to join any female Islamic madrassa near your hometown.’

Considering that you have turned what were in the Prophet’s (pbuh) era thriving areas of tutelage into brainwashing centres of your dogmatic ideologies. The madrassahs you run are a far cry from the madrassahs the Prophet (pbuh) ran where children were taught tolerance, compassion and peace – three things the TTP and you have never heard of.


One of Malala’s staunchest supporters

Read more by Ayesha here.

Ayesha Sadaf Khan

Ayesha Sadaf Khan

Born and raised in Karachi, Ayesha is a sophomore at Smith College, USA. She tweets @ayeshasadafkha1 twitter.com/AyeshaSadafKha1

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Asif jameel

    The hate our society has displayed against Malala boils down to the misogyny inherent in our culture.We can’t see a female speaking up,we can’t see a girl standing up for her rights and defying the religious fanatics.That is what is at the bottom of all the propaganda against Malala.We like to see our women submissive and docile,who follow what the male members of the family dictate.Well,Malala refused to bow down before the religious militants and she stood up for her rights and that’s a sin our society is not willing to forgive her for.Recommend

  • Sana Khan

    The hate campaign against malala has exposed the general mindset in our public.A patriarchal society that exists to benefit and reward men can not tolerate a girl who dares to defy the misogynists.She has refused to surrender before the bullets or the smear campaign against her and that’s what bothers our people the most.Recommend

  • Abdul Basit

    Educated women,women who are aware of their rights,women who refuse to live as slaves,that’s what frightens the religious extremists amongst us.If women get educated,they’ll become aware of their rights,they’ll learn to fight for their rights,that’s something the religious have always feared.They want to keep women under their control and by keeping them illeterate it becomes easier for the religious men to enslave the women in society.
    Malala has upset this mentality,she has dared to challenge the misogyny in our society.And for that she is facing vile abuse and hate.Recommend

  • Zeeshan siddiqui

    Girls with books,that’s what frightens the religious terrorists the most.Recommend

  • Tariq

    Educated,empowered women who consider themselves as the equal of men.Recommend

  • Ali

    Well said… Right to every single word!Recommend

  • Tauseef malik

    Insecure,cowardly men hiding behind religion to attack girls,is this what our country has come to? brave girls like Malala need to be supported wholeheartedly.Recommend

  • billy bee

    @Adnan Rashid: if written for Malala only why you posted on newspaper….if you dont agree mr.adnan with the freedom of thought then kindly dont write such articles …if you can speak for others why not this person speak for malala.Recommend

  • Jack

    @Adnan Rashid:
    It was an open letter, or you don’t know what an open letter means!Recommend

  • http://lahore Anti Adnan Rashid

    @Adnan Rashid:
    If you wrote to Malala, then why would you post it to Tribune, Mr. genius. Now you have no answers to Sadaf and Hanif, so you are retracting. You are ideologically rusted and morally hollow.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @Ayesha khan
    Yes well said it and I will say lot of things we can learn from west for example there welfare
    public systems there medical hospitals, schools including theology universities, big churches
    law & order, secret agencies, public transportation, prices control on every thing, tax payer
    peoples each and every person and busness and faithfull govt who care about peoples.Recommend

  • shahnawaz khan

    I tink not i am shoure that the malala’s attack is good d
    and malala is not with education but malala is with
    amrica. And TTP hate the friend or slave of amrica.Recommend

  • Jamshed M

    I agree with your point .. but i think u should read the letter .. he denied bombing schools .. he said schools were mainly destroyed by ppl who wanted to get contracts to rebuild schools .. or schools were destroyed because they were used as hideouts by terrorists (Taliban in this case) and army ..I am not justifying it .. but if u think letter is genuine then u should accept that everything written in it is correct u cant just take Malala part from letter and school destruction part from other sources .. and write a blog … Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    Excellent article. Malala has become a symbol of courage and defiance. The only problem is that she is too young and not ready to lead this unfortunate nation. Thanks to hypocrites and cowards, Taliban will remain a force for many years to come until she or someone like her is ready to lead us against evil forces.Recommend

  • Sana

    Aww, not again!!!
    Another supporter of malala , Lolzz, i m really fed up of malala fever now!
    Dont you guys have another topics to discuss??Recommend

  • Mehreen

    Dear Ayesha,

    You wrote a good article with important valid arguments.

    I think if we were a sensible, civilised society we would have done the following:

    1) We (by we I mean we as a people, the government and the army) should have dealt with the taliban years earlier so that they would never be able to harm the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan

    2) When Malala was attacked we (people, politicians and army) as a nation should have swung in her defence rather than some of us spewing out sickening conspiracy theories. My fovourite among the conspiracy theories are 1) she is an American agent 2) she was never shot and 3) she shot herself (retarded but a number of people suggested this)

    3) She should have been made a national icon and we should have celebrated malala day by ensuring more girls were offered education

    4) We should never have given Taliban any space to express themselves in our mediaRecommend

  • Toba Alu

    This war reminds me of the second half 16th century Europe characterized by religious wars and a near standstill in scientific development. Everybody preoccupied with religion. If history is any guide Pakistan has still a long way to go.Recommend

  • Queen

    Very well said, Kudos to Ayesha Sadaf Khan. Recommend

  • Saba

    Ayesha you literally expressed everything I was feeling while reading that god awful letter sent to Malala. Recommend

  • Adnan

    I ask you and be honest in reply, if
    you were shot but Americans in a drone
    attack, would 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 Kiyani have come to
    visit you and would the world media be
    constantly reporting on you? Would you
    were called to UN? Would a Malala day
    be announced? More than 300 innocent
    women and children have been killed in
    drones attacks but who cares because
    attackers are highly educated,
    non-violent, peaceful Americans.


  • Fahad

    The lady should have atleast read mr adnan’s letter.. The guy explained why taliban blow up schools..Recommend

  • vaqas

    The north west frontier has never been a peaceful locale. Just saying…Recommend

  • MJ

    If women in Pakistan become educated, specially in KPK and Punjab they will raise their offspring, particularly boys with education and common sense. A scenario that will dry out the recruiting grounds for TTP. That is why they are against the education of women.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    So someone named says they are ‘Adnan Rashid’ and post a reply in the comments, and everyone actually believes that it is the real thing?


  • Unknown

    Malala is today’s Nayirah. Those who don’t know about Nayirah, search it over the internet.Recommend

  • sajjad ahmad khan

    Assalam o alaikum to all broders and sisters
    Malala malala malala
    Where is aafia sidique
    Why you do not remembers oir sisters aafia who is in the prisn of america
    Malala is just only american and israeli agent nothing more
    Knowledge is the right of women but islamic
    Plz i request u that do not say any anti islam and pakistan sentence
    Malala is only israeli and american agent thats allRecommend

  • mehar ali


  • Mike Jain

    Showing the mirror to the Taliban in their own “language” and their own religious “worldview”! This is the first time, I have read a reply on the Malala incident that turns around their logic at them!
    Well done Ayesha. Hope you can continue writing!Recommend

  • elias

    What the prime minister of pakistan says about this case? what the supreme court of pakistan says about this case? shooting an innocent girl is not a crime in pakistan? why the man that wrote this letter is not accused for threatening a human life?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Bravo………well said.Recommend

  • csmann

    Obviously Mr.Adnan Rashid has been dumped by TTP and has reiterated their resolve to kill Malala.Recommend

  • nadia

    That is exactly why they are against education. They can not handle logics by educated and well informed people, therefore to win the Pakistani land, they have to block access to education and a free environment. Ayesha my dear, you are one example of this women empowerment. I congratulate you for writing such good informative article and I urge you and ET to publish this article in Urdu for masses as well. There are so many who misunderstand the teachings of Islam including these Taliban and our ultra liberals. This would be a service to people of Pakistan if they can read such views in Urdu news papers as well.Recommend

  • Toba Alu

    By not posting my comments, underscores the validity of it in this country. Keep on dreaming.Recommend

  • Mohammad Rasool

    The Taliban, by having killed thousands of innocent Muslim and non-Muslim Pakistani men, women and children, in contradiction to Islamic teachings within the Koran and Sunnah, have left the fold of Islam and become “non-believers”, i.e. Kafirs, in the eyes of Muslims and their fellow Pakistanis.

    Instead of inviting Malala and others to undertake education in a madrassah, it would be better if every Talib (including Adnan Rashid) who has participated in and plotted the murder of innocent Pakistanis and our armed forces personnel, should come to mosques, confess their crimes publically, recite the Kalima again in the presence of witnesses so as to be declared a Muslim again, subject to sincere forgiveness sought from Allah and those innocent people who have been wronged who suffered injuries, or whose relatives and friends died at the hands of the Taliban. Recommend

  • Dan from America

    Religion is the enemy of the people.Recommend

  • Aviator

    A very logically written, point by point deconstruction of the Talibans world viewRecommend

  • http://18249/a-reply-to-ttp-commander-adnan-rashids-letter-to-malala Abdul Khadar

    Dont you guys have another topics to discuss??
    Yes I got another topic to discuss about the fools and worthless persons like you.Recommend

  • Prince

    Even if She was not a tool of America before shooting, She definitely has become ONE.
    This reply is just one sided. ALL Your arguments and points can be proved baseless and wrong like you tried to prove his points ungrounded. But will any counter article or blog be allowed to publish like yours? that is the question you need to answer.Recommend

  • hema

    taliban are the real non-muslims here. that said, i dont know whats up. its not as simple as we think. theres always more to a story than meets the eye. saying that malala as shot because of a bunch of taliban who cant see girls going to school makes up for many a nice drawing room conversation, where we can blame the government and spew conspiracy theories, but theres more to this. Recommend

  • For people who did not read his letter


    For the people who did not read what the guy was saying please read his letter first with an open mind. Not that I support anyone being hurt but why Malala why not Fatima or any of the girls killed by drone attacks. Truly how many people are killed by drone??? And out of those people who are called casualties are innocent females who are trying to go to school?

    This article has more hate filled garbage then a dump, I truly feel Ayesha has not done Adnans letter any justice. Her biases mislead the reader with out truer analysis.

    come on people actually read his letter before making a comment.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    There were 2 Afghan Girls who shot to instant fame – the girl with the beautiful eyes featured on the cover of Natural Geographic and one whose nose was cut and was featured on Times Magazine.

    Any impact, real, veritable impact? No.

    Malala is a symbol, but nothing more than that. Symbols can be forgotten, can be misused and even distorted. But, people can’t. Malala is young, but she’ll go from being a symbol to being something more substantial, like a Gandhi or a Mandela, she’ll have to come back to Pakistan.

    She’ll have to speak the universal language to appeal and inspire. Will she take a rally to support an Ahmadi and can she dare to call him/her a Muslim? (I know she is a minor so futuristically is this plausible in Pakistan, is the question)

    Frankly, Malala has very little chance of bringing change. You need a Gandhi and nations like Pakistan don’t produce them.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Good to see support for Malala; education is the right of every child, no one can deny the fact, Malala wants education for women and I see no such objectionable thing, I support Malala, keep it up !Recommend

  • Humanity


    Good job

    Islam shall carry on but on the shoulders of champions of humanity; the likes of Malalas and Ayesha Sadaf Khans, inshAllah!Recommend

  • dfwmom

    To conflate drone attacks with shooting of school children is to miss the point. The killing of ANY innocent, civilian or child is wrong. When you shoot a schoolgirl, you argue by your actions that killing schoolgirls is RIGHT. You are, in fact, SUPPORTING the logic of drone attacks.

    Two wrongs do not make a right.Recommend

  • salman

    I ask you and be honest in reply, if
    you were shot but Americans in a drone
    attack, would 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 Kiyani have come to
    visit you and would the world media be
    constantly reporting on you? Would you
    were called to UN? Would a Malala day
    be announced? More than 300 innocent
    women and children have been killed in
    drones attacks but who cares because
    attackers are highly educated,
    non-violent, peaceful Americans.

  • Zain Shah

    beautifully articulated…absolutely brilliant!!!Recommend

  • Arbitrary

    To me, both sides are flawed. I still can’t say that I support either of them fully. It seems like Pakistanis, including myself, are thoroughly ignorant of Islam and conditioned by the media. Indirectly adnan Rashid admits that shooting her was wrong. Knowledge is encouraged by our religion, but the type of education Malala might expect from her western benefactors do not encompass both the worlds we believe in but rather the materialistic, physical world we live in. It does not appeal to the metaphysical aspects that give meaning to life. That is mainly subjective, and hence enables us for indoctrination and their economic hegemony. I would’ve admired Malala if she used her popularity at least for her own land; the pakhtoons who have truly suffered.Recommend

  • Muhammad Waqas

    @Noman Ansari:
    Idiots all around, Recommend


    word word full of purity, but we should consider the drone attack because any action of TTP on behalf of drone attack, why we should’nt consider the American terririsom??Recommend

  • http://www.2scarskks3.com/Ozsdf Enriqueta Mccaine

    I’ve the worst memory! I have had a notebook/planner for years…I really never know what I’d personally do devoid of it!Recommend

  • Aamir

    they are hypocrates and biggest enemies of PAKISTANRecommend