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

Published: July 19, 2013
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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.

Sincerely,

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

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