Dear Taliban Brother, Your letter to Malala & Mark Twain

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai: How to counter the impact of a frighteningly self-assured 16-year-old’s speech to the great and the good?

Dear Taliban Brother (if you would be willing for me to address you like a sister even though I am not, like Malala Yousafzai, from your Pashtun tribe; I’m just from the human clan)

Your letter to Malala is making headlines. The BBC (which you probably consider an imperialist, if influential agent of the godless and powerful) is alleging you wrote it precisely for that reason. “To attract media attention”, suggests the BBC baldly, adding that it was meant to “counter the impact of Malala’s speech at the UN.”

When you heard that, you probably laughed as hard as is allowed to a self-respecting, God-fearing man. For, how do you counter the impact of something that was described as enormously significant when it occurred six days ago? Hasn’t it already had an impact? Does the BBC (and by extension, those it serves) not understand anything about the science of action and reaction?

Doesn’t it understand that there’s a difference between erasing the impact of something and countering it? Erasing means a return to year zero.That’s how you counter something. You pretend it never happened. You believe it never happened.

Isn’t that why you wrote in your letter, Brother Adnan that you wish the attack on Malala in October “had never happened”? And that it was an “accident”? After all, you wanted to indicate that all’s fair in love and war and that the shooting was not in response to Malala’s campaign for girls’ education, but because she ran an anti-Taliban “smear campaign”.

Brother Adnan, wasn’t it out of a desire to not “attract media attention” that you wrote the letter in your “personal capacity” rather than on behalf of your organization? Then again, there’s not much of a fine line between the political and the personal these days (as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood have found out).

Those were the days: The Golden Age when Islamic scholars gathered to think, pontificate, pronounce

Those were the days: The Golden Age when Islamic scholars gathered to think, pontificate, pronounce

You’re probably wondering, Brother Adnan, if anything can ever be done about the ignorance of infidel institutions and organizations such as the BBC that are the imperialist, if influential agents of the godless and powerful. After all, they were never schooled in Islamic science, which achieved so many incomparable things during the only Golden Age that matters, ie 750 to1258. That is presumably why they do not know you can’t really “counter the impact” of something, you can only erase it.

They do not know about the Islamic greats, such as al-Battani, who determined the length of the solar year and some of whose tables were later used by Copernicus. (At the memory of al-Battani, you probably shed a tear at the injustice of it all, ie that Copernicus is celebrated as the one who first proposed that the sun, not the earth, was the centre of the solar system. Considering Copernicus took much of what he knew from al-Battani’s tables, he might merely have stolen al-Battani’s glory?)

Brother Adnan, you must be wondering how to counter the misinformation put out over and over. After all, the impact of Malala’s speech was enormous. It’s hard to “counter the impact” of a frighteningly self-assured 16-year-old girl’s speech to the United Nations, an organization that’s admittedly influential even if it’s an imperialist agent of the godless and powerful. Especially since the 16-year-old girl has become a poster child of the world’s crusade against you and your Taliban brothers.

Last, but not least, Brother Adnan, you probably feel aggrieved about the base motives being imputed to your letter, considering you wrote to Malala in the sorrowful belief that had you but been able to “advise” her before the “accident”, she would have learnt how not to do whatever she did that resulted in the attack.

Brother Adnan, the one who would best understand why you wrote the letter is Mark Twain (whom you would probably regard as an influential if imperialist literary agent of the godless and powerful, but who was a wise man nonetheless). For, t’was Twain who said if he didn’t attend a funeral, he very properly sent a nice letter saying he approved of it.

In sympathy