Pakistan Holds Day of Prayer for Teen Girl Shot By Taliban

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 12 2012 11:37 AM

Pakistan Observes Day of Prayer for Teen Blogger Shot By Taliban

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Pakistani children place oil lamps next to a photograph of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, as they pay tribute in Karachi on October 12, 2012

Photo by Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images.

Pakistan is obverving a day of prayer today for 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a girls' education activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban earlier this week and has since become something of a global icon.

Here's how the BBC describes the day of prayer, which coincides with the widespread condemnation of the attack inside the country and out of it:

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On Friday, school children dedicated prayers to her recovery in morning assemblies and she was also remembered during weekly prayers at mosques across the country.
Many prayer leaders condemned the attack, including the chief cleric of Pakistan's largest mosque, Shahi Masjid, in Lahore. He called the young activist an "ambassador of peace and knowledge'".

Malala blogs about girls' education in Pakistan, something that the Taliban opposes. That's why she was targeted. For more on the context and implications of the shooting, check out William J. Dobson's piece over at XX Factor. He writes:

It’s not just the symbolism of a young girl challenging their retrograde Islamist vision that should frighten them. The substance of her ideas is lethal, too. Studies suggest that educating girls is about the closest thing we have to a silver-bullet solution for countries suffering from poverty, instability, and general inequity—or, in other words, the very conditions that allow a group like the Taliban to thrive.

Local police, meanwhile, have arrested four suspects in the attack, according to the BBC. Malala's condition is still critical as she recovers from surgery.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.