Taliban Commander Wishes Malala Hadn't Made Them Shoot Her

A prominent Pakistani Taliban leader wrote a letter to 16-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai this week to say he's sorry. Not that she was shot in the head by his comrades, but because he didn't get the chance to warn her not to criticize them.

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A prominent Pakistani Taliban leader wrote a letter to 16-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai this week to say he's sorry. Not that she was shot in the head by his comrades, but because he didn't get the chance to warn her not to criticize them. The letter (which you can read here) is from Adnan Rasheed, a former Pakistani military officer who once attempted an assassination of former president Pervez Musharraf and was broken out of jail by the Taliban last year. Rasheed claims to be from the same Yousafzai tribe as Malala, and says the shooting was "shocking" and he wished it had not happened. However, he doesn't apologize for it happening or say that it was the wrong thing to do — only that he wished he could have talked some sense into her first:

I was thinking how to approach you with real or pseudo name, my all emotions were brotherly for you because we belong to same Yousafzai tribe ... .Taliban attacked you, was it islamically correct or wrong, or you were deserved to be killed or not, I will not go in this argument now, let’s we leave it to Allah All mighty, He is the best judge.

... I wish I would have advised u in my prison time and this accident would never happened

See, if only he could have sat her down and explained how everything she believed in was wrong, then two gunmen wouldn't have had to follow her home from and shoot her in the head last October.

Malala first became famous in 2009, when she began blogging for the BBC about her experiences as a girl trying to get an education in the tribal regions of Pakistan. She was highly critical of the Taliban's efforts to prevent young girls and women from going to non-Islamic schools. However, Rasheed defended the Taliban's actions, saying they aren't against education; just Western education that tries to brainwash Muslims and make them more English. (Because of the Jews and Freemasons, of course.)

This was and this is the plan and mission of this so called education system for which you are ready to die, for which UNO takes you to their office to produce more and more Asians in blood but English in taste, to produce more and more Africans in color but English in opinion, to produce more and more non English people but English in morale. This so called education made Obama, the mass murder, your ideal.isn't it? Why they want to make all human beings English? because Englishmen are the staunch supporters and slaves of Jews. Do you know Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder and symbol of English education in India was a freemasons.

Rasheed says he's basically willing to forgive if Malala wants to come back to Pakistan and get a Muslim education instead. (With again, more of his wisdom to guide her.) Unfortunately, although he is a member of the Taliban, his letter doesn't officially speak for them and it seems there are many in Pakistan who are not exactly fans of hers, even those who might otherwise agree with her cause. All the international praise heaped upon the young girl seems to have caused a bit of a  backlash against her back home, as some see her now as a fame seeker, or a puppet of the West. Million-dollar book deals and having days named a day in your honor can have that effect.

Conspiracy theorists accuse her attackers of actually being CIA agents, or that she herself is a CIA agent. Her speech before the U.N. last week was ignored by the Pakistani government and there are still many of her fellow countrymen who assume that she is just being used to disparage them. Rasheed's Talibansplaining letter is really just a slightly friendlier approach to that same viewpoint. What happened to her was a terrible thing, but his only regret is that she couldn't learn her lesson before someone had to murder her for her beliefs.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.