Malala Yousafzai: New Taliban Death Threat for 16-Year-Old Activist

Image: Malala Yousafzai: New Taliban Death Threat for 16-Year-Old Activist

Tuesday, 08 Oct 2013 03:00 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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The Taliban has issued a new threat against 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the group nearly a year ago in Pakistan for her outspoken support for girls and education.

The Taliban reissued its threat as Yousafzai, who sought refuge in England last year, is expected to be a leading candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize this week, according to The Washington Post. Yousafzai is the youngest person ever nominated for the honor.

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The outspoken critic of strict Islamic law would be the second Pakistani in history to be recognized by the Nobel committee if she is selected Friday.

"If Malala stops the spread of negative propaganda against the Taliban and also stops following secular ideology, the Taliban will not harm her," Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said. "And if Malala keeps following secular ideology and continues her propaganda against Taliban and Islam, then (Taliban) fighters will wait for a suitable opportunity to target Malala."

A senior Taliban commander in July wrote an open letter to Yousafzai, expressing regret for the shooting and asking the youth to return to Pakistan. However, the organization's latest threat changes things. 

A gunman shot Yousafzai and two of her classmates on their school bus on Oct. 9, 2012. She was airlifted to London where she survived. Since then, the teenager has spoken at the United Nations, had a New York-based charity for girls and was a runner-up for Time Magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year.

Before the shooting, she made repeated pleas to receive education, despite the Taliban's effort to ban girls from school in her region of Pakistan.

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She now has an autobiography out, titled "I Am Malala." In the book, she said she hopes to return to Pakistan one day and run for office to improve the condition of all Pakistanis.

Yousafzai received the Pride of Britain Award Sunday and has been invited to a reception of youth, hosted by the Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace later this month.

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