Declaring as "un-Islamic" the bid on the life of teenage rights activist Malala
Yousufzai, over 50 Sunni clerics in Pakistan have issued a fatwa terming the Taliban's interpretation of Islam as "repugnant" to the teachings of the faith.
In the religious decree issued here, the clerics appealed to the country to observe Friday as "Condemnation Day" to express solidarity with the 14-year-old girl, who is currently in a critical care unit of a military hospital in Rawalpindi after being shot in the head.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attempt on Malala's life in the former militant stronghold of Swat Valley on Tuesday, saying she was targeted for backing "pro-West" views and a secular government. The Taliban has warned it will attack her again if she survives.
The clerics, belonging to the Sunni Ittehad Council, said in their combined
fatwa: "Islam doesn't prohibit women from getting education. The attackers transgressed the Islamic Hudood (principles)."
The clerics, who belong to the moderate Barelvi school of thought, described the interpretation of Islam by Taliban as "repugnant to the teachings of Islam" since the religion not only makes it obligatory on its followers to seek education.
Islam also strictly forbids taking the life of any innocent person, they pointed out. Former federal Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi said the decree had come at the right time.
"Islam holds the killing of even one innocent person equal to the killing of the whole of humanity. It also forbids executing a woman who has even reneged on her religion. Men are punished with death for the same offence," Kazmi said.
Malala continues to be on ventilator in a military hospital and the next 48 hours were critical for her recovery, a military spokesman said today.
"According to neurosurgical and intensive care specialists, Malala's condition is satisfactory but the next 36 to 48 hours are critical," Maj Gen Asim Saleem
Bajwa, head of the Inter-Services Public Relations, told a news briefing in
Bajwa said the 14-year-old girl continued to be on ventilator at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in
Rawalpindi, where she was airlifted from Peshawar yesterday.
"On this auspicious Friday, the whole country is praying for her health. We pray to Allah for her speedy recovery," the chief military spokesman said.
Masood Kausar, the Governor of the northwestern Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa province, yesterday said that Malala was "not yet out of danger despite an improvement in her condition".
Reports have said she is yet to regain consciousness and that parts of her brain may have been damaged.
Authorities have put on hold plans to send Malala abroad for treatment after doctors said it would not be advisable for her to undertake a long journey.
The attack on the girl, who emerged as an unlikely champion of the rights of children by blogging about the atrocities of the Taliban in Swat in 2008, has been condemned by Pakistani and world leaders, including US President Barack
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