THE Bishop of Pontefract, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, has said
that the shooting of a 15-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala
Yousafzai, by the Taliban last week "highlights the worldwide
struggle between hope and hate".
Bishop Robinson, who chairs the Archbishop of Canterbury's
Pakistan Focus Group, said on Tuesday that Malala, who campaigned
for education for girls, was "fighting for her life after being
shot in the head by the Taliban". She was flown to the Queen
Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Monday.
Bishop Robinson said that Malala should be a "symbol of
resistance", and urged people to sign an online "get-well book" on the website of the
anti-fascist campaign group Hope not Hate.
"This attempted assassination", Bishop Robinson said,
"highlights the worldwide struggle between hope and hate, from the
persecution and harassment of minorities in the UK to the killing
fields of East Africa and the religious extremists who are trying
to impose their world-view on believers and non-believers alike -
there is just too much hate in this world.
"Let us show those who committed this killing - and those who
approve of it - that this sort of behaviour is totally
Dr Williams said on Tuesday that he was "profoundly shocked and
saddened" by news of the attack on Malala. "It is all the more
shocking that she was deliberately targeted because she bravely
spoke out on her love of learning, and on the right of all children
- girls and boys - to education.
"Our prayers are with Malala, her family and community, as we
all await the outcome of her treatment and pray that she will make
a full recovery. We stand in solidarity with communities in
Pakistan and around the world as we all express our horror at this
terrible act of violence on a young girl, and demonstrate our
commitment to overcome acts of hatred with love and justice."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said on Thursday of last week that he
was "devastated" by the shooting. "I can't imagine how anyone can
justify maiming a child for what they consider political reasons,
because they want women to be subjugated," he told a United Nations
press conference. Dr Tutu saluted the UN for holding the inaugural
International Girl Day (October 11).
Asylum denial. The Norwegian Embassy in
Islamabad issued a statement last week denying reports that Rimsha
Masih, the young Pakistani girl accused of desecrating the Qur'an (
21 September), and her family had claimed asylum in Norway.
"The Embassy would like to inform that neither the Embassy nor any
other Norwegian authority has had any contact with the girl or her
family, and there has been no initiative to bring her out of
Pakistan," the statement said.
The BBC reported last Friday that a 16-year-old Christian boy,
Ryan Stanten, was being held in Karachi on blasphemy charges. Ryan
was said to have forwarded a text message that allegedly contained