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IMU fails to exploit attack on Malala Yousafzai
As Uzbekistan condemns the attack on Malala, the terrorist group seeks to benefit by grabbing the spotlight, observers say.
By Shakar Saadi
TASHKENT – The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)’s support for the assassination attempt on a 15-year-old Pakistani human rights activist in order to make itself heard, promote its views and attract donor funding seems to have backfired, analysts say.
Contrary to the IMU's radical position, Uzbeks have greatly supported the teen, Malala Yousafzai, and condemned what they call a false ideology and a desperate attempt to gain notoriety.
"We express our support to Malala and her family, and we are hoping for her quick recovery," Gulnara Dusmuhamedova, an Andijan-based leader of the Kamalot youth movement, told Central Asia Online.
"Malala’s story shows that the power and influence children have can be boundless, so much so that they can frighten terrible and influential people into committing murder."
"Shooting a child is an inhuman crime that has no justification, and the people who support this unlawful act deserve contempt and punishment," Chirchiq municipal women's committee member Adolat Mannapova said. This incident demonstrates the IMU terrorists “act solely for their own benefit” and are "inhuman," she added.
On October 9, in Mingora, Swat Valley, a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorist boarded Malala’s school bus and shot her and two other female students. All three are recovering.
On the IMU's behalf, militant Abuzar Afallah October 18 made a statement to the Pakistani media condoning the terrorist actions.
"Malala Yousafzai, under the laws of Islam, was doing what women should not do, and her way of life was unbecoming of a Muslim woman," the statement said.
"We fully support our brothers in their attempt to kill her," the statement read.
The IMU terrorists and the Taliban are not seeking justification of this terrorist attack from secular elements of society but instead are hoping to win support from radical groups, political analyst Linura Yuldasheva told Central Asia Online.
"In their eyes, a 15-year-old girl is a mature woman capable of answering for her actions," she said. "The Taliban and their followers are looking for new ways to bully and intimidate society. It seems that the terrorists’ actions are becoming more extreme every year."
The IMU seeks every opportunity it can to make itself heard, National Security Council analyst S. Hotib told Central Asia Online.
"Because of an internal rift and the killing of several IMU leaders, the movement has been considerably weakened," he said, asserting that the IMU is on the brink and that its members tried something this drastic to raise money to keep the group afloat.
"Abuzar Afallah’s statement in the IMU’s name is another attempt to demonstrate that the organisation is active, and its sole purpose is to attract donor funding from the supporters of this terrorist organisation," Hotib said.
Uzbek leaders condemn IMU
Uzbekistan’s religious leaders have condemned the assassination attempt on the Pakistani girl and say that the terrorists’ stance has nothing to do with true Islam.
"Islam respects and protects the rights of women and children," deputy Uzbek mufti Abdurazzak Kory said. "Terrorists take advantage of false interpretations of the Koran, which allegedly speak about women and children’s lack of rights."
"True Islam welcomes educated women, because it is primarily women who bring up children," he said.
Students at Tashkent Islamic University (TIU) stand up for young girls’ and women’s rights to education and condemn the heinous actions of the terrorists and their intimidation and persecution of children, Davron Usmanov, a TIU student, said.
"We are praying and will continue to pray for Malala’s full recovery," he said.