Chapters 7–8 Summary and Analysis
Ghulamullah, a mufti (Islamic scholar), began a campaign of intimidation against Ziauddin after he observed girls attending the Khushal School. Ghulamullah proclaimed that Ziauddin's school was haram, or forbidden under Sharia law; he even tried to manipulate the school's landlady into breaking Ziauddin's lease. The landlady refused, and Ghulamullah eventually turned up at Ziauddin's home with a delegation of religious leaders. The men demanded that Ziauddin stop schooling girls, claiming that such a practice is forbidden by the Quran. In their view, all girls must be made to dwell in sacred seclusion. Ziauddin's strong opposition led to an uneasy compromise: the girls would henceforth enter the school through another gate, which would shield them from the view of the men. Malala reports that in 2002, special elections brought the Muttahida Majlis e-Amal Alliance (MMA) to power in her province. She notes that the rise of the MMA disproportionately increased the power and influence of conservative clerics in her region. The MMA government banned Western paraphernalia and harassed people for imitating Western lifestyles. In 2003, Ziauddin opened his coed high school, but by 2004, the political climate had so changed that he was forced to separate the boys from the girls. Buoyed by the authority of the MMA, Ghulamullah continued his campaign of intimidation against Ziauddin.
Malala relates that Pakistan experienced one of the worst earthquakes in its history on October 8, 2005. Although Mingora was largely spared, Ziauddin’s childhood village in Shangla sustained widespread damage. Eight people were killed, and many homes were...
(The entire section is 796 words.)