Chapters 9–10 Summary and Analysis
Malala relates that she was ten when the Taliban took over the Swat Valley. She remembers that many of the Taliban members wore black turbans and sported black badges with the words "Shariat Ya Shahadat" (Sharia Law or Martyrdom) on them. The leader of the group was Maulana Fazlullah. One of the first things he did was set up an illegal radio station called Mullah FM. Fazlullah became known as the Radio Mullah. Many people became enamored with Fazlullah because he was a charismatic speaker and because he advocated a return to Islamic law, which he portrayed as a superior alternative to secular Pakistani law. Initially, Fazlullah's sermons were sensible calls to clean living; as time progressed, however, he declared that TVs, DVDs, and Western music were haram. He also began preaching against giving women too much freedom. To increase interest in his radio program, Fazlullah openly praised individuals whom he considered model Muslims and criticized others who were less exemplary. The Taliban eventually set up shuras (local courts), instituted public whippings, and carried out assassinations against public officials. They also claimed that polio vaccines were an American attempt to render Muslim women infertile. The Taliban's reign of terror led Ziauddin to express his concerns to the local newspaper.
Malala concludes that the Taliban despises fine arts and culture almost as much as it loathes science. Upon their incursion into the Swat Valley, Taliban members lost no time in blowing up Buddhist statues of the Kushan dynasty and dynamiting the Jehanabad Buddha, which had...
(The entire section is 830 words.)