October 24th, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Pakistan on the cusp of change?

By CNN Global Public Square

For more “What in the World,” watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS" on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET

Earlier this month, the Pakistani Taliban opened fire on a school bus. Two girls were shot. At first, it seemed a familiar story. The Taliban, after all, has bombed hundreds of schools, especially those for girls.

But here's what's new: Mass protests ensued against the Taliban, and in favor of women. That's startling and refreshing in Pakistan.

This past week, thousands of demonstrators thronged to the streets to protest the Taliban's brutality towards women. They're rallying around one person, 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai. Malala was one of the girls who was shot on that school bus. She was not an accidental target. The Taliban directly sought her out and shot her in the head. They wanted to kill not only Malala, but what she stood for. Here's why:

"I will show them the Koran, what Koran says. Koran didn't say that girls are not allowed to go to school"

Malala exposed the lie of Islamic extremists – and they were willing to kill her for it.

But she survived, and so has her argument. Her courage in taking on the Taliban has inspired moderate Pakistanis.

We've been waiting for this kind of moment for a while. What will it take for moderate Pakistanis to unite against extremism? For years now, fundamentalist groups have tried to turn Pakistan into a theocracy. They've scared girls into forgoing school, they've repressed women, they've pushed for draconian interpretations of Pakistan's blasphemy law. But where was the pushback? Just last year, when a state governor, Salman Taseer, spoke out against the misuse of the blasphemy law, he was gunned down. Outside the court, his killer was greeted with rose petals. Where was the public outcry?

Perhaps the last time we saw sustained public anger against the Taliban was three years ago, when a video of a woman being flogged circulated on the internet and on Pakistani TV. That moment led to mass support for military action against the Taliban.

So perhaps the tide is turning once again. Pakistanis often blame the West for their problems, protesting against America, against drone strikes, or even against YouTube. But the real enemy lies within. And it took a 14-year-old girl to bring that to people's attention.

Pakistan's youth literacy rate is only 71 percent; take South Asia as a whole and that number rises to 80 percent; it rises to 90 percent when you take the whole world into account. Girls fare especially badly in Pakistan. There are only 79 Pakistani schoolgirls for every 100 schoolboys. In South Asia that number is 95, and in the whole world it’s 97.

But you don't need a World Bank database to spot these trends. Just ask any schoolgirl in Pakistan.

Women are often seen as the stealth reformers of Islam. As they press for their rights, it will force a more liberal and flexible interpretation of the religion. And while politicians have been cowardly and hesitant, a 14-year-old girl has led the charge. Here's wishing her a complete recovery, so she can get back in the fight for her country and her religion.

Post by:
Topics: Pakistan • Taliban • What in the World? • Women • Youth

soundoff (628 Responses)
  1. stealth reformers? hahahahahahaha...you're kidding right?

    my god thats funny...

    wow, is zakaria a nut or what.....

    October 24, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Cricket666

      Well he's far smarter than you. He's not here posting crap.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • jdk

        Yes he is here posting crap. He just gets top billing.

        October 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • j. von hettlingen

        Fareed, let's hope that Malala's case would turn the tide in Pakistan. Indeed the 2009 video showing Taliban militants flogging a teenage girl in the Swat Valley created similar anger across the country and served as a catalyst for a military operation that wiped militants out of Swat.

        October 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
      • helix10461

        @ j. von.whatever..... there is only one thing that can turn tide in pakistan- it's called drones.

        October 25, 2012 at 12:48 am |
      • Fupped Duck

        Yeah..Fareed is a pretty fart smella...I'm mean smart fella!

        October 25, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Ang

      Get back in to your cave. Hope you have fire to keey yourself warm!

      October 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • Secrets Guru

      WARN ALL WOMEN! 20,000 Women MURDERED by Religion that is in USA! WE CAN STOP IT Nov 6th Watch 8 minute VIDEO @ TheBBCReport.com

      October 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
      • Bill Clinton

        hey I love my women. hey can someone find Monica for me? thats what a good women is for, right? me & "bama out on a hootchie run tonite!

        October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • Zak

        God, I just love it when dirtbag morons like you crawl out from the sewers in which you live long enough to post a reply, trying to impersonate someone with a functioning brain. Learn to spell and use proper syntax, you idiot. You know, I just realized- you're the perfect example of someone who could benefit drastically from the sort of education your bug-infested, garbage-eating, flea-ridden, ignorant, evil Taliban buddies want to abolish. So keep posting, chump. You're your own worst enemy.

        October 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
      • jesus

        Damn Zak, are you a little angry? Christ man! Take a chill pill

        October 24, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Russo

      He has a masters degree from Havard university and one of the well renowned journalist. Who are you by the way? Only speakup in blogs if you have a good way to debate about the article or just do us a favor by not posting anything.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
      • hillary

        lets be honest, we like Oprah so we can say we like a black entertainer and we love this guy to say we like a moslem. tokenism in media still rules.

        October 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • littlebigman

        @hillary "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."-George Bernard Shaw

        October 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • scott

        He must have been absent the day when they discussed plagarisim at Harvard.Try doing the equivilant at your job and see wha happens. If you have a job i this economy.

        October 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
      • colin sulivan

        and he's a been caught plaigarising – nice to see that Harvard degree put to good use

        October 25, 2012 at 9:50 am |
      • Russo

        @Scott, if you think Zakaria as a plagiarizer, then why take a crap at his article. You would be better off not reading this article or posting your crap in here. Oh.. I see you have ample time for all this BS, since you mentioned about the economy.

        October 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • maow

        He probably plagerized his thesis......

        October 26, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • canuckinfl

        if you cannot spell plagiarize properly, you do not get to comment on the matter. If you ever attended University for so much as a day, you'd know that that issue (plagiarism) is a very difficult and complicated matter, not only to prove, but to avoid. For who can say their thoughts are truly original?

        Apparently, only those who misspell and are not educated. Who knew?

        October 28, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • Hillary

      The reality is there will be no change. These backward violent societies have been this was for 2000 years. As they breed and overpopulate, Asia will bring all of the world into third world despair. We are doomed as is this little girl.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
      • dike

        We are talking about the Pakis... you think they will change.. its a joke... Just like the taliban and other religious fanatics...

        October 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • nadeem ahmed

        The Muslims made you hindus half civilized with a millenia of rule on India, gae you the Taj Mahal while you were busy creating the caste system and burning women in barbaric rituals.

        Stop obsessing about Pakistan and worry about your gutterstink India.

        October 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • nadeem ahmed

        if you were educated you would have read history, American history and found how barbaric and lawless this country was just 150 years ago....

        October 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Under a Romney/Ryan administration we'll all get a binder full of women, a horse and a car elevator and a maid boy called Tagg.

        October 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • Indian

        @Nadeem Ahmed

        Hillary does not sound Indian to me. Jeez..You are so obsessed with India.
        Who let this dog out of Pakistan anyways? God..Why do people let these Pakis in here?

        October 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
      • iluvusa4266

        Reply to Nadeem: You are the one who is obsessed with India. I have no clue why you hate India and Hindus. Several geneations back you all – you all were Hindus. You have been forcibly converted into Muslims. So why hate Hindus?

        October 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
      • helix10461

        @Nadeem- Hey , What is up there? Is it alien craft, no may be it's a missile or Allah flying....... nooooooooo it's Drone, runnnnnn into caves..... you guys worse than animals.

        October 25, 2012 at 12:35 am |
      • MGH

        @nadeem, What's wrong with you dude? Why you bringing India into this?? Just because you guys are the most cruel and barbaric nation on earth, stop trashing your neighbours....Go back into your caves, lest a drone drops some firepower on your stinking muslim ass

        October 25, 2012 at 9:24 am |
      • ensense

        Nadeem Hindus were civilized way before the pedophile was born, if you don't believe, check out Mohinjodaro and Harrappa. The library of nalanda was burnt down by whom? by allahaudin khilji. and why? because you barbarians could not understand the importance of knowledge. Islam has nothing to offer to India or to the whole world except strife.

        October 25, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Drones killing MOSTLY civilians??

      Some facts : http://dawn.com/2012/10/16/did-a-drone-attack-malala/

      October 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
      • helix10461

        Good- There is nothing called civilians in pakistan, they are all animals I mean muslims like their Allah. Throw some nukes and make it into a parking lot.

        October 25, 2012 at 12:45 am |
      • Joe

        Who cares? Terrorist in training,every last one.There will be no peace until we "kill them all"

        October 25, 2012 at 6:22 am |
      • Wow...

        Helix, you're a sociopath...I don't think you understand the global implications of detonating another nuke. All the radiation that spreads across 1/4 of the globe, all the women and children and innocents that it kills...Seriously, you're a monster. I pray you don't have children so you're hatred cannot spread into another generation. Nukes are never the answer.

        October 25, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • ted

      Zakaria is not a nut, he is far more dangerous than that, and I am a democratic-leaning independent.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • nino

        You're a democrat -leading-idiot! You give a bad name to any democrat.

        October 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • RealNews

      What that girl did was courageous and inspiring. I certainly requires more courage than posting an unanimous post on a website.

      October 25, 2012 at 12:07 am | Reply
    • Billlie the Geek

      Go FORNICATE THY SELF with a broom. this is from all the rest of the psters here..You are a numnet..

      October 25, 2012 at 2:15 am | Reply
    • Adam

      the article is amusing only because the authors a known plagiarist.

      October 25, 2012 at 5:54 am | Reply
    • rogerrr

      Really, it took this shooting of a 14 year old girl to bring to light the fact that the Taliban is evil? Really...noboby noticed the chaos and violence to the north, the fact that the Taliban butchers women and children in the name of allah. OK...well at least NOW they appreciate the Taliban for what they really are.

      October 25, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • ted

      After see a specialist and getting some help, Zakaria wrote his first meaningful article.

      October 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Reply
    • William Adama

      This Fareed-Fool needs to get a job. Why does CNN put up with his nonsense?

      October 26, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • ug

      He is a stinking taliban loving little h o m o s e x ual that lies like a flea infested pakistani ho...

      October 26, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • ug

      He's a nut job alright! and he needs his teeth kicked in!

      October 26, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • ug

      He's a little lying frog.

      October 26, 2012 at 10:32 am | Reply
    • Brad

      Pakistan will make progress when there are mass protests against Islam itself. It is Islam that is strangling the development of Pakistani society. The protests supporting Mala are only nibbling at the margins of the true problem. Islam is the source of Pakistan's backwardness.

      October 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • Shak

        Really its Islam is it, then why is Turkey, a Muslim country doing just fine, part of NATO and a democracy. Its the lack of education, a basically non-functioning government and corruption that is holding Pakistan back.

        October 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Zar Aslam

      If the American moderates (undecided) have not been able to unite against the American extremists in this election, do you really expect Pakistanis to turn into Salmons and start swimming upstream? Whatever you are smoking, I'd like to have some Mr. Zakaria!

      October 27, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
    • enkaay

      I am waiting for him to do a program on the atrocities committed by the Indian Army in my KASHMIR ....

      October 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • human

      How long you guyz will divide the Mankind in name of religion, region country sub sec in religion.... You do all this for personal gain ....in some country you say to shia that sunni is dominating you ... n make them fight against sunni and in some country you tell shia is dominating you and make them kill sunni.. where all sunni r their you tell they r moderate to fight with extremist etc..
      How long you guys will take to think beyond religion and consider human as human and care for their life...still 21 century will not make you human...just to defame Islam which only preach unity and luv for entire mankind... few vested interest are making this smear campaing on regular basis which is well recorded by all. Do remeber you cannot luv your creator until and unless you luv and respect god creations

      October 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  2. mk

    it may be as you mentioned "That's startling and refreshing in Pakistan." because you/media have been portraying wrong picture of Pakistan, you only show bad news from Pakistan nothing ever good is shown from that part of the world the people who are supporting this girl also do a lot of good which never makes in the news

    October 24, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • Ang

      While one rotten apple in a basket of good apples would make everything else go rotten, Paki is a country of too many rotten people and just a handful of good, so good is always covered by these strong rotten things happening in there.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Secrets Guru


      October 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • ken

        What an idiotic post.

        October 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • Fred Evil


        October 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
      • Dennis

        We went through this garbage 4 years ago and here we go again.Does he also intend to take away your guns also?..Grow up,idiot!

        October 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • nino

        I think tha's time for you to take the medications......

        October 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
      • ikegeo

        What kind be sh** t is this, Secret Guru? If you don't have anything to say then stay put!

        October 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
      • Wow...

        Holy cow dude...put down the pipe and go take a rest. Sharia will not come to the US. I'm more concerned about Christian Extremists implementing laws that are rules in their beliefs..OH WAIT! THEY ALREADY ARE TRYING!

        October 25, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • NY Native

      @Ang: that is so not true! And if it is, then you include your India in it too. As a reminder, India was declared the most dengerous place for women the UN this year for many years. Take the Taliban minded people out, and you will find most Pakistanis in favour of equal rights for all!

      October 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
      • India

        That's the problem with Pakistan. Everything, every policy and every problem revolves around India. Pakistanis can not fathom the fact India is progressing ahead. No one can deny the problems that exist in India itself. Quit looking outside and accept the problem, that is terrorism that was exported out of Pakistan, and it's coming back to haunt it's own people.

        October 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Bill Clinton

        thats highly doubtful. at least in india they dont kill their little girls or stone their women. the paks just hate all people

        October 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Cannibal Joe

        The American invasion of Afghanistan brought to the forefront the irrelevance of India as a nation. With a population of over 1.2 billion people there was no value that this nation could bring to the table. Their soldiers (ragtag) 1.2 million continue hiding in the trenches scared from Talibans. A few teenage Talibans invaded the country and held it hostage for days on end showing how useless India is. It was embarrasing for the world to observe this humiliation of a nation that was being touted as a regional power. The Talibans brought them down in a few days with some BB guns. It is all over for India. Its demise is in process and should be completed with Afghanistan withdrawal

        October 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Anil

        you are funny

        October 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
      • iR

        Bill Clinton .. in India they burry baby girls at time of birth .. that is why many states in India have female population less than males.. and this trend is only in India

        October 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • RRG

        Did you read correctly, most dangerous for women??? read once again.

        October 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
      • NY Native

        @India: india is not the only country thats progressing. Others including Pakistan (despite all the troubles) are also progressing at more or less similar pace. Indians are in fact obsessed with Pakistan.They are the only nation that wishes ill and evil for Pakistan and wants to see it fail. Others like the US truely desire a more stable Pakistan as Pakistan and United States have ALWAYS been partners unlike opportunist India which was in the Soviet camp during the cold war. There are differences between most countries and even allies. But good partners can always find ways to mend the ties. The US and Pakistan will find a middle path between the differences (like they always have) and will remain allies and partner. That's what people in these two countires ultimately desire. India will remain irrelevent. (There is a difference between a big country and a great country. India is big because it has way too many people, mostly poor as hell. But there is no way India is great. There is nothing of value in it for people to see, learn or admire!)

        October 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
      • ikegeo

        Problems in Pakistan are created by both Pakistanis and outsiders, particularly American policy in that region. America brought lots of problems in Pakistan....from supporting dictatorships to creating Mujaahdins (now Talibans) in 1980s to fight Soviet Union in Afghanistan and now fighting Taliban in that country. America had used, and still using, Pakistan a staging ground to fight its wars. When wars are going constantly for years and years next door to a neighbouring country like Pakistan, it is no brainer to see spilling over into that country. And its over 30 years since America is engaged in fighting wars in that part of the world alone......not counting other Middle-Eastern countries!

        October 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
      • Rocky

        @NY_NATIVE: No one is saying India is great, blah blah. You have problems in your country and blaming India for it. Osama bin Laden is found in Pakistan. India 7/11 terrorists are from Pakistan. Your government does not take any action. Even USA as you say are allies, did not discuss with their Pakistan counterparts on the attack on Osama's house. Even when drones hit your people, you guys don't protest and blame it on India.

        October 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
      • helix10461

        @Cannibal Joe- Hey , What is up there? Is it alien craft, no may be it's a missile or Allah flying....... nooooooooo it's Drone, runnnnnn into caves..... you guys worse than animals.

        October 25, 2012 at 12:38 am |
      • Ang

        @NY_Native : I'm Filipino, you pakistani Idiot. You may change your name to 'Pakistan Idiot' instead of NY_Native. I don't understand why Pakistanis were to talk about India in all the blogs while the Article is just about Pakistan. They just come back biting like dogs like exactly their Taliban masters ask of them. Pakistan is an extremist country and has no mouth of talk about any other country in the world.

        October 25, 2012 at 10:35 am |
      • Reality Vs Dreams

        @NY Native

        Are you sure you live in NY? You seem to have too much Pakistan in you. Also, this might sound like a revelation to someone who is as tunnel visioned as you – Pakistan is in no way comparable to China, India or say, even the poorest country in Europe.

        With some help, Afghanistan probably has some hope as they are willing to learn from their problems. You folks though are incorrigible and hence irredeemable.

        Don't stop dreaming, though. When reality betrays your deepest desires, dreams are the only resort. Freud would agree with me.

        October 26, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Bill Clinton

      The pakistanis will never stand up becasue they have a history of violence and dictatorship. Its what their religion breeds

      October 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
      • Cannibal Joe

        The Aghori or Aghouri is a Hindu cult that is considered to have split off from the Kapalika order in the fourteenth century AD. They have cannibalistic rituals. The streets of northern Indian cities are littered with followers of this cult carrying a kapala, which is a cup made from a skull! These bizarre people will eat anything from rotten food to animal faeces. In order to achieve the highest citadel of enlightenment, the Aghori will perform horrendously crude rituals. The finality of their rituals is attained from eating the decaying flesh of a human.

        October 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • ikegeo

        Stop blaming religion for every unfortunate situations, Bill. All today's problems or wars are not created by any particular religion but are created in the name of religion.....whether the religion is Islam, Christianity or Jewish. Good and bad people can be found in all religion, culture and groups.......including secular, democratic and undemocratic group of people.

        October 24, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • helix10461

        @Cannibal_Joe- Liar liar pants on fire. OBL was found in your military camp. Fool me once shame on you ....... you got it.....There is only one solution to Pakistan,throw some nukes and make it into a parking lot.

        October 25, 2012 at 1:02 am |
      • ensense

        Canibal Joy Nice fantasy you have spun there, Is that how they brainwash you in the Pakistani madrasa's.

        October 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Eyesopen

      This is good news. Fareed is pointing out that people in Pak are now realizing how important it is to rally around this poor hero that only wants education. The problem is that reporters are to afraid to say the obvious truth and that is that organized religeon is a catalyst for hatred. No father wants his children to be kind out of fear of "Thy father", fathers want their children to be kind because it is the right way to be. Lose your bibles and Korans and find hope in yourself because IF god is there, this hatred of others was not his/her intent.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  3. Pppa

    A reasonable follow-up article would be some investigative reporting on who finances the Taliban (hint: ROYAL HOUSE OF SAUD). CNN readers need to know why these alleged "friends" of the US give the Taliban some much support. But, hey, that wold require some investigative journalism, something NO ONE at CNN does anymore. Sad...

    October 24, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • Taliban@PakMil

      It's the Pakistani military who exercise the most direct control over the Taliban. The Taliban are ultimately their creation, recruited and brainwashed to become fanatical henchmen for Pakistan's shadowy praetorian military rulers, in furtherance of their hegemonic ambitions at home and abroad.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  4. Bob

    The US public has had it with Pakistan.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • jamal

      why do you say that. Pakistani soldiers die in the war that we started. We owe pakistan more than we owe israeal and egypt.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
      • ToeRot

        Surely you are not serious. We don't owe Pakistan crap.

        October 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
      • dickless cheney

        every battle their is of their own doing – killing their moderate leaders and getting into bizness thats not theirs. I say we get out of asia and let them deal with each other. whoever is left we'll call our new buddy

        October 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • dike

        Yes we owe Pakis 911, Every time I fly and when I have to go through the long security lines I think of the Pakis and how they have changed my life... How much that stupid religion cost the world. Pakis must be left alone with the other muslim countries, then they will start fighting with each other like Iran and Iraq was and the world will be in peace.

        October 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • helix10461

        @jamal- Liar liar pants on fire.OBL was found in pakistani military camp. Fool me once....... Weust need to drops on those animals I mean muslims and get over with the problem, will also create some space for parking cars in the region.

        October 25, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Sarfaraz Firdous

      Really? Americans owe their freedom to Pakistan. Remember, Pakistan won the Vietnam war for Americans in Afghanistan defeating commie Soviets and their chump hindu India.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
      • rathusala

        whatever your smoking – pleeze pass it along. it must be good stuff cause you make no sense. the soviets lost casue the talibangers hang in the hills and blow themselves up when you approach. Pak stayed out and build their own nuke bombs to threaten their neighbors. a very bad nation – as evil as iran and iraq. they all hate us yet we give them billions

        October 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • iR

      Pakistani public also had it with US 40 years ago . .but its the crap powerful elite that licks US boots ...

      October 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • ikegeo

        I agree.....kick all Americans out of Pakistan. Close its CIA infested embassies and consulates.......I bet you Pakistan will be better off without America.

        October 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  5. Secrets Guru


    October 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Jack 3

      He sure is the gatekeeper for them in America

      October 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • SJAJR

      Please read my post below.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Eniminimo

      Has anyone noticed the lead stories on other news sites is the leaked email exposing Obama's lies regarding the embassy attack. Notice as well the lack of reporting or coverage on this site. Typical.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Morgan

      There are millions of old veterans who will blow the white house to hell before they will let that happen.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • Dennis

      You again?..Go see your proctologist.He can help you locate your head.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  6. SJAJR

    Why is it people who have never been to Pakistan or have the least knowledg about that part of the world or there religion are the most shrill about there culture. "Better be silent and let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt".

    October 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • nh guy

      i don't need to go to that bottomless pit of violence and religious bigotry to form an educated opinion. open YOUR eyes moron.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Cannibal Joe

      INDIA: On a Goat and a Stick:

      The problem with India is that is built on a system of cultural and societal values based on Hinduism which is a cult. Nations built on a cult seldom survive in the long run. You can only take it so far based on symbolisms of a goat and a stick with a skinny little man aka gandhi banging boys at night and spinning wheels during daytime.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • Very Bad MoJo


        Please do not open your mouth until you put your brain into gear, first.

        Hinduism is neither a cult nor for all intents and purposes, a religion. It is first and foremost a philosophical translation of life and how to live it. The many gods/goddesses you see are incarnations of ONE GOD. The only main tenet is reincarnation, which many explain as 'intuition', 'gut-feeling' etc, but probably is based somewhat on past lives.

        Do a little research before you criticize a billion people for following their way of life.


        October 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • foo

        Hinduism is the Aryan religion of the Aryan people, sharing the same texts as Norse (both are Rg Edda). shubtika, swastika and laltika are all hindu (and hence aryan).

        Pakistanis on the other hand, are middle eastern mud, a non Indo-European people.

        October 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
      • ensense

        CJ India and hinduism have survived the past 2000 yrs, you bother about Pakistan, Looks like 1971 was not enough.

        October 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  7. Pamela

    Fareed, are you Pakistani? According to democrats, and Obama, we should simply abandon anything and everything we have going with Pakistan, is that your position also, since you support Obama?

    October 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      Pam, Fareed is not a Pakistani, he is an American and I am proud to say that he is from my city of Mumbai, India.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
      • rathusala

        a muslim is a muslim is a muslim. he's our token muslim for the media. Just like 'Bama is our token Kenyan and clinton is our token misogynist and Biden our token retard and Bush our token moron

        October 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Adesh Dhar

      Fareed ia an Indian muslim.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
      • Ama

        Majority of indian muslims are passive due to living under hindus, with minmum human rights ,just like the bosnians and albainians living under serbians untill they woke up one day !

        October 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • Rishi


        You are an idiot. I am married to one of those oppressed slumbering "Indian muslims" and let me assure you that she is neither oppressed ( quite the reverse, infact, but I jest ) nor slumbering, highly educated, intelligent and successful and would view as far worse than the idiot I see you as.

        October 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • ensense

        AMA if that is what it takes to keep you guys down then, i guess we should practice it all over the world.

        October 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Rishi


      Fareed is an Indian-American who happens to be Muslim.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
      • Farakhan

        I thought he was a Cherokee like Cher?

        October 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • ikegeo

      is it very important for to know whether fareed is pakistani or indian, pamela? judge him from his work instead judging based on where he is from? he is a muslim from mumbai, india. how it feels now since you found out his religion and place of origin?

      October 25, 2012 at 1:36 am | Reply
  8. Ron

    We don't need stealth reformation; what we need is open and transparent reformation. There is no question that the Taliban is supported by stealth funds from Saudi and many sympathizers around the globe. The Taliban must reform from their caveman mentality; until then society will never move forward.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  9. PSG

    Fareed, if we look back over the last 1500 years or so, Islam did start as a reformist religion with respect to the social structure as well the religious structure prevalent at that time. Then Sufis, Sikhs and Faqirs extended further reforms in the societies around them. When I read this article, I have a feeling that Pakistanis are fearful of executing reforms and hence they are taking tentative steps towards further reforms as well as reassure their faith towards a religion which reformed many archaic cultures.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • NY Native

      Well said

      October 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • ensense

      Reform and ISLAM don't go together.

      October 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Russo

      Yes, reform by hosting terrorists in the nation and killing innocent lives. Unless you cilians in Pakistan wakeup one day and fight for your freedom you would all be doomed for ages. Your militants would destroy the nation within.

      October 26, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
  10. Alfie

    Interestingly there were no such protests when a 11 year old Christian girl with Down's Syndrome was arrested by the authorities for blaspheming islam. She is in hiding now. Maybe the change will not go this far. Malala is a musilm and has more rights than a poor down syndrome Christian child. When will islam recognize that women and non-muslims are as much human beings as muslim men? Maybe never.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Sherri

      I agree! No protests at all the honor killings and stonings. NO protests on 9/11. No, the celebrated that.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • aceblazin

      Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to kill countless amounts of innocent Muslims with drone attacks. So a drone is worth more than an innocent life? Yet you're here spewing or bias hate against Muslims. Maybe you should look at both sides of the spectrum and also see how bad the Christians are. Even worse.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
      • Farakhan

        Is there such a thing as an innocent muslim?

        October 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • dike

        Wonder if there are enough drones for all Pakis...

        October 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • ken

      It's still a start. One cannot relate all past doings to discredit present progress. This is what the world needs and you make it into something irrelevant? Get a life.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  11. Soundsane

    I find this story intriguing not for the protests, but because Muslim extremists all say that Allah controls all. Well, they took matters into their hands and guess what, she survived. I guess it was Allah's will that she lived. Maybe she has words that extremists should listen to because it comes from Allah.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  12. Sherri

    But, Fareed, why has it taken Muslims so long to finally protest this kind of thing? Why have they stood by and let it happen for years? And why do they still do these kinds of things themselves? They still stone women, commit honor killings constantly, throw acid in the faces of girls trying to go to school? They still commit all the suicide bombings in the world! It's a bit too little too late for me. And I sure didn't see any protests when they flew planes into buildings, killing 3000 Americans. No, they were in the streets celebrating.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Heywood

      Well said. Some of it could be the American medias fault in that they sell more ad space if they show violent street protest over peaceful moderates demanding basic human rights, but you are dead on in your comment. I want to hear the moderates voice as loudly as i hear the bombs and then ill believe them.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • Samina

      Sherri- not muslims but 'radical' , extremist muslims. Pls make that difference. As a practicing muslim, i take offence.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
      • freeman

        as a practicing Muslim you should take action rather than offense...we put our religions in their place, they can advise and comment but they have no powers of enforcement – when was the last time someone was burned at the stake? I can vandalize a bible, work on Sunday, delcare at the top of my luings that God doesn't exist, make a movie depicting Jesus as gay and no church has any authorty to do anything about it except complain. Not true 200 years ago, then I would have recieved the Taliban treatment for my blasphemy. It is up to you and the other non-brain dead Muslims to take away all power of enforcement from your religion, let them advise and threaten, but give them no authority to do anything about anything.

        Time for the inteligent Muslims to put a stop to all government backed support of religious idiocy. Put religion back where it belongs, in the dark ages or the trailer parks.

        October 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  13. Chris

    I'm not sure how anyone takes Fareed Zakaria seriously, either in print on on TV. Amazing to me how much TV time he gets, considering he is an admitted liar and plagiarizer. Good call CNN.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Russo

      Though he admitted that it was his fault not mentioning that the quote was taken from another magazine, it was not him who actually did that misake. It is one his interns and CNN inspected the case and found him not guilty. He has a degree from harvard and really sound in world affairs, what is that you do except that you tell somebody is not worth their job?

      October 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  14. Bob

    "Stealth Islamic Reformer"? Ah, the so called moderate muslim that we have been hearing about since 911.

    "Stealth reformers" are useless. They are akin to a Muslim who "watches" a less moderate Muslim chop your head off.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  15. IamAmazed

    Obama said, “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance."

    Obama said, "I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."

    Obama said, "As a student of history I understand more about civilization's debt to Islam . . ."

    October 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Michell

      and Obama said – find me the nearest mosque for I am late for my prayers and I need to sacrifice two christians and a jew to get into seventh heaven with the white blonde virgin girls!

      October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  16. nh guy

    if a society needs to "stealthy" reform something as basic as female education in particular and womens rights in general i for one have no need for it. zakaria is a very smart guy but the commentary is just shy of implying things are improving. let's see what transpires in the long term please before we go there.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  17. LetsThink123

    So Zakaria mentions that Malala said, "I will show them the Koran, what Koran says. Koran didn't say that girls are not allowed to go to school". Interesting.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • LetsThink123

      Zakaria and Malala is right. But the quran DOES say that women are inferior to men, and that a man can beat his wife. The inferiority passage is what the taliban is enforcing. The passage is:
      Koran Surah 4:34 – Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Allah is high and supreme.

      Since Allah himself views women as inferior to men and is ok with wife-b_eating, all the taliban are doing is enforcing this "divine" law.
      Malala going to school empowers her to be more educated than the taliban men, thus this goes against Allah's will as she will be intellectually superior to the taliban.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
      • Ron

        How true! Amen.

        October 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  18. Leo

    The problem is not Islam or Taliban - it is religion itself. It never fails to amaze me how otherwise intelligent people abondon reason and belief in magic, and people and places in the sky.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • Anon

      I take no issue with your statement other than that most people are not "otherwise intelligent". Most people are not intelligent, which is why religion works.

      "Think about how dumb the average person is. Then think about the fact that half the people are dumber than that."
      - George Carlin

      October 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Billlie the Geek

      Religion is cancer. It grows and grows and some people benifit by it..

      October 25, 2012 at 2:21 am | Reply
  19. Lee Oates

    The women of Pakistan are brave to stand up against men with the guns and the willingness to kill them over any demands for equality. Unfortunately, Pakistan, like the US, has a large group of right-wing conservatives willing to suppress women whenever the opportunity arises. Not a lot of difference between the Tahliban and the Tea party nuts, both are religious fanatics willing to force their views on others.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  20. Pakistani Patriot

    Land that we love.
    Stand beside her, and guide her
    Thru the night with a light from above.
    From Kashmir to Karachi and onto New Delhi,
    And to the oceans, white with foam
    GOD BLESS PAKISTAN, Our home sweet home.
    Home to the rich and poor and needy,
    Home to the Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists and everyone else
    GOD BLESS PAKISTAN, the Land of the Beautiful and the Brave.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Sarfaraz Firdous

      Ameen bro.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • dike

      You mean GOD=Allah

      Stand beside her, and guide her
      HER?... the Women that your religion has no respect for?

      Thru the night with a light from above.

      Home to the Muslims, and the x Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists and everyone else we ERADICATED
      GOD BLESS PAKISTAN, the Land of the Muslim fanatics and the sicko's.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Reply
    • helix10461

      Hey- Drones are coming.......

      October 25, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
    • Rahul

      Get some life looser

      October 25, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
  21. Richie

    Besides emerging as a regional power, the time has come for Pakistan to take the leadership role in the Islamic World and lead them to the path of progress, prosperity and glory. The only nuclear nation in the Islamic World, Pakistan has shown the world that it can stand up to the nuances of world politics on principles and partake in global affairs. Also, that it can equally contribute to the progress of this planet called Earth. The sacrifices of the Pakistani nation in making this world safe are unmatched and deserves a seat at the table of the permanent members of The UN Security Council.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  22. Ram Brahmaputra

    Now let us look at India's dilemma.

    In India, millions of girls are strangled, slowly starved or simply tossed in the trash. Moreover, in India, at least 1,370 girls are aborted every day. As a comparison, some 250 Indians die every day in road accidents. Terrorists killed about six people, on an average, every day in 2009. In the last two decades of economic progress, 10 million girls have died as such in India.
    Indians have killed more human beings (girls particularly) than Al Qaeda and Talibans put together.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • NY Native

      And thats why the UN declared India as the most dengerous place for women in the world!

      October 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • foo

        You sound like a Muslim, why are you wasting valuable time talking about India ? Shouldn't you be throwing acid in some girls face or sneaking over the borders of civilized countries and slaughtering hindus, blowing up the london subways or times square in nyc (all done by pakis) ?

        October 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  23. Samina

    Mr Fareed..I have pakistani friends.. Reform is one thing and many muslims themselves would agree that we need to start reforming the ways many of our friends think. Start from ones closest to you..its the ripple effect. Pakistan has to shun the strict interpretation and apllication of certain rulings. There are great muslims scholars in the US like Yasir Qadhi who have such an excellent message on how to blend Islam with the modern world. Such mssgs need to be promoted in that part of the world. Also, since you are close to the Obama Admin, pls let them know what is often repeated- Stop droning people out of existence! It impedes any and every reform process! No one takes western ideas and values seriously there because ppl who follow those values are killing many innocents among them.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  24. Golem1

    And if Israel didn't exist, the Taliban would still have shot this little girl. Zakaria is correct that the only solution to these seventh century jihadists is Islam itself. But its also time for him to recognize that the tiny Jewish state is not the true cause of Jihadist anamosity. Its the Christian West's power and influence, e.g., equal rights for women, that drive the jihadists.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  25. Jack 3

    Their real enemy is their own religion. They are now slaves to this barbaric religion and can't escape or speak out without punishment.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  26. Penny D'Souza-Goa-India

    In some Haryana villages in India, the young girls are routinely threatened, abused and killed all under Khap (tribe/clan) verdicts. It is acceptable for the families to feed pesticide pills to the teenage girls and then dispose off their bodies by burning them without any police records.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • foo

      The ways of the aryans are for the aryans to sort out. As a muslim, you are wasting valuable time talking about aryans while you could be plotting the next attack in london, nyc, bombay or delhi (all actually done by pakis).

      October 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  27. Prince

    Mr. Zakaria:
    You are absolutely right. Pakistan's real enemy is not the outsiders, but an enemy within their own country. The only people who can solve this mess is the Pakistanis themselves. They must rise against this tyranny and cancer growing within.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  28. bobalu

    There will be a huge price to pay for change. A very nasty civil war will have to occur. The public's outcry shall be very fleeting like it has been in the past. They are like alcoholics and drug dealers. They need to hit rock bottom before they begin to change. This is not rock bottom.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  29. Jack 3

    This story is why we don't want islam here. it's rare that moderates stand up against extremists in these muslim controlled countries.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
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