Yet the mainstream analysis prevailing in Washington and in the mainstream media is that people like Fazlullah misunderstand Islam, and twist and hijack it. They do not and cannot, however, show how his understanding of Islamic law differs from that of all the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence. “Malala plotter chosen as Pakistani Taliban chief,” by Ishtiaq Mahsud and Sebastian Abbot for the Associated Press, November 7:
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) – The ruthless commander behind the attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai as well as a series of bombings and beheadings was chosen Thursday as the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, nearly a week after a U.S. drone strike killed the previous chief.
The militant group ruled out peace talks with the government, accusing Pakistan of working with the U.S. in the Nov. 1 drone strike. Islamabad denied the allegation and accused Washington of sabotaging its attempt to strike a deal with the Taliban to end years of violence.
Mullah Fazlullah was unanimously appointed the new leader by the Taliban’s leadership council, or shura, after several days of deliberation, said the council’s head, Asmatullah Shaheen Bhitani. Militants fired AK-47 assault rifles and anti-aircraft guns into the air to celebrate.
The previous chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed by the drone in the North Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border. He was known for a bloody campaign that killed thousands of Pakistani civilians and security personnel, a deadly attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan and was believed to be behind the failed bombing in New York’s Times square in 2010. The U.S. had put a $5 million bounty on his head, [sic]
Mehsud’s killing had outraged Pakistani officials. The government said the drone strike came a day before it planned to send a delegation of clerics to invite the Pakistani Taliban to hold peace talks, although many analysts doubted a deal was likely….
Bhitani, the Taliban shura leader, said the group would not join peace talks with the government, accusing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of selling out the group when he met with President Barack Obama in Washington on Oct. 23.
“We will take revenge on Pakistan for the martyrdom of Hakimullah,” Bhitani told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location in North Waziristan, where the shura met….
The Pakistani Taliban is an umbrella organization of militant groups formed in 2007 to overthrow the government and install a hard-line form of Islamic law. Based in the country’s remote tribal region, the group also wants Pakistan to end its support for the U.S. fight in Afghanistan. The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban are allies but have generally directed their attacks on opposite sides of the border.
Fazlullah, believed to be in his late 30s, served as the Pakistani Taliban’s leader in the northwest Swat Valley but is now believed to be hiding in Afghanistan. He rose to prominence through radio broadcasts demanding the imposition of Islamic law, earning him the nickname “Mullah Radio.”…
Fazlullah and his group carried out the attack on Malala, who was shot in the head while on her way home from school in October 2012. She was targeted after speaking out against the Taliban over its interpretation of Islam, which limits girls’ access to education….
Fazlullah also claimed responsibility for the deaths of a Pakistani army general and two other soldiers in a roadside bombing near the Afghan border in September. The killings outraged the military and raised questions about whether the Taliban had any real interest in negotiating peace….
Oh, don’t be concerned about a few jihad murders, fellas. Deep down, the Taliban really, really want peace!