While the whole world has feted the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani Muslim girl who was nearly killed by a Taliban hit squad, Christians in Pakistan are calling the world's attention to another case of Islamist violence. Human rights advocates and Christians in Pakistan are denouncing a suicide bomb attack at the Anglican All Saints church in Peshawar on September 22. It was there that Kashmala Munawar, a 13-year-old Christian girl, was seriously injured while she was praying in the church.
Following the explosion that killed scores, Kashmala was rushed to a local hospital where surgeons found multiple shrapnel wounds in her legs. Since her surgery, infection set in and required the amputation of her right leg. Since then, Kashmala was transferred to a hospital in the Anglican Diocese of Peshawar, where she is still recovering. A high school student, Kashmala needs specialized medical care in order to fully recover. Currently the NGO "World Vision in Progress" is supporting the expenses for Kashmala’s medical treatment and for other victims of the massacre.
As reported by the Fides news service, the Christian community of Peshawar has asked, "For how long and why is an NGO having to treat Kashmala? Where is justice? Why are the government of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal government totally ignoring the victims of the massacre? Why does the international community not offer an intervention for this child?". According to local sources, Kashmala could benefit from specialized medical care in a European or North American hospital. She will require a prosthetic leg and physical therapy to adjust to life with her handicap.
By way of contrast, Malala Yousafzai has been received at the White House by President Barack Obama and has been interviewed by celebrities such as Jon Stewart. She and her family now enjoy refugee status in the United Kingdom. Persecuted Christians living in Muslim countries still struggle to have their stories heard.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.