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Malala doesn't win Nobel Peace Prize -- and the Taliban celebrates

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager and outspoken proponent of the right of girls and young women to be educated, survived being shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012. But as if attempted murder wasn't bad enough -- now the Taliban is proving to be a bad sport too.

Malala survived a bullet to the head, penned a book about her experiences with Christina Lamb -- "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" was published by Little, Brown this week. She's currently on the kind of whirlwind book tour first-time authors dream about. Now 16, she also became the youngest person nominated to a Nobel Peace Prize.

On Friday, it was announced that Malala did not win, despite being a favorite of the odds makers. (The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague, won instead).

So what did the Taliban do? Celebrated, according to AFP.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban issued a statement calling the decision “very good news” and praised the Nobel committee for “not selecting this immature girl for this famous award,” NBC News also reported.

The spokesman also promised that, “If we get another chance, we will definitely kill her and that will make us feel proud.” The militants have also reportedly threatened to kill shopkeepers in Pakistan who sell her book.

If previous experience is any guide, the threats and attacks will only fuel sales. “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” is selling briskly in the United States, aided by a series of moving television appearances by Malala, including an unforgettable interview Tuesday on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."

Asked by Stewart where her love for education came from, Malala answered: “We are human beings, and this is part of our human nature. We don’t learn the importance of anything until it’s snatched from our hands.”

ALSO:

Elizabeth Smart tells her story in new memoir

What Nobel winner Alice Munro taught me about being a writer

New report shows Americans have low (and declining) reading proficiency

hector.tobar@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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