Malala Yousafzai: 'You Must Fight Others Through Peace, Dialogue, Education'

“I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.”

It's been a year since Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban for speaking out about education rights for girl, and she sat down with Jon Stewart this week to discuss her views on education, terrorism, and her plans to continue her fight to for education rights for girls worldwide.

Now a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Malala said that when she learned she was a Taliban target while living in Pakistan, she often thought about how she would react if she found herself face-to-face with a terrorist. She explained to Stewart that at first, she thought she would fight back. However, she realized that she could not stoop to his level.

“If you hit a Talib, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib,” she said. “You must not treat others with cruelty -- you must fight others through peace and through dialogue and through education.”

After deciding she could not respond with violence, Malala thought about what she would say to a terrorist.

“I would tell him how important education is and that I would even want education for your children as well. That’s what I want to tell you. Now, do what you want.”

I don't believe I've ever seen Jon Stewart speechless before, but indeed it took him a moment before he finally responded, and with a pretty bold offer.

“I know your father is backstage and he’s very proud of you,” Stewart said. “But... would he be mad if I adopted you?”

We probably can't all adopt Malala, but we can support her mission for global education at the Malala Fund.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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