To Taliban: “I want education for you, for your children” – Malala on the Daily Show

Malala on Daily ShowMalala Yousufzai’s conviction and sincerity shines as she speaks, even as the after-effects of the attack on her are still evident in the slight disfigurement of her facial muscles. And the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee recently speechless even the satirical TV host Jon Stewart when she talked about her thoughts about the Taliban. Asked when she first learnt she was a target of the Taliban, she says it was through a visitor who told her to put her name in Google search.

“I just could not believe it, I said no, it’s not true,” she said. “We thought the Taliban were not that much cruel that they would kill a child – I was 14 at the time.” She was initially more afraid for her father but when she began thinking about it, she thought that if  attacked she would hit the Talib with her shoe – a comment that raised a laugh.

“But then, I said if you hit a Talib with a shoe then there will be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with that much cruelty and that much harshly. You must fight others, but through peace and through dialogue and through education. Then I said I would tell him about the importance of education, and I even want education for you, and for your children. I would tell him, that’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.”

Her response got a standing ovation and rendered even Jon Stewart momentarily speechless. I loved that through that prolonged applause she did not look at the audience – she was not playing to the gallery.

Here’s the first part of the interview, including that bit.  Her book ‘I am Malala’, co-authored with British journalist Christina Lamb, has just been released in bookstores worldwide. She addressed the United Nations on her 16th birthday, July 12, 2013; the UN has also set up the Malala Fund for girls’ education worldwide – everywhere, including India, as she said. On December 19,  2011, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani awarded her the National Peace Award for Youth. Whether or not she gets the Nobel Peace Prize, the fact that she was nominated is enough. She has done Pakistan proud. May she continue to inspire.

Here’s a link to the full interview, in which she talks about the power of women, the cruelties of the Taliban, and the importance of education in the quest for peace.

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