Short and sweet: Malala Yousafzai, the 18-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, has put U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump squarely in his place. Speaking of Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States and his idea to keep track of all U.S. Muslims in a database, Yousafzai stated, “The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create.”
At a ceremony to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a Taliban assault on a Pakistan school, in which 134 children were killed, Yousafzai offered more commentary on the state of Islam in colloquial American language as it exists between people, politicians, and in the media. “It’s important that whatever politicians say, whatever the media say, they should be really, really careful about it. If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not try to blame the whole population of Muslims for it because it cannot stop terrorism. It will radicalize more terrorists.”
Trump stands by his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country even after this week’s GOP debate, even after the attacks in Paris and the San Bernardino shootings. Yousafzai does not believe—rightly—that Trump’s plan would do anything other than harm. Education, she says, is key.
“If we want to end terrorism, we need to bring quality education so we defeat the mindset of the terrorism mentality and of hatred,” she said.
Yousafzai was shot in the head and almost killed in 2012 for going to school and advocating for girls’ education. Now having largely recovered from the assassination attempt, she continues to advocate for women and for education around the world. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, also an activist and educator, often speaks in support of his daughter. He too has critized Trump’s proposal: “It will be very unfair, very unjust, that we associate 1.6 billion with a few terrorist organizations,” he said.