Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize Nominee & winner of European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, brought down the house at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart when asked what she would do if attacked again by a Taliban gunman. “I would tell him how important education is and that I would even want education for your children as well,” the Pakistani girl said. “That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.” The audience Tuesday gave her a thunderous ovation. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan until ousted by a U.S. military invasion ordered by President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But its roots are in the remote tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan, where Malala’s family is from.
Where it can, the Taliban has imposed rules forbidding girls from going to school, listening to music or taking most jobs. Malala, who lives in England now, told Stewart that she was stunned when she was told as a 14-year-old girl that the Taliban had issued a death threat against her for her activism and for her blog on the BBC, in which she wrote about how hard it was to live under strict Muslim rule as a girl. “I just could not believe it, I said no, it’s not true,” she said, saying she thought the Taliban would instead come after her father, who operates a school and opened up his classes to girls. “We thought the Taliban were not that much cruel that they would kill a child.”
Malala was shot in the head and neck one year ago on her school bus by a gunman who was sent by the Taliban, the Muslim clerical group that believes in adherence to a strict version of Islamic law. After she was shot, she was allowed to go to Britain for brain surgery. She now lives outside London with her family. Though the Taliban has threatened her life again, she says striking back at them would not help. “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.” via ONTD