In light of the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in political circles at the moment, namely being spurted by one particular presidential candidate – Donald Trump, Malala Yousafzai has called for an end to the xenophobic madness.
Malala recently spoke at an event to commemorate the anniversary of the Peshawar school shooting which left 150 people dead, most of them children.
When asked about how she viewed recent comments by Donald Trump and other politicians around the Muslim faith, Malala responded with despair.
Stating that Trump’s comments were “full of hatred” and only acted to “radicalise more terrorists”, she called for an end to inflammatory rhetoric that only acts in the terrorists favour.
According to the BBC, Malala told AFP news agency that Trump’s comments were only aggravating the situation: “Well, that’s really tragic that you hear these comments which are full of hatred, full of this ideology of being discriminative towards others.”
Telling Channel 4 News, Malala added,”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.”
“If they only blame 1.6 billion Muslims for terrorists attacks then terrorism can’t be defeated.”
Instead, Malala urged education and de-radicalisation for terrorists, insisting that whilst “a gun can kill a terrorist…it will not kill his thinking.”
“The only thing that will change his mindset is education.”
Malala’s comments come as a flurry of Muslim celebrities speak out against the hateful platforms on which Trump’s presidential campaign is run.
Six-time NBA champion and TIME contributor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar compared Trump to ISIS stating that his words were not dissimilar from other forms of terrorism.
“If violence can be an abstraction — and it can; that’s what a threat is — the Trump campaign meets this definition. Thus, Trump is ISIS’s greatest triumph: the perfect Manchurian Candidate who, instead of offering specific and realistic policies, preys on the fears of the public, doing ISIS’s job for them. Even fellow Republican Jeb Bush acknowledged Trump’s goal is “to manipulate people’s angst and fears,” Jabbar said in a recent essay for TIME Magazine.
Muhammad Ali mirrored Jabbar’s response, calling for an end to such alienating rhetoric and condemning “presidential candidates proposing to ban Muslim immigration.”
“I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world,” Ali said in a statement. “True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.”
Like Malala, Ali is calling for politicians to use their position to bring understanding and tolerance, utilising education as the driver of de-radicalisation and worldwide support.