Malala Yousafzai, famous woman’s rights activist and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, has said that she is “heartbroken” by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to ban refugees from entering the United States. Yousafzai is only one of many individuals, organizations and communities who have protested President Trump’s decision since he signed the order on Friday, January 8. The decision includes temporarily barring immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim majority countries and indefinitely barring refugees from Syria. Malala’s organization, Malala Fund, shared Yousafzai’s official statement on their Facebook page.
“I am heartbroken that today President Trump is closing the door on children, mothers and fathers fleeing violence and war. I am heartbroken that America is turning its back on a proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants — the people who helped build your country, ready to work hard in exchange for a fair chance at a new life.”
Malala wrote that she was heartbroken for all Syrian refugees, especially the children, who have had to suffer through six years of war. She called the president’s decision an act of discrimination. Malala also added the story of her friend Zaynab, a refugee who fled three wars to come to the U.S. as a refugee at age 17. Zaynab learned English, graduated high school and is currently in college, studying to be a human rights lawyer.
“I am heartbroken for girls like my friend Zaynab, who fled wars in three countries — Somalia, Yemen and Egypt — before she was even 17. Two years ago she received a visa to come to the United States. She learned English, graduated high school and is now in college studying to be a human rights lawyer.”
Malala added that Zaynab would also be separated from her little sister, who still lives in Egypt. Malala expresses hope that the two sisters will one day be reunited.
Malala ended her statement with a personal note to President Trump.
“In this time of uncertainty and unrest around the world, I ask President Trump not to turn his back on the world’s most defenseless children and families.”
Malala shared her statement via the Facebook page of her organization “Malala Fund” a group that is “focused on helping girls go to school and raise their voices for the right to education.” Malala, who lives in Birmingham, U.K., rose to prominence following her advocacy for human’s rights and woman’s education in her native Swat Valley in Pakistan, where the Taliban had banned girls from going to school. She was featured in Time magazine’s 2013, 2014, and 2015 issues as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” She was the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
Many have expressed sharp criticism over Trump’s decision, particularly because they perceive it as being biased against Muslims. A prime critic of this decision, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, herself a refugee, points out that “by specifically targeting Muslim-majority countries for these immigration bans, and by expressing a clear preference for refugees who are religious minorities,” it was clear that the decision was biased against Muslims.
Trump’s controversial decision restricts all Syrian Refugees from entering the U.S. indefinitely, while refugees from six other Muslim majority countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen) will be barred for 120 days. Trump says this decision will deter radical Islamist terrorists from entering the United States.
“We don’t want to admit the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those that support our country and love, deeply, our people.”
I promise that our administration will ALWAYS have your back. We will ALWAYS be with you! pic.twitter.com/D0aOWhOH4X
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2017
[Featured Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]