When human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, 16, appeared on The Daily Show, the level of anticipation to see the young woman on social media sites was thick and intense.
If you recall, Malala Yousafzai emerged as a symbol of female empowerment and commitment to education after a tragic event. When she was just 14, Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban forces for the grave crime of trying to get an education in her native Pakistan.
Amazingly, Malala survived. And even more amazingly, she went on to not only return to school, but with a renewed purpose despite her horrible experience.
In the intervening months, Yousafzai has remained vocal about her experience and the importance of ensuring young women have access to education wherever they live in the world.
Now Malala, still only 16, may become the youngest recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize — and her comments to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show this week illustrate why.
Stewart asked Malala about being a teenager and living under the constant threat of death — and Yousafzai replied:
“I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, ‘If he comes, what would you do Malala?’ ”
“… I would reply to myself, ‘Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.’ But then I said, ‘If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.’ ”
The young woman concluded:
“Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that ‘I even want education for your children as well.’ And I will tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.’ ”
Ohmigod. Jon Stewart’s face. His face! That was all of us, watching this kid.
The video above featuring Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show is worth a watch for all the content, not just the bit about the Taliban.