clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Malala Yousafzai's Daily Show interview shows why she won the Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

If you're left at all unclear as to why 17-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014, you can read about her work promoting access to' education worldwide. And you can read about the symbolic importance of acknowledging her defiant stand against the Taliban, which in 2012 tried to murder her to stop her from educating girls.

To really understand why she has become the world's youngest-ever Nobel Peace Price laureate, probably the best thing you can do is simply witness the courage and principled dedication to human rights that made her so globally adored. And the best way to see that is in her 2013 interview on The Daily Show, when she was 16 and still recovering from her attempted assassination. It really is something to see:

Stewart is a bit fawning and awkward, but Yousafzai's bravery and strength and human appeal are undeniable. This quote, in which she imagines the Taliban who tried to kill her returning (as they've pledged to do), particularly stands out:

But later I started thinking 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?" then 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 harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education." 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."

That is why she won.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.