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Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai explains why Trump’s comments on Muslims are dangerous

Malala Yousafzai speaks in Birmingham, England, in November.
Malala Yousafzai speaks in Birmingham, England, in November.
Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai doesn't think much of Donald Trump, calling his proposal to stop Muslims from coming into the US "tragic" and arguing that comments like his lead to more terrorism.

"Well, that's really tragic that you hear these comments which are full of hatred, full of this ideology of being discriminative towards others," Yousafzai told the AFP news service.

In a separate interview with the UK's Channel 4, she argued Trump's comments aren't just tragic but dangerous:

I can just highlight one thing. The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create.

So 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.

Yousafzai, who is from Pakistan, became a worldwide icon after being shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 because she advocated for women's education. She now lives in Birmingham, England.

Go deeper:

  • The story of how Malala won the world's attention and became an international activist is less straightforward, and more troubling, than you might remember, Marie Brenner wrote in Vanity Fair in 2013.
  • But it's not just Trump. Islamophobia in the US goes well beyond him, and many of Malala's criticisms could apply to other Republicans as well, Max Fisher writes for Vox.

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