Jon Stewart: Welcome back my guest tonight, she’s an advocate for girls access to education worldwide, she is the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, her new book is called “I Am Malala” the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban. Please welcome to the program Malala Yousafzai.
Jon Stewart: Nice to see you. Thank you for being here.
Malala Yousafzai: Thank you so much, it’s an honor for me.
Jon Stewart: It is an honor for us, I know me. This is, by the way, we talked a little bit before the show, nothing feels better than making you laugh, I will say that, I enjoyed that very much.
Malala Yousafzai: Thank you.
Jon Stewart: “I Am Malala”, it, it’s honestly humbling to meet you. You are sixteen, where did your love for education come from?
Malala Yousafzai: We are human beings and this is the part of our human nature, that we don’t learn the importance of anything, until it’s snatched from our hands. And when, in Pakistan when we were stopped from going to school, at that time I realized that education is very important and education is the power for women and that’s why the terrorists are afraid of education. They do not want women to get education because then women will become more powerful.
Jon Stewart: Exactly, exactly right. When did the Taliban come to Swat Valley, because before then, you describe it as a paradise of sorts?
Malala Yousafzai: The Taliban came in 2004, but at that time they were quite good, they did not show the terrorism and they did not blast any schools at that time. But they started the real terrorism in 2007, they have blasted more than 400 schools in Swat, they have slaughtered people and in the month of January 2009, they used to slaughter even two, three people every night and they had flogged them. We had seen the barbaric situation of the 21st century and we have seen the cruelty and we have seen harsh days in our life and those are regarded as the darkest days of our life, so it was really hard for us at that time.
Jon Stewart: You describe in the book, still, no matter what, they took the signs off of schools, they went underground, but they continued, in the face of, you spoke out publicly against the Taliban, what gave you the courage to continue this?
Malala Yousafzai: You know, my father was a great encouragement for me because he spoke out for women’s rights, he spoke out for girl’s education and at that time I said that why should I wait for someone else, why should I be looking to the government, to the army that they would help us? Why don’t I raise my voice, why don’t we speak up for our rights? The girls of Swat, they spoke up for their rights, I started writing diary, I spoke on every media channel that I could, and I raised my voice on every platform that I could and I said I need to tell the world what is happening in Swat, and I need to tell the world that Swat is suffering from terrorism and we need to fight against terrorism.
Jon Stewart: When did you realize the Taliban had made you a target?
Malala Yousafzai: When, in 2012, we were, I was with my father and someone came and she told us that, have you seen on Google that if you search your name and the Taliban has threatened you? And I just could not believe it, I said no it’s not true and even after the third when we saw it, I was not worried about myself that much, I was worried about my father because we thought that the Taliban are not that much cruel that they would kill a child, because I was 14 at that time. But then later on, I used to like, I started thinking about that and I used to think that the Tali 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 Tali with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Tali. You must not treat others that much with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others, but through peace and through dialogue and through education. Then I said I would tell him how important education is and that I even want education for your children as well and I would tell him, that’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.
Jon Stewart: Let me ask you, I know your father is back stage and he is very proud of you, but would he be mad if I adopted you? Because you sure are swell. Could you stick around? I want to talk a little bit more about sort of Swat Valley and what it was like growing up there and how people can get involved through the Malala Fund and those types of things, do you have a little bit of time?
Malala Yousafzai: Yeah, yeah, sure.
Jon Stewart: “I Am Malala” is on the bookshelves now. Donate to the Malala Fund, visit www.malalafund.org! Malala Yousafzai, we’ll be right back.There may be small errors in this transcript.