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Malala had a spot-on response to the anti-Muslim rhetoric we're hearing.

Malala Yousafzai links anti-Muslim rhetoric with a rise in terrorism.

Malala had a spot-on response to the anti-Muslim rhetoric we're hearing.

Being both Muslim and a survivor of terrorism, Malala Yousafzai knows a thing or two about both subjects.

The Pakistani children's rights activist, who became famous after being shot in the head by the Taliban back in 2012, recently spoke out against a rise in global anti-Muslim sentiment after the attacks in Paris last month.

She didn't mince words.


Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.

Yousafzai wants to be clear: Linking all Muslims to terrorism doesn't boost national security — it makes us all less safe.

When asked about the recent inflammatory (and false) things said about Islam, as well as a proposed ban on all Muslim immigration here in the U.S., Yousafzai explained why such rhetoric does so much damage.

"The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create," she told Channel 4 News in the U.K. "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 [that] cannot stop terrorism. It will radicalize more terrorists."

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Many others agree that Islamophobia isn't just immoral, it's bad foreign policy.

In addressing the nation after the terror attacks in San Bernardino, California, earlier this month, President Obama stressed that blaming all Muslims for terrorism actually helps ISIS by upping its recruitment.

Photo by Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty Images.

It's a perspective that's shared with other (but not all) presidential candidates, as well as experts on the matter, who believe grouping all Muslims in with the (very) small faction of extremists — and closing the door on Syrian refugees for that reason — plays into the terrorists' narrative.

"When ISIS executes its attacks, it has a script," Owen Jones wrote for The Guardian. "It knows that Muslims will be blamed en masse in the aftermath. One of its key aims, after all, is to separate western societies and their Muslim communities: If Muslims are left feeling rejected, besieged and hated, ISIS believes, then the recruitment potential will only multiply."

If anyone knows that inclusion is the best way to heal (and promote good policy-making), it's Yousafzai.

The human rights leader — who now lives in England — has firsthand experience.

Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images.

"What I went through in my life was a horrible incident," she told Channel 4 News. "But here [in the U.K.], the love of people really strengthened me. And it continues to strengthen me. That's why I am able to continue my campaign for education."

"I'm really thankful to people here in the UK for all their support, their love and for making me feel that this is home, and that [I] have the right to live and that [I] deserve love and kindness."

Watch Yousafzai's interview with Channel 4 News:

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."