Asia

Malala condemns Donald Trump call for Muslim ban in US

  • 16 December 2015
  • From the section Asia
Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai listens to speakers at an event to commemorate the Peshawar school massacre in Birmingham, north England on 14 December 2015 Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The 18-year-old Pakistani campaigner said such comments could "radicalise more terrorists"

Malala Yousafzai has condemned a call by US presidential hopeful Donald Trump to ban Muslims from entering the US.

The Nobel Prize winner said his comments were "full of hatred" and blaming Muslims for terrorism would only "radicalise more terrorists".

She was speaking at an event to mark one year since a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan left more than 150 dead, most of them children.

In 2012, Malala was herself shot in the head by the Taliban.

Schools and colleges across Pakistan closed on Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary.

Pakistan's president, prime minister and army chief joined survivors and grieving families at a commemoration ceremony at the Army Public School, where the massacre happened.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Belongings and photos of those killed were on display as the Army Public School remembered its dead

'Really tragic'

Mr Trump had called for a halt to Muslims entering the US until authorities could "figure out" Muslim attitudes to the country, in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings.

His comments drew widespread criticism in the US including from fellow Republicans.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trump is one of the frontrunners in the Republican candidate race

Speaking at the event in Birmingham on Tuesday, Malala told AFP news agency: "Well, that's really tragic that you hear these comments which are full of hatred, full of this ideology of being discriminative towards others."

The 18-year-old Pakistani campaigner also spoke to BBC Urdu's Adil Shahzeb at the event, and urged politicians and the media to exercise more caution.

"I have to say that whether it's Western media or Eastern media, if they only blame 1.6 billion Muslims for terrorists attacks then terrorism can't be defeated, that just leads to creating more anger in people and leads to producing more terrorists."

Peshawar fears

Malala also reiterated her call for quality education around the world to "defeat the terrorist mindset" that led to events such as the Peshawar attack.

"A gun can kill a terrorist, but it will not kill his thinking. The only thing that will change his mindset is education," she told the BBC.

She was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' rights to an education.

Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Ahmad Nawaz, a survivor of the Peshawar attack who lost his younger brother, also spoke at the Birmingham event

Other speakers at the event included survivors of the attack, including a 16-year-old who lost his younger brother, and a 13-year-old who was paralysed from the waist down from gunshot wounds.

The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil in Peshawar says it has been a difficult year for the city, with security increased significantly and parents still worried about the possibility of a similar attack.

Read more about the Peshawar massacre

Image copyright Getty Images

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