Malala Yousafzai leaves Jon Stewart speechless
October 9, 2013 10:57 PM   Subscribe

“I’ll 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.’” - Malala Yousafzai (previously), shot by the Taliban a year ago, talks to the Daily Show's Jon Stewart about what she would do if a gunman came to shoot her again, as they have promised.
posted by Artw (64 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
She is just wonderful. Here's the Canadian video link.
posted by bethnull at 11:35 PM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


An excerpt posted on The Guardian's Australian site.
posted by bigZLiLk at 11:42 PM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amazing. Between her and the girl about GMO disclosure (I personally don't have an issue with GMOs), young folks like this both scare me (I was neither so articulate nor passionate at their age) and give me hope for a better world.
posted by Samizdata at 11:51 PM on October 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


"You would love Swat. It is a paradise. It is so beautiful. the lush green hillsides, the clean water, you can find trout... "

And Stewart quips, "I'm from New Jersey, so I know a little bit about paradise on Earth."

I like that even a girl from Afghanistan recognizes this as sarcasm.
posted by three blind mice at 12:48 AM on October 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


Malala Yousafzai is an utter nightmare for the Taliban, who understand the value of a PR coup.

They couldn't have targeted a more eloquent, considered young person. It must horrify reactionary types in Pakistan that this young woman can whip up so much support using nothing but words, and that educating a generation of women properly might produce more like her.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:22 AM on October 10, 2013 [30 favorites]


Malala Yousafzai is an utter nightmare for the Taliban, who understand the value of a PR coup.

Why would the Taliban care what you think of them? Anyway, you don't shoot a schoolgirl to win public support; you shoot her to scare other schoolgirls and their parents.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:36 AM on October 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why would the Taliban care what you think of them?

Who says they have to care? She's a PR nightmare for other reasons than casting them in a bad light.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:44 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


You beat me to that post by about one minute, Joe.

The word "terrorist" has been prostituted enough so as to be nearly meaningless, but that's what these guys are, and that's their goal. They have no interest in winning anyone's heart or mind.

Making a martyr of someone doesn't give their position power. It sets a price tag on it.

Another word for "martyr" is "warning".
posted by clarknova at 1:45 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am a huge Malala fan! I play all new recordings of her speaking loud enough for all my neighbors to hear. And she is from Pakistan, not Afghanistan.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:54 AM on October 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


I saw this today because I DVR The Daily Show, I thought Jon Stewart was about to burst into tears there for a minute. Amazing girl.

It'll be sad if she gets a Noble Peace Prize now after Obama got one cause what can the prize mean now after they gave him one. Completly lost its meaning.

She can have all the other prizes. All the prizes for this amazing girl.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 1:59 AM on October 10, 2013


I'm pretty sure Kissinger getting it obliterated most of its meaning well before Obama. But maybe this year could be the start of reclaiming the Peace Prize?
posted by kalimac at 2:18 AM on October 10, 2013 [39 favorites]


She's a PR nightmare for other reasons than casting them in a bad light.

You know I am more concerned that she is a PR bonanza for other political groups who do not care really so much about the personal welfare of this young woman, but are happy to parade her around in Western media for their own purposes. What was it that Sinead O'Connor said?

Business... "doesn't give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted..."

And it's even easier to be exploited when "it" is, in fact, something YOU want actually. Just because she is sincere doesn't mean that there are not people would would wish to profit from exploiting her sincerity. It would seem pretty clear that she was booked on the Daily show to sell books for her publisher and to make ratings for Comedy Central. That's all well and good when it's Salmon Rushdie, but this is a 16 year old kid.

Another word for "martyr" is "warning".

"Dead" was the first word I thought of. And that's no prize.

It'll be sad if she gets a Noble Peace Prize now after Obama got one cause what can the prize mean now after they gave him one. Completly lost its meaning.

kallmac beat me to it, but it seems there is a consensus that the Nobel Peace prize completely lost its meaning after it was awarded to Henry Kissinger.
posted by three blind mice at 2:22 AM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Those in the UK can find excerpts on youtube for now. Astonishing girl, you can see why the Taliban wanted to kill her, she is everything they fear. The cynic in me wonders how much PR training she has had.
posted by epo at 2:39 AM on October 10, 2013


The cynic in me wonders how much PR training she has had.

Natural passion coupled with eloquence stirs the cynic in all of us.
posted by clarknova at 2:49 AM on October 10, 2013 [19 favorites]


You know I am more concerned that she is a PR bonanza for other political groups who do not care really so much about the personal welfare of this young woman, but are happy to parade her around in Western media for their own purposes. What was it that Sinead O'Connor said?

We had to get the story out. No one was paying attention to what was happening in Mingora. We took a very brave 11-year-old and created her to get the attention of the world. We made her a commodity. Then she and her father had to step into the roles we gave them
posted by Mario Speedwagon at 2:51 AM on October 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


But maybe this year could be the start of reclaiming the Peace Prize?

My money's on Putin.
posted by Segundus at 3:02 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


That young woman has enough poise to fuel a city.
posted by angrycat at 3:47 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some of our USAian politicians have been praised in certain quarters for their courage of late. This young lady is showing what courage actually looks like.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:57 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Any Talib that wants her dead is a kafir.
posted by planetesimal at 4:07 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


My money's on Putin.

So the Nobel Peace Prize is now just about the irony? She doesn't stand a chance.
posted by michswiss at 4:07 AM on October 10, 2013


From Mario Speedwagon's link: The Tehrik-I-Taleban Party [said that] Malala was “a clear sinner” who had violated Shari’a and “ [...] received awards and rewards from the Zionists.”

There's a story about a Jew in Germany during the 1930s whose friends found him reading the Nazi paper, Der Stürmer. They said "Moshe, how can you, a Jew, read an antisemitic rag like that?" He replied "Listen, when I read Jewish papers all I hear is that there are increasing attacks against us, that we're vulnerable, that we have to be careful. But when I read Der Stürmer it tells me that we're powerful, that we have connections, that we run the world ...
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:07 AM on October 10, 2013 [40 favorites]


So the Nobel Peace Prize is now just about the irony? She doesn't stand a chance.

I suppose on some level the NPP has always been about irony, given that it was originally funded by money made from the sale of high explosives.
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:21 AM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


She's the real deal. Mandela ~ Malala
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 5:12 AM on October 10, 2013


The word "terrorist" has been prostituted enough so as to be nearly meaningless, but that's what these guys are, and that's their goal. They have no interest in winning anyone's heart or mind.

The word "terrorist" means people who are seeking to influence politics. It's through the use of negative rather than positive emotions, but the Taliban doesn't have the goal of "terror," they have the goal of expanding their power so as to put forth their view of how the world should run. They might not say it, nor even realize it, but they do care about PR -- people going along with them out of fear is only slightly less good for them than people going along with them out of belief in a common picture of how the world should operate.
posted by Etrigan at 6:02 AM on October 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


This girl is simply heroic. She gives me hope for the younger generation.
posted by xenophile at 6:33 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The cynic in me wonders how much PR training she has had.

Even if you adopt the cynical opinion that she's had PR training, that still leaves the fact that she would have had this PR training in the service of advocating education for girls, which is still awesome.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:40 AM on October 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


Yes she is clearly doing this so that she can meet Justin Bieber. Take that head wound and refugee status and ride it to the top, baby. (Just my cynical view based on zero evidence)
posted by Brocktoon at 6:48 AM on October 10, 2013


The best prize would be not having to return to Pakistan.
posted by Renoroc at 7:03 AM on October 10, 2013


Second best is not having to live in Birmingham :-)
posted by MuffinMan at 7:17 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good for her if she got PR training and is able to better communicate her message in favor of educating girls because of it. It doesn't change the horror she went through to get where she is today if she got PR training, does it?
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:28 AM on October 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


She has been advocating for girls education since she was 11. Her father is an advocate, but for those of you who are parents, you know that just because you believe strongly in something means next to nothing to your pre-teen. Malala has been working on girls education advocacy for 5 years. Of course her message is more clear than someone who has been an advocate for a month. That doesn't make her any less brave or any less a role model.

Also, she has just won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:29 AM on October 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


The cynic in me wonders how much PR training she has had.

You know what? I hope she has had a lot. I hope some really, really fantastic PR professionals have been working with her to help her develop her considerable talent. Because she deserves it, as do the other girls (and boys) she speaks for.

PR in service of chemical companies or big banks? Dangerous. PR in service of making sure kids can go to school without assassination attempts? Excellent and empowering.

I know it's tempting to look at someone like this young woman and want to see pure, unadulterated raw talent. Someone who sprung from the womb fully formed and amazing. But even the most talented people have to work to develop those talents - and public speaking is certainly no exception.

I mean, seriously, would you rather no one was helping her get her message out?
posted by lunasol at 7:31 AM on October 10, 2013 [39 favorites]


three blind mice - i guess i'm confused at the result of heeding your fears - that only old dudes can write books and promote them? that women can't ever be making a profit for someone else because it prostitutes her? that she shouldn't have gone to school because then she'd be safer and not a potential martyr?
posted by nadawi at 7:34 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


@lunasol, I agree with you absolutely. You know the other thing about polished PR displays? They're disposable. There is an instant hit due to the photogenic, eloquent young woman (with oh, so good English) and then the media circus moves on, before any lasting good is done.

I hope her PR minders have a long (5/10/15 year!) game plan and this isn't just a book plugging tour.
posted by epo at 7:38 AM on October 10, 2013



"You would love Swat. It is a paradise. It is so beautiful. the lush green hillsides, the clean water, you can find trout... "

And Stewart quips, "I'm from New Jersey, so I know a little bit about paradise on Earth."

I like that even a girl from Afghanistan recognizes this as sarcasm.


She is from Pakistan.
posted by sweetkid at 8:00 AM on October 10, 2013


does he ask her about India, or Buddhism, or drone warfare or Israel? if she has views anywhere close to the mainstream of educated english-speaking pakistan then that would be an eye-opener for Jon Stewart and his audience.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:28 AM on October 10, 2013


Anyway, you don't shoot a schoolgirl to win public support; you shoot her to scare other schoolgirls and their parents.

It's not even as complicated as that.

Fundamentalism is simple, and these guys literally believe their own moralistic talk. They shot her because they think she is evil - not metaphorically, but actually and demonstrably evil - so when they kill her, she would go to hell and suffer eternal torment, which is what they believe she deserves and what their god wants to have happen to evil people.
posted by aught at 8:30 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best prize would be not having to return to Pakistan.

I think this is exactly backwards, Renoroc. Probably the very best thing would be for her and her father to be able to return to Swat and live there in reasonable safety. I think everyone misses their own country and region and the sound of their native language.

I'd also guess that working in education or politics there (which her father was doing before the shooting) they'd feel like they were actually doing something. Making appearances in front of audiences made up mostly of sympathetic people who aren't in a position to do anything about the issues you care about and who know nothing about your country must feel rather useless after a while, despite the applause.
posted by nangar at 8:32 AM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


The best prize would be not having to return to Pakistan.

What? No, Pakistan's her home. This is like saying the best prize for progressives in the US during the current Republican shenanigans in Congress that threaten to ruin the Federal government would be that they get to move to Denmark or Sweden.

No -- the best thing for Malala Yousafzai would be to live in her own home again in Pakistan in peace and safety.
posted by aught at 8:38 AM on October 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


You know the other thing about polished PR displays? They're disposable. There is an instant hit due to the photogenic, eloquent young woman (with oh, so good English) and then the media circus moves on, before any lasting good is done.

OK, first thing - this young woman is not a "polished PR display." She's a person who clearly has something to say and really legitimate grounds upon which to say it. And second thing - how does PR training make the media circus more likely to move on? One thing does not follow from the other.
posted by lunasol at 8:39 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


@lunasol, I didn't say either of those things. Take it memail if you want to argue.
posted by epo at 8:46 AM on October 10, 2013


does he ask her about India, or Buddhism, or drone warfare or Israel? if she has views anywhere close to the mainstream of educated english-speaking pakistan then that would be an eye-opener for Jon Stewart and his audience.

Yes, it's quite unfortunate that Jon Stewart didn't grill this 16-year-old girl who got thrust into the global spotlight by being shot in the face by a Taliban thug as if she were Pakistan's foreign minister.

Seriously, folks, if Malala Yousafzai - with or without PR training, with or without Pakistan's deep-seated cultural prejudices against India -- doesn't strike you as about the purest case of an honest advocate for an absolute good, then there is no such thing on this earth.
posted by gompa at 8:47 AM on October 10, 2013 [27 favorites]


It would seem pretty clear that she was booked on the Daily show to sell books for her publisher and to make ratings for Comedy Central.
I'm very glad we live in a world where people acting selfishly can also serve to make the world a better place. It could be more awesome if instead everybody was perfectly altruistic all the time, sure, but since that's not actually going to happen we have to do the best we can with what we've got.
posted by roystgnr at 8:52 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


No -- the best thing for Malala Yousafzai would be to live in her own home again in Pakistan in peace and safety.

There's also the fact that this kind of change can ONLY take place if Malala and others like her stand their ground against repression. If all the progressive-minded people leave the country, that just makes the Taliban's job easier.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:56 AM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


I saw her appearance on TDS, and was in tears for the whole thing.

Give Malala the keys to the planet, let her drive. I'm totally serious - this young woman is ready to lead all of humanity, I trust her with the whole damned thing. She spoke more reason and sense in a handful of minutes, than ANY leader in my lifetime.
posted by dbiedny at 9:09 AM on October 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm often struck these days, how the new awareness for non-Western, non-white-centred social justice is lending itself to age-old cynicism. Recognising the self-interests motivating those who are supporting her in the West shouldn't negate what she has to say, but neither does supporting her should mean you should give yourselves a pat on the back for being a good person. I applaud her for taking advantage of the generously given support, and I hope that she and her family is agile and savvy enough to use it for long-term benefit. To claim that she's being used without considering that she is also using them is paternalistic I would say.

I do recognise and understand, her platform does provide the means to distract from the larger issue - as I said above, to give us that good feeling about 'us' and 'our civilisation' versus 'them' and 'theirs'. So I'd say, don't fall into that trap. Recognise the self-interest, but help her in her fight for education for girls in Pakistan, which is of course just one facet of the ongoing problem that is plaguing her country and her region, of which the rest of us (the West, other Muslim countries, expatriate Muslim communities, regional neighbours) have all some degree of responsibility for. The help can mean many things, and depend on your own context. In that sense, that's how TDS is helping. The publicity is counting for something, it's just churlish to insist that it's the only thing.
posted by cendawanita at 9:37 AM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


The irony over the PR derail conversation in here is that this one 16 year old girl has probably done more to better the world, so that comfortable office-chair jockeys like ourselves can argue over whether or not PR is a good thing, than all of those partaking in the PR derail conversation combined.

So she's been trained. So what? Good for her. Good for her handlers. Good for the girls who eventually get to go to school. Good for everybody involved.
posted by Blue_Villain at 10:08 AM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


You know... except for the people who shot her.
posted by Blue_Villain at 10:19 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Isn't "PR Training" just another kind of education? Ironic that there are folks here who oppose her learning anything at all that she wants to, or would find of use in her life.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:42 AM on October 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


does he ask her about India, or Buddhism, or drone warfare or Israel?

Well, she mentions the Buddha in her speech. If you are implying that she does not approve of his teachings, I didn't get that impression at all.
posted by Quonab at 1:18 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought Jon Stewart was about to burst into tears there for a minute. Amazing girl.

At one point, apparently Stewart jokes, "I know your father is backstage and he loves you very much, but can I adopt you?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:44 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


A brave young woman - and inspired to the point where she draws others in. Who cares is she's had PR training? Better to get her word out than something about Cheerios, don't you think?

I disagree with her on one point. The Taliban is a psychopathic gang that uses religion as a front; those people would be placed in a ward for the criminally insane if they were in another country and operated individually. They spread their poison and terror everywhere they go. When I see a young woman like Malala, and think of the millions like her who are kept underground and living in fear because of a bunch of psychopaths, I want those psychopaths dead, or out of the picture. Many here may disagree, but I don't see any other way to stop these fanatics. Drones aren't the way, and education is a long-term solution, but right now these scum are throwing acid in the faces of girls who are just going to school!. That has to stop, yesterday!
posted by Vibrissae at 2:28 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'll leave this here.
posted by HuronBob at 8:07 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


She is an amazing young woman, and I hope she, and others like her, will emerge as leaders in their country.

The best prize would be not having to return to Pakistan.

The best prize would be for her to lead the people of her country into a better world.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:43 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


What was it that Sinead O'Connor said? Business... "doesn't give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted..."

....When Malala Yousafzai starts doing nude music videos as opposed to advocating for the education of girls, then I think it will be time to worry. I do not believe that time has yet come.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 AM on October 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


....When Malala Yousafzai starts doing nude music videos as opposed to advocating for the education of girls, gets shot in the head, then I think it will be time to worry.

A little perspective here .



I'm always suspicious of polished spokespersons. Doubly so when they are very young, impressively spoken and well presented for their age.

Yousafzai is a remarkable personality with a supremely laudable message. However, these things always play as novelites driven by others behind the scene. The nobility of her cause doesn't make it any less so. There is always an unseemly quality in this kind of situation, be it a child actor or a human rights advocate, regardless how starry eyed I might be over the presentation.

As a parent, I would be as proud as anyone else to have such a wonderful, intelligent daughter. But after almost being murdered, I think I can be forgiven for restricting further my child's public crusading. My child doesn't have to be a hero to the world. And certainly not a martyr. I know how driven she may be. But I would hold her life as much more valuable than her death, and would probably refuse to be a party to further publicity until she's an adult. Killjoy, that's me.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:59 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


in a lot of countries she is an adult. in a few months she'll be an adult in her home country.
posted by nadawi at 9:48 PM on October 11, 2013


in a few months she'll be an adult in her home country.

An adult in terms of consent to marriage, yes. But not an adult in terms of right to drive, vote, or any number of other things. She wouldn't get a national ID card until she turned 18.

But after almost being murdered, I think I can be forgiven for restricting further my child's public crusading. My child doesn't have to be a hero to the world. And certainly not a martyr. I know how driven she may be. But I would hold her life as much more valuable than her death, and would probably refuse to be a party to further publicity until she's an adult.

You have every right to make that decision. Equally, she and her family have a right to make a different decision. People are often willing to make huge sacrifices for what they see as the greater good. I'm not going to make a value judgment about that willingness.
posted by bardophile at 12:50 AM on October 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Malala Yousafzai tells Obama drones are 'fueling terrorism'
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:57 AM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


"In a statement released after the meeting, Malala said she was honored to meet with Obama, but that she told him she's worried about the effect of U.S. drone strikes. (The White House statement didn't mention that part.)"

Go figure.
posted by homunculus at 2:17 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A little perspective here .

I was referring to someone getting all concern-troll over Malala being on Jon Stewart's show; you'll note they quoted from Sinead O'Connor's open letter to Miley Cyrus, who - at least as far as I know - was not shot in the head herself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on October 14, 2013


Beyond Malala: six teenagers changing the world
posted by homunculus at 12:58 PM on October 20, 2013


The best prize would be not having to return to Pakistan.

What? No, Pakistan's her home. This is like saying the best prize for progressives in the US during the current Republican shenanigans in Congress that threaten to ruin the Federal government would be that they get to move to Denmark or Sweden.

No -- the best thing for Malala Yousafzai would be to live in her own home again in Pakistan in peace and safety.


Malala eyes politics to 'change the future' of Pakistan
"I will be a politician in my future. I want to change the future of my country and I want to make education compulsory," Malala said in a BBC interview.

She added: "The best way to solve problem and to fight against war is through dialogue, and is through peaceful way.

"But for me the best way to fight against terrorism and extremism is a simple thing — educate the next generation."
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:05 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


NYT: Before Malala
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:05 PM on October 26, 2013


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