Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai warned on December 15 that politicians risk encouraging more extremist attacks when they criticize all Muslims.
Speaking after a commemoration in England of the Taliban's killing of 122 students at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, Malala condemned U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from the United States.
"That's really tragic that you hear these comments which are full of hatred, full of this ideology of being discriminative towards others," she told AFP.
“I can just highlight one thing," she said in an interview on Channel 4 News in Birmingham, England, speaking of Trump's proposal. "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.”
"If we want to end terrorism, we need to bring quality education so we defeat the mindset of terrorism mentality and of hatred," she said.
Malala, 18, underwent extensive surgery and recovery in England after being shot by Taliban gunmen as she rode a school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in 2012.
She won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for her heroism and for speaking out afterwards for the education of girls worldwide.
Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, also spoke out against blaming all Muslims after an extremist attack like the one in San Bernardino, California, earlier this month that killed 14 people and prompted Trump's proposal to bar Muslim immigrants from the United States.
"It will be very unfair, very unjust that we associate 1.6 billion with a few terrorist organizations," he said, citing an estimate of the number of Muslims worldwide.