Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has appealed to religious and political leaders to reject terrorism and the Taliban. Malala made this statement during an interview with local media after a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary, “Stranger at the Gate”. As the executive producer of the film, she addresses issues such as conflict, Islamophobia, racism and the power of forgiveness. In response to the increase in militancy, particularly in Pakistan, she called on the country’s leaders to stand against all forms of terrorism and combat the extremist ideology that misuses the name of Islam. Malala emphasised the need for peace, stability, and security for the public. She also talked about the purpose of her involvement as the executive producer of “Stranger at the Gate”. The film tells the story of a former US Marine, Mac McKinney, who had intended to attack a mosque but instead converted to Islam. Malala wanted to bring communities together and highlight the message of forgiveness and unity. She believed the film could help break down stereotypes and bring people closer by sharing their personal stories. Malala shared that she learned two key lessons from the film. Firstly, forgiveness has a profound impact and can change lives. Secondly, people should challenge stereotypes and broaden their perspectives by directly connecting with others. “Stranger at the Gate” follows the story of Mr McKinney, who was taught to view Muslims as enemies during his time in the military. Upon his return to Muncie, Indiana, he planned to bomb a local mosque. However, his life took a different turn when he was greeted with compassion and forgiveness from the Muslim community. A member of the mosque, Dr Saber Bahrami, hugged McKinney and invited him to the mosque, treating him as a vulnerable person. Despite learning of McKinney’s initial plan, the congregants chose to forgive him. As Bahrami put it, “Mac is like my little brother who needed help, so we were there for him.” “Stranger at the Gate”, which is the latest work from Seftel’s decade-long film project to combat Islamophobia, is distributed by The New Yorker as part of the magazine’s New Yorker Documentary series.