Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is receiving vile abuse from social media trolls after she showed support for a Conservative friend.
The 23-year-old political activist from Pakistan shared a post asking friends to vote for Kia Williams as president of Oxford University Conservative Association.
But online trolls attacked Ms Yousafzai as a ‘disingenuous careerist’ and an ‘imperialist’ while others called for the human-rights advocate to be deported.
In 2012, Ms Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt after reporting conditions under the Islamists’ occupation of Swat.
The attempt on her life sparked an global outpouring of support for her, with governments, human rights organisations and feminists denouncing the Taliban.
She later became a champion of women’s education rights, founded the Malala Foundation and authored I Am Malala.
In 2014, Ms Yousafzai became the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford, and graduated this year.
Writing on Facebook, she said: ‘Hi everyone! Those who are members of the Oxford University Association may have heard that their elections are this Wednesday.
‘One of my best friends Kia Williams is running for President in a contested election. Kia has worked so hard putting her team and manifesto together and I genuinely think she and her team will do an amazing job if elected.
‘Whether you’re an active OUCA member or not, they have something for everyone.
‘Keep an eye out for a manifesto in your pidge in the coming days and please do message Kia if you have any questions.’
She added as a disclaimer: ‘This endorsement is not a reflection of my personal political views — I just really think my friends are talented people who deserve the opportunity to improve the Association they care about.’
However, social media trolls quickly took to Twitter to vent their anger at Ms Yousafzai, with one spouting: ‘Not the least bit surprised about Malala. Had my doubts about her from early. Always suspected she was a disingenuous careerist.’
Another Twitter account posted: ‘So my hate for her all this time wasn’t unprovoked.’ One called for her to be kicked out of the country, writing: ‘Deport the sweaty beg.’
‘If Oxford University can turn Malala Yousafzai into a Tory,’ another tweeted, ‘truly no one is safe and we must abolish it.’
One troll added: ‘Malala really went from ‘I am convinced socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades to tae this struggle to a victorious conclusion’ to ‘vote for my best friend for President of Oxford Conservatives’.
‘Man that imperialist NGO machine will chew you up. I hate it here.’
The Free Speech Union today condemned the ‘vile abuse’ and warned ‘the student Left in Britain has taken an ugly, toxic turn’.
Its general secretary, Toby Young, told MailOnline: ‘I’m afraid this vile abuse is typical of the way conservative students are treated in universities every day.
‘Universities need to do more to educate their students about the importance of free speech and tolerating different points of view.
‘Too often, university authorities exhibit the same intolerance towards conservatives, putting them through disciplinary processes and accusing them of ‘hate speech’ just for daring to challenge woke orthodoxies about race and gender.’
Emily Hewertson, a student who has received online abuse from trolls for her conservative views, told MailOnline: ‘We have always known that Twitter is an intolerant cesspit but discourse on the platform has really hit a new low this time.
‘Global Feminist icon Malala is the latest victim to experience abuse from trolls — simply for being friends with someone who happens to be a Conservative. Do these Left-wing bullies have no shame?’
Dr Rakib Ehsan of the Henry Jackson Society think-tank tweeted: ‘The disgraceful attacks on Malala Yousafzai demonstrate how sinister some elements of the Left are.
‘A Nobel Peace Prize-winning female empowerment icon who was shot by the Taliban, being called a ‘disingenuous careerist’ on the grounds of having a Tory friend. So mean-spirited.’