NEW YORK - Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani education activist who survived a shooting by the Taliban militants, said Thursday that the world must not stay silent over the abduction of more than 270 shool girls in Nigeria, whom she called “my sisters.”

“When I heard about the girls in Nigeria being abducted I felt very sad and I thought that my sisters are in prison and I thought that I should speak up for them,” she told CNN’s Christinia Amanpour in a  satellite hookup from Birminghan where she is residing. She urged the international community to standup for the Nigerian girls, who were kinapped by Boko Haram extremists nearly three weeks ago in nortyh-east Borno state. “If we remain silent then this will spread, this will happen more and more and more.”

Malala said Boko Haram extremists do not understand Islam and has not studied the holy Quran. “They are actually misusing the name of Islam because they have forgotten that the word Islam means ‘peace,’” Malala said.

Malala said that Boko Haram’s acts were appalling. “How can one imprison his own sisters and treat them in such a bad way?”she said, referring to the group’s threats to sell the girls into slavery. “They have not studied Islam yet, they have not studied the holy Quran yet and they should go and learn Islam,” she said. “I think that they should think of these girls as their own sisters. How can one imprison his own sisters and treat them in such a bad way?”