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November 6, 2009
Afghanistan’s “bravest woman” criticizes government

The 31-year-old Malalai Joya has been called the “bravest woman in Afghanistan.” She is youngest woman in Afghanistan’s history to be elected to the parliament, where she has served since 2005. Joya is a vocal critic of President Hamid Karzai’s government and the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. She has openly challenged the Afghan government, U.S. and NATO military presence, warlords and the Taliban.

In a country where a woman is confined to her home, Joya is breaking all kinds of cultural, social and religious stereotypes. In May 2007, she was suspended after referring to the parliament as a stable, she said at least in “in a stable we have animals like a cow which is useful in that it provides milk and a donkey that carry a load.”

She speaks candidly about the challenges facing Afghanistan. She says that the low turnout in the presidential election is proof that the Afghan people are dissatisfied with the current government. She attributes the rise of Taliban to the failed policy of the U.S. in Afghanistan. She is also a staunch opponent of increasing U.S. troop levels in her country. Joya wants the U.S. and NATO to keep in mind that no foreign military has ever succeeded in controlling Afghanistan.

For her, the status of women now is no different than under the Taliban. She says that it may even be worse because the rate of suicide and abduction is high, and many rapists go untouched.

Because she is unabashedly outspoken, her life is under constant threat and she must be accompanied by bodyguards. But nothing so far seems to succeed in slowing her down. For sure not the many failed assassination attempts on her life, or the awful treatment she gets from her male colleagues in parliament.

Joya spent her childhood at a refugee camp in Iran and Pakistan, and returned to the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the late 1990s and worked for an underground organization helping women. She is now on a book tour in the U.S.  promoting her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Woman Who Dared to Speak Out, co-written by Derrick O’Keefe.

– Mohammad Al Kassim

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Comments

16 comments

#16

I agree with Patty 100%, i am pretty sure most of us, Americans are asking the same questions, when we hear more soldiers are being deployed. Bring them back..strengthen our infrastructure..let the Afghans deal with their problems themselves..we have our own problems to deal with. Our people comes first…strengthen our security from within…

#15

don’t just complain about your country procedure, woman!!! Offer a good recommendation that you will lead that will work!!! You are in the parliament–do something and don’t just complain; otherwise shut up. Obama at least will try to do something. if you think you can do better, then please work it out with Karzai since you are in the parliament and start doing something.

#14

the new viet nam. afghanistan is an un winable foray into more money being drained off americas economy,though defense contractors may have a different opinion.the real tragedy is the loss of our brilliant youth fighting there,the the flotsam and jetsom of the mentally and physically damaged goods that will shotchanged in the care that the will require.we should leave and let the afgans and their theocratic parliment sort out the tribal factions that have been killing each other for eons.there religion is their own worst enemy just ask the women and children the most oppressed and who suffer the most

#13

Get out now. There is no solution that works to the benefit of the US and the Europeans. Get out now and let the Afghans work it out for themselves. Nation building in Afghanistan is not worth American lives. Leave Ms Joya to her burkha; the Taliban will return. We can always arm locals to fight for themselves and keep the Taliban preoccupied internally.

#12

When the Romans were low on cash, they made war…

#11

Oh, thank you wise one!!!

#10

Encouraging a foreign presence to come and create a civil war so that they kill members of one’s own country is treason.

Except no one has invited us. People are forced into such ultimatums that can mean life or death.

There is absolutely no way we can justify this war when a majority don’t want us there. Not taking into consideration the majority of the demos (people) is not democratic.

***

I’d like to see Obama talk face to face with Malalai Joya and explain what we’re doing there with drone attacks, cluster bombs and who knows what else.

#9

Encouraging a foreign presence to come and create a civil war so that they kill members of one’s own country is treason.

Except no one has invited us. People are forced into such ultimatums that can mean life or death.

There is absolutely no way we can justify this war when a majority don’t want us there. Not taking into consideration the majority of the demos (people) is not democratic.

***

I’d like to see Obama talk face to face with Malalai Joya and explain what we’re doing there with drone attacks, cluster bombs and who knows what else.

http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-space/article/2008-03/how-it-works-airborne-laser-cannon

#8

A wise friend once told me, “A man is not worth a damn without a good woman”. I might add that a humans society is not worth a damn without a ballaced female participation.

#7

Be careful when using the word “Liberated”
I’m not sure if Afghanistanis believe that!

#6

So are you saying because the US has liberated Afghanistan that Afghans shouldn’t raise their voice? Get real.

#5

Amazing that she is criticizing the country that gave her the opportunity to speak out. Thank you.

#4

Amazing that she is criticizing the country that gave her the opportunity to speak out. Thank you.

#3

I’m impressed!She’s a great role model for other women in that part of the world.

#2

The people who own the means to produce weaponry are getting rich.

The people controlling the oil making the pipelines are also getting rich.

Once we have enough people who are homeless and starving and who, for legitimate reasons, want to do onto us as we did onto them, then we’ll have a need to put weapons in space so we can melt angry mobs.

And then our world hegemony will be further secured.

“Peace through strength.”

People would rather be controlled by a tyrant from their own country than one propped up by ours.

#1

I think the only peace to come to Afganistan is to come from within itself, from it’s own people. Afgans consider the UN and the service forces as occupiers and intruders. They’ll use our supplies, money and whatever else they can get from us while our people die during a cvil war that we will never win. We should pull all forces out and let them sort this out themselves.

I don’t understand how Britian’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown can give Afganistan an ultimatum to clean up the corruption that is already going on. They have gotten away with it for 8 years. Why would Afganistan change anything now? They’ve gotten tons of money, supplies and who knows what else; meanwhile our own countries are in economic chaos. We should not have entered Afganistan unless it was not corrupt to begin with. No one can “help” a corrupt regime. The Afgans want it this way, they want the corruption. Otherwise, they, themselves, would have brought an end to it.

Leave Afganistan and let the locals deal with their own corruption, their own civil issues, their own tribal fights for dominance. Afganistan will never become a democracy, they “don’t want to.” Haven’t we figured this out yet??? And why haven’t we, 8 years on??? Are we too bullheaded not to understand? Some countries will not be a democracy, that is the way of the Muslim religion. Deal with it and move on.

We need our service forces back in our own countries to help rebuild our infrastructures that have collapsed from our economic recession.

How much money is this war costing each country? How much money has each country lost in the recession? How many jobs have been lost due to the recession? How much money is each country pouring into this war that is unwillable, unending, killing our men? Where is the money going? To who’s benefit? Who’s Afgan pockets are being lined? That money is better spent in our own countries. Why are we allowing our countries’ money and our own individual tax money–yours and mine–to go to Afganistan? Why are we allowing our men and women to go to a country bent on killing every foreigner in the name of a religion? Why are we doing this? What is the point? What is the purpose? Who is gaining from this? Who is making money on the deaths of UN personnel, UN military forces, German, British and American servicemen? Where is this money going? The government of Afganistan is corrupt, why are we spending our money on them?

The most favored politician pulled out of the run off vote. Why? Who paid him to stop? How much money did he get paid? What country’s money does he now have? Are your tax dollars in his pocket? Couldn’t they be in a better use somewhere else? He gave some lame excuse that it was in the best interests of the people of Afganistan for him to withdraw. What??? Then why was he the opposition leader? Why did he oppose Karzai in the first place then? Is it in the best interest of the Afgans to keep their corrupt leader? Why hasn’t anyone asked him this? Why hasn’t anyone put him on the spot? Why aren’t the right questions being asked? This is a huge cover up and no one is asking questions. Why???

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