Malalai Joya: The woman who will not be silenced

joya-bookBy Johann Hari, The Independent, July 28, 2009

I am not sure how many more days I will be alive,” Malalai Joya says quietly.

The warlords who make up the new “democratic” government in Afghanistan have been sending bullets and bombs to kill this tiny 30-year-old from the refugee camps for years – and they seem to be getting closer with every attempt. Her enemies call her a “dead woman walking”. “But I don’t fear death, I fear remaining silent in the face of injustice,” she says plainly. “I am young and I want to live. But I say to those who would eliminate my voice: ‘I am ready, wherever and whenever you might strike. You can cut down the flower, but nothing can stop the coming of the spring.'”

The story of Malalai Joya turns everything we have been told about Afghanistan inside out. In the official rhetoric, she is what we have been fighting for. Here is a young Afghan woman who set up a secret underground school for girls under the Taliban and – when they were toppled – cast off the burka, ran for parliament, and took on the religious fundamentalists. But she says: “Dust has been thrown into the eyes of the world by your governments. You have not been told the truth. The situation now is as catastrophic as it was under the Taliban for women. Your governments have replaced the fundamentalist rule of the Taliban with another fundamentalist regime of warlords. [That is] what your soldiers are dying for.” Instead of being liberated, she is on the brink of being killed.


Photo: The Independent/Getty

The story of Joya is the story of another Afghanistan – the one behind the burka, and behind the propaganda.

Article continues . . .

2 comments for “Malalai Joya: The woman who will not be silenced

  1. deedee
    August 10, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Thank you for bringing this to light, keep up the good work of bringing awareness to us all. This is shocking and it needs to be told.

  2. saraana
    November 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    to people who doesn’t care about afghanistan and specially for the presidents of US (George Bush, Barack Obama) and for other countries who’s with taliban.

    Americans what’s the point of helping talibans and not the afghanistan? Is it for the money? If it is then i’m shame on to the person who’s participating in this thing (help the talibans and destroy aghanistan). Specially for George Bush and Barack Obama. If I could say this word I would like to but I’m not allowed to use because it’s really bad word. Doesn’t your heart hurt when you guys see this horrible pictures and videos that the afghanistan people are dieing because of US. Poor women are being killed can’t even live free as they want. Can’t walk outside as they want, can’t give birth without pain… I don’t think evrything is your fault. But most of them are!!!
    The Afghanistan people are peole too you know. they have to be treated as people too just like you MR.PRESIDENT AND GEORGE BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Who do you think you are? You guys sit in a comfortable chairs, beds, eating tasty foods, get some medicine when ever you guys get sick… But they are sleeping, siting on a hard floor, dying, pain, hunger, there even thirsty…
    [Edited for length – Peace Alliance Winnipeg web master]

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