Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Now this is courage: the Afghan woman who won't be silenced

(photo from the Independent)
"But I don't fear death, I fear remaining silent in the face of injustice,"

"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."
Malalai Joya
As Afghanistan prepares for a re- run of its sham election process, Malalai Joya continues to be a fearless advocate for the people of Afghanistan.

Malalai Joya is a 31 year old Afghan woman who is the youngest ever woman elected to the Afghan Parliament. Since her election in 2005 Joya has been a vehement critic of the Karzai Afghan government , the criminals and warlords who sit in the Afghan parliament, the Taliban and the occupying forces in Afghanistan. Joya has plenty of enemies, indeed she has survived at least 5 assassination attempts.

Joya's book Raising my Voice: The Extraordinary story of an Afghan who dared to raise her voice has recently been published in Australia. Joya has recently said about the Afghan election:
"It's a showcase for US Government under the shield of gun war lords, drug lords, awful corruption and occupation forces, has no legitimacy at all".

"Afghan women like me, voting and running for office, have been held up as proof that the United States has brought democracy and women's rights to Afghanistan. But it is all a lie."

"More than ever, Afghans are faced with powerful internal enemies -- fundamentalist warlords and their Taliban brothers-in-creed -- and the external enemies occupying the country.

"Democracy will never come to Afghanistan through the barrel of a gun, or from the cluster bombs dropped by foreign forces. The struggle will be long and difficult, but the values of real democracy, human rights and women's rights will only be won by the Afghan people themselves. So do not be fooled by this façade of democracy.
You can read more here and here. There is also an interview she did with Kerry O'Brien on the 7.30 Report earlier this year.

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