Shirin Sadeghi interviews revolutionary Afghan activist Malalai Joya, (named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World) about her new memoir, A Woman Among Warlords, and the on-the-ground situation in Afghanistan, including those Rolling Stone images of U.S. soldiers posing with the corpses of Afghan civilians.


Saleema Poya

April 26th

As an Afghan woman I am proud of Malalai Joya, she is a wonderful woman of my country that even biggest warlords with millions of $ in the pockets and guns in their hands, are afraid of her because she does not compromise with the enemies of Afghan people and fight them. WE LOVE YOU MALALAI, WE ARE WITH YOU!

Enayat Safi

April 25th

Ms. Noor Jehan who is an educated Afghan woman say these words about Ms Joya : I am not claiming Ms. Joya supports Taliban, but her emphasis on troops’ exit makes it seem like she has little care for the consequences of an abrupt exit for millions of Afghans who still have faith in international community’s commitment to Afghanistan. Afghan women, especially the 43% of Afghan girls in schools, the women who make 30% of university students, the women who make 29% of the teachers, the women who represent 28% of the National Assembly, the women who produce 7.5% of contractual services for the Afghan government, and the hundreds of women in shelters and those who work at civil services organizations, are well aware of the horrific impacts of the withdrawal of [foreign] troops from Afghanistan and would not support Joya’s stand on this subject. Hence, Malalai Joya is not the representative of Afghan women in the world.” Noor Jahan Akbar rightly criticizes Malalai Joya’s lack of alternative. “Given the weakness of the central government and the Afghan National Army, it is clear that power will lend itself to either the Taliban or the warlords or a coalition of both after the foreign troops exit the country. Ms. Joya has no clear idea of how she and others who advocate for disengagement of foreign troops in Afghanistan will be able to provide any security to the people of Afghanistan or guarantee any rights to Afghan women if the troops should exit.” Who else better than an Afghan woman like Noor Jahan can tell who the bravest women of Afghanistan are? ”the bravest women of Afghanistan are the 23 women who recently graduated as officers for the army, the 150 women who work 10 hours a day on a saffron field in Herat, the hundreds of women who sing songs of protest everyday in their houses to remind their daughters of how much courage it takes to live as a woman in Afghanistan and the tens of women who are sexually, verbally and physically abused everyday in prisons. The bravest woman of Afghanistan is Sakeena Yaqubi who has built a school and a learning institute, or Pashtun Begum, who was a beggar and now provides small business opportunities for other widows. A woman who has lent her voice to politicians might be brave but is neither my representative nor the bravest woman of Afghanistan.” Like Noor Jahan, there are many Afghan women who don’t consider Malalai Joya their “champion” as dubbed by Western media. Recently another Afghan woman, Nushin Arbabzada, wrote on Guardian about the anti-US rants of Joya. “without the international community’s interference, there would not have been the 2003 Loya Jerga where she [Joya] first gained international fame. Joya’s anti-US military rhetoric resonates with the leftist circles of the west who are her chief audience.” Nushin’s piece on Guardian explains the political reasons of Joya’s irrelevant “activism” in Afghanistan being used by a group of radical leftist Afghans against their rightwing Islamist rivals.

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