Malalai Joya is without a doubt a monolith for women to rally behind, a stalwart voice against the corrupting Karzai Government, and a force against the American imperial occupation of Afghanistan that is to be reckoned with.
So why does this concern me?
Malalai Joya is a democratic activist, and proponent for women’s rights. She is a writer and former MP from Afghanistan. In fact, Joya was the youngest person to be elected to the Afghan parliament but in 2007 she was dismissed for publicly denouncing the presence of warlords and war criminals in the Afghan parliament. Since then Joya has been travelling Afghanistan and indeed the world, promoting democracy movements, and protesting for an end to the perpetual war waged by the West in her homeland.
A war that many Australians now repudiate as an American endeavour, and a failed one at that, to fulfil a witch-hunt for terrorist groups that the West helped propagate initially. What is consolidated as an unrelenting march against those forces that seek to undermine liberal democracy in the West, the USA and Australia’s efforts in Afghanistan represent a more surreptitious agenda, particularly one that has no intention of instilling democracy in the least.
With the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington approaching, Malalai Joya is touring Australia presently speaking about why the West and Australia must leave. Combining the devastating figure of around 1 million deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no longer a justification for ongoing occupation of Afghanistan, and no guarantee that another ten years would help the situation further.
With this in mind, it is pertinent to contextualise Australia’s wider role in the war, particularly the one played in our own backyard. As Australians solidify their murderous pact with the USA many more Afghan refugees flee the country, with a very small portion of this exodus fleeing to Australia from Australian bombs. In the face of a war Australia willingly entered, the protracted struggle has not meant Australia has willingly committed to its role as a refugee partner to the UN Convention. The Federal Government as a result refuses to accept claims by Afghan refugees and instead incarcerates them on an arbitrary means of discrimination and indefinite imprisonment.
Australia’s unscrupulous role in Afghanistan for Malalai Joya is pivotal, and one that she believes needs to be reassessed amidst a failed “reconstruction” of the country, where Western efforts have perpetuated poverty, done little about clean drinking water, and have done nothing for heath-care and the education system. Clearly there is due course for fleeing Afghanistan then.
Malalai Joya also disputes the argument put by those who still support the war that women and children will suffer if the troops leave. She says the reactionary, anti-women forces are being strengthened by the West’s occupation.
To hear this inspiring person speak I definitely recommend the following venues in Sydney:
12-2pm Tuesday 6 Sept
Lindsay Room, Level 3 Campus Hub bldg, MQ Uni.
Facebook event here
Entry by donation
4-6pm Wednesday 7 Sept
Chemical Sciences Bldg, room M10
Facebook event here
Entry by donation
Marrickville Town Hall
5.45pm Friday 9 Sept
Corner of Marrickville and Petersham Roads, Marrickville Entry $15/$10. All proceeds after costs to Malalai Joya. Online bookings here or pay at the door (unless sold out!)
You can also follow Malalai Joya at:
Or check out some of Joya’s more daring and poignant moments in her young life that Western critics have never had to deal with.