My god Sherlock,
QUEBEC CITY - Malalai Joya, the youngest member of the Afghan National Assembly, today appeared at the NDP Federal Convention in Quebec City supporting Jack Layton and the NDP's criticism of the NATO-led mission in southern Afghanistan.
Joya, who was elected in 2005 in Farah province, has worked to protect women's rights and is the head of the Organization of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities. She brought a clear message: foreign troops in Afghanistan have not achieved any fundamental changes.
"When the entire nation is living under the shadow of the gun and warlordism, how can its women enjoy very basic freedoms?" asked Joya. "Contrary to the propaganda in certain Western media, Afghan women and men are not 'liberated' at all."
Joya expressed her sorrow for the deaths of Canadian soldiers, and voiced her support for Jack Layton and the NDP as they call for the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.
"I think that if Canada really wants to help Afghan people and bring positive changes, they must act independently, rather than becoming a tool for implementing the policies of the US government."
Joya noted that her country needs help to rid itself of corruption and to rebuild after years of violence, but she said that foreign soldiers under this mission are not the ones who will bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. Joya summed up her views in a single sentence:
"No nation can donate liberation to another nation."
Malalai Joya (born April 25, 1979) is the youngest Member of the Afghan Parliament. She was elected to the 249-seat National Assembly, or Wolesi Jirga in September 2005, as a representative of Farah Province. Malalai won the second highest number of votes in the province.
Malalai Joya rose to fame in December 2003 when, as an elected delegate to the Constitutional Loya Jirga, she spoke out publicly against the domination of warlords. Since then she has survived four assassination attempts, and travels in Afghanistan under a burqa and with armed guards.
World Pulse Magazine (Issue 1, 2005) wrote:
... When her time came to make her 3-minute statement, she tugged her black headscarf over her hair, stepped up to the microphone, and with emotional electricity made the speech that would alter her life.
After she spoke, there was a moment of stunned silence. Then there was an uproar. Male mujahideen, some who literally had guns at their feet, rushed towards her, shouting. She was brought under the protection of UN security forces.
In a nation where few dare to say the word "warlord" aloud, Joya had spoken fiercely against a proposal to appoint high clergy members and fundamentalist leaders to guide planning groups. She objected that several of those religious leaders were war criminals who should be tried for their actions—not national heroes to influence the new government.
Despite the commands of Assembly Chairman, Joya refused to apologize.
Today, as a result of her legendary actions, Malalai Joya has become popular hero in Afghanistan. She speaks at rallies where thousands of people carry her photo high.
She incites debates on radio talk shows, works with President Hamid Karzai, and has stirred unprecedented numbers of women in her province to participate in public gatherings such as International Women's Day.
Joya's reputation is increasingly crossing the borders of her home province where she was already respected as a courageous leader who spoke out under the Taliban and worked to establish orphanages and health clinics since 1998.
Although Joya receives numerous death threats and her home has been bombed, she chooses to remain primarily in Afghanistan. She tirelessly presses her case against the former rulers of her nation, and she's making inroads. in 2004, she and a delegation of 50 tribal elders persuaded President Karzai to dismiss a provincial governor who was a former Taliban commander.
She is the daughter of a former medical student who lost a foot while fighting against the Soviet Union (which invaded and occupied Afghanistan from 1979 - 1989). Malalai was 4 years old when her family fled Afghanistan in 1982 to the refugee camps of Iran and then Pakistan. She finished her education in Pakistan and began teaching literacy courses to other women at age 19. After the Soviets left, Malalai Joya returned to Afghanistan in 1998 during the Taliban's reign. During that time she established an orphanage and health clinic, and was soon a vocal opponent of the Taliban.
Malalai Joya is also director of the non-governmental group, "Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities" (OPAWC)  in Western Afghanistan provinces of Herat and Farah. She is married to a Kabul-based student of agriculture and has six sisters and three brothers.
According to Human Rights Watch "... up to 60% of deputies in the lower house, are directly or indirectly connected to current and past human rights abuses." She has a tough time in the parliament, when she presents her comments against warlords and criminals, other MPs disturb her speech and the speaker of the house turn off her microphone so she could not continue. The above picture is from a session of the parliament on April l17, 2006 when she was stopped. Its details and movie clip could be found at DCMJThe BBC has called Joya "the most famous woman in Afghanistan." She has survived numerous assassination attempts and continues to speak out against the abuses of warlords and drug lords in the Parliament and cabinet. In an interview with BBC News (January 27, 2006) she says: "They will kill me but they will not kill my voice, because it will be the voice of all Afghan women. You can cut the flower, but you cannot stop the coming of spring."
The Washington Post on March 17, 2006 in an article about Joya wrote: "Her truth is that warlords should not be permitted to hide behind "the mask of democracy to hold on to their chairs" and their pernicious pursuits at the expense of poor, "barefoot" Afghans who remain voiceless and disillusioned. The warlords are corrupt "war criminals" who should be tried, and incorrigible "drug dealers" who brought the country to its knees, she said."
On May 8, 2006, world media reported a news from within the parliamnet when she was attacked. AP wrote: "Malalai Joya was physically and verbally attacked by her colleagues in Afghanistan's parliament yesterday after she said that some of her fellow lawmakers were warlords and shouldn't be allowed to sit in parliament. “I said there are two kinds of mujahedeed in Afghanistan,” Joya told the Associated Press. “One kind fought for independence, which I respect, but the other kind destroyed the country and killed 60,000 people.” Several members of parliament threatened Joya with death and hurled empty plastic water bottles at her as the room erupted into a melee. Joya was unhurt as moderate members of parliament surrounded her for protection."
See for details: The Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, Ms. Magazine, Times Online, Feminist Majority Foundation, Zee News, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CBS News, The Guardian, ABC News, Los Angeles Times, Gulf Times, Middle East Times and many more sources.
In one of her speeches in the USA she says: "Never again will I whisper in the shadows of intimidation. I am but a symbol of my people's struggle and a servant to their cause. And if I were to be killed for what I believe in, then let my blood be the beacon for emancipation and my words a revolutionary paradigm for generations to come."
In December 2004, the Valle d'Aosta province of Italy awarded her the International Women of the Year 2004 Award.
And on March 15, 2006 Mr. Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley presented a certificate of honor to her for "her continued work on behalf of human rights".
On March 2006 she got the "Gwangju Award for Human Rights 2006" from May 18th Foundation in South Korea.
Joya's 2-minute historical speech
Her speech in the Loya Jirga Meeting, Kabul, Afghanistan (December 17, 2003):
My name is Malalai Joya from Farah Province. By the permission of the esteemed attendees, and by the name of God and the colored-shroud martyrs of the path of freedom, I would like to speak for a couple of minutes.
My criticism on all my compatriots is that why are they allowing the legitimacy and legality of this Loya Jerga come under question with the presence of those felons who brought our country to this state.
I feel pity and I feel very sorry that those who call Loya Jerga an infidel basis equivalent to blasphemy after coming here their words are accepted, or please see the committees and what people are whispering about. The chairman of every committee is already selected. Why do you not take all these criminals to one committee so that we see what they want for this nation. These were those who turned our country into the nucleus of national and international wars. They were the most anti-women people in the society who wanted to [makes pause] who brought our country to this state and they intend to do the same again. I believe that it is a mistake to test those already being tested. They should be taken to national and international court. If they are forgiven by our people, the bare-footed Afghan people, our history will never forgive them. They are all recorded in the history of our country.
Read it and weep ****lock.