Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Afghani Woman MP, Malalai Joya, Attacked in the Parliament

The following news story is a reprint from Timesonline. Malalai Joya had a speaking tour across the US in March 2006. On March 23, she spoke in New Haven at Yale University. I went to the meeting. More than 200 people participated in the event. She spoke very strongly against the Islamist warlords and the US government that put them in place. She also exposed former Taliban spokesman and foreign ministry official Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi who is now a special non-degree student at Yale.

Malalai Joya told the audience that the US and Afghani government have stopped funding for her security. She said she carries a gun in self-defense and sometimes has a private bodyguard. Considering that she has lots of enemies who are continuously threatening her life and have made several attempts to kill her, Malalai Joya's life is in serious danger. However, she said no matter what happens to her, she would continue to fight for her people and women's rights in Afghanistan. She is an extremely fearless and brave women.

To learn more about Malalai Joya, please visit the following websites:

* Defend Malalai Joya
* The Afghan Women's Mission

To see pictures from the event in New Heaven please click here.

Woman MP is attacked in a blow for democracy
By Tim Albone in Kabul
From Timeonline

BOTTLES were thrown, insults traded and chairs knocked over in the bedlam. This was no bar-room brawl, however. It was the scene in the Afghan parliament on Sunday when a woman MP dared to stand up to a male colleague. Malalai Joya, 28, interrupted a former warlord as he praised the holy warriors — or Mujahidin — of Afghanistan during a debate to mark the anniversary of their defeat of communism.

She declared that there were “two types of Mujahidin — one who were really Mujahidin, the second who killed tens of thousands of innocent people and who are criminals”.

This was a step too far for the parliament’s Islamic extremists and former warlords, who are still getting the hang of democracy. They leapt from their seats and rushed towards her. They hurled abuse and water bottles. Punches were thrown. Even women MPs joined in.

Moderate MPs had to form a protective ring around Mrs Joya as she was hurried from the chamber. “My supporters heard one MP tell someone to wait by the door and knife me as I walked out,” she said.

Omid Yakmanish, a television cameraman, was hit as he filmed the uproar, and dropped his camera. He said: “The MP (Al-haj Khyal Mohammad Husaini, from Ghazni) said in an interview, ‘I have the right to beat people up if I want to’.”

The session was adjourned.

Mrs Joya told The Times yesterday: “There are two problems for these people: firstly, that I am a woman and, secondly, that I believe in democracy. They don’t believe in democracy. They don’t believe in women’s rights.”

She went on: “I have lots of threats. I have had people call me to threaten me, and in Kabul have to stay in a different house every night. I don’t feel safe. I’m never scared because I tell the truth and I believe in the truth and in democracy. They can kill me but they cannot kill my voice.”

The episode was another embarrassment for the Western nations who invaded Afghanistan to overthrow the Taleban regime and install democracy.

It comes shortly after a man named Abdul Rahman was arrested for converting to Christianity and threatened with the death penalty. Mr Rahman was spared only because of international outrage, but he had to be given asylum in Italy.

Qasim Ackajhar, a spokesman for the Kabul-based Freedom of Speech Association, lamented that the violence had “damaged the dignity of Afghanistan and the dignity of the parliament”.

But Mrs Joya’s opponents showed little remorse yesterday. Parwin Durranai, a woman MP for the nomadic Kuchi people, who charged at her, said: “I am not regretful. She spoke against 90 per cent of Afghanistan’s people. She is rude in the way she speaks.”

Haji Niyaz Mohammad Amiri, one of the male MPs accused of trying to attack Mrs Joya, told The Times: “I didn’t hit her or try to hit her. That was some of the brave female MPs.”

Mrs Joya caused a similiar outburst at a Loya Jirga — a traditional gathering — in 2003 by insisting that former warlords guilty of atrocities deserved punishment.

1 comment:

Renegade Eye said...

Really good post about a great person.