Friday, March 18, 2011

Feminist Action Alert: The U.S. Government is Very Afraid of Malalai Joya's Speech: never mind that the U.S. is terrorising, raping, and murdering Afghan women

photograph of Malalai Joya is from here

Please click on titles below to link back to the source web pages from Afghan Women's Mission.

US government denies entry visa to Afghan women’s rights activist and author Malalai Joya

For Immediate Release –
The United States has denied a travel visa to Malalai Joya, an acclaimed women’s rights activist and former member of Afghanistan’s parliament. Ms. Joya, who was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, was set to begin a three-week US tour to promote an updated edition of her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Joya’s publisher at Scribner, Alexis Gargagliano, said, “We had the privilege to publish Ms. Joya, and her earlier 2009 book tour met with wide acclaim. The right of authors to travel and promote their work is central to freedom of expression and the full exchange of ideas.” Joya’s memoir has been translated into over a dozen languages, and she has toured widely including Australia, the UK, Canada, Norway, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands in support of the book over the past two years.
Colleagues of Ms. Joya’s report that when she presented herself as scheduled at the U.S. embassy, she was told she was being denied because she was “unemployed” and “lives underground.” Then 27, Joya was the youngest woman elected to Afghanistan’s parliament in 2005. Because of her harsh criticism of warlords and fundamentalists in Afghanistan, she has been the target of at least five assassination attempts. “The reason Joya lives underground is because she faces the constant threat of death for having had the courage to speak up for women’s rights – it’s obscene that the U.S. government would deny her entry,” said Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a U.S. based organization that has hosted Joya for speaking tours in the past and is a sponsor of this year’s national tour.
Joya has also become an internationally known critic of the US-NATO war in Afghanistan. Organizers argue that the denial of Joya’s visa appears to be a case of what the American Civil Liberties Union describes as “Ideological Exclusion,” which they say violates Americans’ First Amendment right to hear constitutionally protected speech by denying foreign scholars, artists, politicians and others entry to the United States.
Events featuring Malalai Joya are planned, from March 20 until April 10, in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and California. Organizers of her speaking tour are encouraging people to contact the Department of State to ask them to fulfill the promise from the Obama Administration of “promoting the global marketplace of ideas” and grant Joya’s visa immediately.
Malalai Joya is available for a limited number of interviews. Contact Sonali Kolhatkar (626-676-7884), Prachi Patankar (917-415-0659), or Natalie Reyes (562) 319-3046).

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ACTION ALERT: Four Things YOU Can Do About Malalai Joya’s Visa Denial

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Praise for Malalai Joya and A Woman Among Warlords:
‘The youngest and most famous of all the women in the Afghan parliament…a powerful symbol of change’
- Guardian
‘Quite simply the most passionate and devastating critique of Western intervention in Afghanistan I have ever read.’
- Peace News
‘Malalai Joya leaves us with hope that the tormented people of Afghanistan can take their fate into their own hands if they are released from the grip of foreign powers.’
- Noam Chomsky
‘Unwavering in her mission to bring true democracy to her country…Women have been known to walk for miles just to touch her. For them, she is their only real hope for a better future’
- Telegraph
‘Joya is a model for women everywhere seeking to make the world more just.’
- Six women Nobel Peace Prize laureates
‘Joya’s pain and bravery are genuine and can be felt on almost every page’
- Christina Lamb, Sunday Times
‘A fascinating account of Afghanistan’s political reality…Malalai Joya has been compared to Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi’
- Irish Times
‘Malalai Joya is a staunch defender of human rights and a powerful voice for Afghan women.’
- Human Rights Watch
- John Pilger
- The Independent

1 comment:

Dark Daughta said...

I will repost. I really wish that people would uncouple the word "democracy" from the struggles of people in other parts of the world. "democracy" perverted is what has caused so much pain, heartache, genocide, imperialism for people all around the world. as a perverse western concept which was never meant to be about freedom and equal citizenry for all even in ancient greece, it immediately brings up images of wars all over the world started and continued by countries like the us. phew. but i could definitely see why someone like Malalai Joya would be a source of terror for the government of the us. i could see why coming with truth spoken to power she would not be welcome on these diseased and dominating shores.