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

The Privilege of Not Being a Trauma Survivor, of not having Severe PTSD, and of Not Experiencing Environmental and Patriarchal Trauma, Horror, and Terror, right now

image of terrifying nuclear disaster site in Japan is from here
I think we're past the worst time. Time is on your side because the heat levels are dropping.

When some of the cladding oxidized, it was an exothermic reaction. That has passed at this point.

So I think if the workers can get some of these electrical cables in, some of the cooling pumps running, which they're working very hard to do, I think we're going to be on the downside of this. Now, there's still going to be burps and there's still going to be lots of news about this for a long, long time, but I don't see -- the worst time I think has passed us
.  -- MR. LAKE BARRETT, NUCLEAR ENGINEER [source: *here*] [text put in bold by me, Julian]

Burps and news is what we have to fear, is what he is saying. There's no actual danger that is getting worse, is what he's saying. He's so delusional that he will be embraced as an expert, as a sane person, as a humane white man, on matters of gross environmental and human terrorism.

If a nuclear power plant were in the form of an anti-U.S. activist strapped with bombs, putting himself in the middle of a mall filled with U.S. Americans, putting many people in danger, Lake Barrett wouldn't get much airtime stating that the worst of what has occurred and what can occur is "burps" and "news".

Let me take this into the world of far too many girls and women that most white men do not experience.

If you are not being  beaten, today, and raped, today, and incested, today, and trafficked, today, and enslaved by one man or many men or a nation-state of men or by patriarchal men's customs and practices, today, and if you are not being imprisoned inside the current trauma and post-traumatic effects of such abuses and human rights violations, now, I would make a case that level of human existence is a privileged one. If whole economic, social, religious, and political systems are not working to actively, not passively, destroy you, today, I'd argue that is a form of privilege.

And I'd ask that all our political theorising and work keep in mind those of us who are trapped by men, controlled by men, terrorised by men, put in horrifying unspeakable situations by men, now, and yesterday but in ways that make yesterday into now. And by institutions and systems of harm and horror that even those of us who are in them seek various methods of survival to deny.

As someone with significant post-traumatic stress, who also has dissociation, I would like to remind people that society, as a whole functions in a state of post-traumatic stress and dissociation. Many societies thrive on dissociation, denial, and delusion to practice their specific forms of national or cultural dysfunction.

For example, I heard some "expert" white man named Lake Barrett, speaking yesterday on CNN about how the nuclear disaster in Japan (along with on-going earthquakes there, unreported by media including by CNN--ground shaking in an on-going way in quakes that register from 3.0 to 6.0) is not going to be more harmful than it already has been. Apparently, according to Barrett and many other "experts" who are also white men, people are simply overreacting the world over. There's "hysteria", we are told by many white men in the media, with financial interests in nuclear energy programs specifically and patriarchal capitalism generally.

He is very privileged to not be living in a terrorised state--emotional, physical, and national--right now. He gets to speak out about how safe people are in a place where he is safe and the people (and especially the women and girls) of Japan, and Haiti, and Afghanistan, and Iraq, and the U.S., and the UK, and most other countries on Earth, are not safe, are not experiencing life as unterrifying, as unhorrifying, as so significantly circumscribed by what men do that is inhumane and atrocious that being in denial or in a state of profound dissociation are the only options for getting through a week or a day or an hour or a minute.