Time’s Influential Antiwar Activist Too Antiwar?

It was a surprise to see Afghan feminist activist Malalai JoyaonTime magazine’s”Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” list. Not as surprising, though, to see her views criticized. Joya is a fierce opponent of the U.S. presence in her country, which does not sit well with some in the corporate media.

Joya’s Time entry was written byAyaan Hirsi Ali, who is perhaps best knownin this countrythanks to U.S. conservatives’ embrace of hercriticismof Islam.Her write-up wishes that Joya would learn to love the U.S. occupation.

Malalai, 31, is a leader. I hope in time she comes to see the U.S. and NATO forces in her country as her allies. She must use her notoriety, her demonstrated wit and her resilience to get the troops on her side instead of out of her country. The road to freedom is long and arduous and needs every hand.

Journalist Sonali Kolhatkar interviewed Joya about the Time situation(AlterNet, 5/3/10), and got this response:

I am very angry with the way they have introduced me. Time has painted a false picture of me and does not mention anything at all about my struggle against the occupation of Afghanistan by the U.S. and NATO, which is disgusting. In fact, everyone knows that I stand side-by-side with the glorious antiwar movements around the world and have proved time and again that I will never compromise with the U.S. and NATO, who have occupied my country, empowered the most bloody enemies of my people and are killing my innocent compatriots in Afghanistan. What Time did was like giving an award to someone with one hand and getting it back with another hand.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.