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. […]


Can’t She Be a Little Nicer, Though?

On Sunday (12/13/09), the New York Times Book Review offered a brief take on Malalai Joya’s A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice. Times reviewer Marc Tracy seemed to like the book OK, with a few notable caveats: Joya’s arguments, we’re told, “have earned the plaudits of people like Noam Chomsky, [and] are sometimes extreme, simplistic and misguided, but they are rarely without a grain of truth.” It’s hard to tell what the “grain of truth” might be, but throwing Chomsky’s name into the mix seems to be a sign to […]


An Occupation by Any Other Name

Afghan activist and politician Malalai Joya has been in the U.S. to discuss her book A Woman Among Warlords. As noted by Eric Garris at, Joya’s was treated very differently byCNN than by CNN International. Specifically, Joya’s mention of the military occupation of her country seemed to offend CNN host Heidi Collins (10/28/09): Again, “occupation” would certainly be your word. A lot of people would take great issue with you calling the U.S. presence in Afghanistan in your country an” occupation.” It’s not clear to whom Collins is referring when she speaks of people who would take “great issue” […]


A Look ‘Behind the Propaganda’ About Afghanistan

Johann Hari (ZNet, 8/6/09) has an in-depth write-up of “the story of Malalai Joya” that “turns everything we have been told about Afghanistan inside out”: In the official rhetoric, she is what we have been fighting for. Here is a young Afghan woman who set up a secret underground school for girls under the Taliban and–when they were toppled–cast off the burka, ran for parliament, and took on the religious fundamentalists. But she says: “Dust has been thrown into the eyes of the world by your governments. You have not been told the truth. The situation now is as catastrophic […]