This interview with Malalai Joya was sent to Mov.gr by a friend and supporter from Germany
Short presentation of Malalai Joya
Malalai Joya (born April 25, 1978) is an activist, writer, and a former politician from Afghanistan. She served as a Parliamentarian in the National Assembly of Afghanistan from 2005 until early 2007, after being dismissed for publicly denouncing the presence of warlords and war criminals in the Afghan Parliament. She is an outspoken critic of the Karzai administration and its western supporters, particularly the United States.
Her suspension in May 2007 has generated protest internationally and appeals for her reinstatement have been signed by high profile writers, intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, and politicians including Members of Parliament from Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain. She was called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan” by the BBC.
In 2010, Time magazine placed Malalai Joya on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Foreign Policy Magazine listed Malalai Joya in its annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. On March 8, 2011, The Guardian listed her among “Top 100 women: activists and campaigners”.
From the Wikipaedia, see more.
1. Afghanistan is out of medias interest now since international community announced its withdrawal of their troops. How is the current security situation in Afghanistan and is the occupation really ended?
Unfortunately security situation across Afghanistan is very bad and people always live in fear. Taliban, ISIS, warlords, occupation forces all have their portion in dragging Afghanistan to an unsafe place for its people. It will be a long story if I go through the details, but I here mention a tip of the iceberg. For example in Farah province, only the city is under the control of government and the rest is governed by Taliban. All schools for girls are closed, Taliban frequently kill people who have government jobs, on the route from Farah to Kabul, the passengers are monitored by Taliban and if they find anyone from Afghan army of police, they are killed on the spot. Taliban attack city every then and now and tens of people have been killed so far. Beside Taliban, mafia bands abduct wealthy people and ask their family to pay huge ransom otherwise the victims are killed.
In big cities like Kabul, suicide bombing killed people frequently. People are living in an environment of fear and when they leave their house, are not sure if they will return alive. For example few days ago in a suicide attack in Kabul over 100 were killed and over 300 others were injured.
Highways of Afghanistan were never as unsafe as they are today, those who have money avoid traveling by road, but those who travel accept big risks. Taliban and looters attack convoys and loot and kill passengers. Roadside bombs is another problem which make the highways unsafe and every then and now innocent people fall victims.
Some provinces like Kunduz in the north are in the hands of Taliban and even they entered the city some months back and its chance that Taliban take over their province completely.
Afghan security forces are in bad conditions and the government is unable to provide their very basic needs in the war fronts so they have heavy loses all over the country. A massacre of security forces is going on. Tens of thousands escape and even surrender to the Taliban. In 2015 alone, over 5500 of them were killed and 14000 others injured. Most of them join army and police due to joblessness and poverty and they don’t have any motive to fight Taliban due to the corruption they see in high army ranks. A handful of former warlords who run the army are grabbing millions of $ from budget of army, while soldiers don’t have enough to eat. Also the government call Taliban “dissenter brothers” in their propaganda, but on the other hand forces are asked to fight them in the war fronts. The soldiers see a big contradiction here.
Targeting of people by US/NATO drones, oppressive rule of the warlords in remote villages who have their local governments and are busy in looting and smuggling our minerals and precious stones to neighboring countries, empowerment of drug-mafia who are linked with high ranking officials, land-mafia, over 3 million addicted people who are ready to kill anyone for only few grams of opium etc. are other problems which have turned Afghanistan into the most unsafe place to live.
In a word, Afghanistan was much safer under the rule of the Taliban in 2001 than it is today.
Occupation definitely continues and the current situation is its outcome. The US/NATO has purposely pushed Afghanistan to current state. An unsafe Afghanistan is needed for the regional agenda of the US/NATO to export instability to Russia and China to curb these strong rival forces, make trouble for them, and create economic hinders for their big projects.
While the massacre of Afghans increase day by day and thousands of Afghans are killed every year, but US/NATO forces are rarely targeted by Taliban or other forces and their losses are record low in the past year.
2. We heard about ISIS in Afghanistan now, how strong they are, how do they find fighters and who is supporting them?
In Afghanistan, ISIS is another name for Taliban, many of the previous Taliban commanders have raised the flag of ISIS in some parts of the country. They also have some fighters from Chechnya, Uzbekistan and other countries. ISIS presence is not very strong yet, but they are working to expand their areas. In the North of the country, especially in Achen district of Nengrahar province they had strong presence but were defeated by both Afghan security forces and the US bombers. It is said that the ISIS in Achen were supported by India, because India has found that terrorism of Pakistan can be defeated by similar terrorist ideological force.
I think ISIS has an international mission and they use Afghanistan as a safe heaven and the US is also using them as a force to export instability to Russia, Iran and China. This was the reason that Iran used the religious differences between ISIS and Taliban to crush ISIS in Farah province in North of Afghanistan which borders with Iran (ISIS follows Wahabi Islam of Saudi Arabia, but Taliban are against it). Iran provided huge support to some Taliban commanders to attack ISIS and stop their activities in Farah. After many fighting, ISIS had to leave Farah towards other provinces like Ghor.
But those ISIS groups who are stationed in the North of Afghanistan bordering Central Asian Republics, are not targeted by the US/NATO and Afghan forces, because it is the prime mission of ISIS to cross the border and attack Russian interests in the region, for which Moscow has expressed concern a number of times. One of the reasons ISIS was strongly targeted in Nengrahar by both US and Afghan forces was to force them to go to the North of Afghanistan rather than staying in areas bordering with Pakistan.
The grave poverty and joblessness has created an environment for any terrorist and mafia groups to gather fighters paying high salaries. ISIS pays up to US$600/month for those joining it which is a big sum in our values. When youngsters can’t find a job, they either join the ranks of addicted or join the ISIS and Taliban. Religious madrassas (religious schools) are another suitable place for Taliban and ISIS to gather fighters. Tens of thousands of Afghan kids and youth are educated in madrassas across Afghanistan and in the past one decade their number have been increased. Students are brain-washed in such madrassas. For example in Kunduz province the biggest such madrassa called “Ashraf-ul-Madaras” has over 6000 students and even girls are educated there. Afghan govt. and the US/NATO purposely allow expansion of these madrassas. One of the extremist group that run many such madrassas is “Jamiaat-e-Eslah” and we have exact information that it gets fund from USAID. They recently started a big university in Kabul.
In the Nengrahar province alone there are over 200 madrasas mostly run by Wahabi extremists. They also have hostels for kids and the poor families easily send their children there as they can’t feed them. But the prime purpose of these madrassas are to brain-wash and educate youngsters and children as extremists ready to join the ranks of terrorist groups like ISIS and Taliban.
Two years ago the Afghanistan govt. signed an agreement with govt. of Saudi Arabia to setup the biggest such madrassa in heart of Kabul. Besides Saudi, other countries like Iran, Turkey and Pakistan are also active in setting up religious schools to expand their brand of Islam in Afghanistan.
During the Cold War the CIA supported such religious schools in Pakistan from which tens of thousands of suicide bombers and killers were produced in the past many years, this policy is followed inside Afghanistan now which is a big danger for future of Afghanistan.
3. Many young people are fleeing from Afghanistan and trying their luck as asylum seekers in Europe. How is the economic and social situation in Afghanistan after 15 years of so called reconstruction and what do you think about the deal between Erdogan and European Union concerning deportation of Afghan and other refugees?
Wave of refugees, most of them youngsters is due to economical and critical situation of country that close small doors of hope for them. People who escape from poor economy, drug addiction, oppression and injustice for a safe shelter become victim of oceans or if they reach to their destination they face oppressive action of those governments that are directly responsible for current situation of Afghanistan.
I personally condemned forcibly deportation of refugees. Majority of people came due to security and financial crisis and none of them came for spending luxurious or dissipation life. And it’s their right that Western countries must take care. Western world including Germany are responsible in miserable situation of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria that become reason for the wave of refugees. During 15 years in my country they have empowered most brutal and criminal individuals and parties by supporting corrupt government of Afghanistan. These western governments in the leadership of USA, supported and equipped the most brutal and terrorist groups, not only in Afghanistan but also in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia etc. And their presence become the reason of brutality, drug business and terrorism.
The deal with the suppressive regime of Turkey is also disgusting. Everyone knows that the regime is supporting ISIS in Syria and Iraq and they brutally suppress Kurdish progressive forces who are the only power against ISIS in the region. Giving billions of Euro to such regime is indirect support to ISIS. And giving the fate of refugees in the hands of such regime will be a golden opportunity for it to recruit youths for terrorist groups to fight alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq, just like the Iranian fascist regime which sends hundreds of unfortunate Afghan refugees to Syria to fight for Asad regime.
The above photos are from the university of Jamaait Elsah in Kabul
4. What do you think about Syria, Iraq, Turkey and the situation of the Kurdish people? Do you have contacts to Kurdish movements for example in Northern Syria Rojava/Kobane?
First I want to send salute to brave women and girls of (YPG) and condemn the brutal fundamentalist regime of Erdogan which supports ISIS as the most blood-thirsty creature of modern history.
The fight in Kobani against the terrorism and anti-human actions of ISIS was in reality a part of the struggle of the people of Afghanistan who have been suffering from this deadly virus for the past four decades. Resistance of Kurdish forces in Rojava proves to the world that if women rise up with consciousness and a strong will, no power even backed by superpowers can stand in the way of their epic struggle and determination.
I warn that current crisis in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other war-torn countries and the contradiction of big powers on these conflicts puts the world on the verge of word war 3. It is the responsibility of the justice-loving progressive individuals and forces of the world to unite and organize to play an active role to avoid such disaster.
Unfortunately I did not meet freedom loving fighters of Rojava and Kobani in person but I always raised my voice in support of them and wish one day will meet them as I am inspired a lot by their resistance and powerful struggle against ISIS.
5. What shall the Left movement and parties in Europe do concerning Afghanistan and how strong are the progressive movements, NGOs and parties in Afghanistan in order to overthrow Western and Afghan warlords regime?
We need the international solidarity of all justice-loving, peace-loving, leftists and progressive movements, individual, parties and activists of the world. First they should put pressure on their government to stop empowering reactionary forces in Afghanistan. Raise your voice very strong against occupation and war. Do struggle and expose the sinister policies of wrong politician in Germany as German government is a close friend of warlords like Atta Mohammad Noor.
When Afghan officials and especially those with large record of human rights violations and corruption are invited to your country as officials guests, raise your voice, organize protests and expose them to the German public.
We have some progressive organization and non-corrupt NGOs Solidarity Party of Afghanistan, RAWA, SAAJS, OPAWC, HAWCA that are active in Afghanistan but very week so you should support them morally and also economically their projects for the better future of Afghanistan. Especially always my massage to great people of the world is that to empower our people educationally, as I strongly believe that education is a key toward emancipation of Afghanistan.
Unfortunately the progressive forces are receiving death threats and are under attack of the fundamentalists who are in power in Afghanistan so most of them have to live underground. But the strong resistance of our people is a source of hope for the future of our country. For example in November 11, 2015 in Kabul presidential palace was surrounded by tens of thousands of people, holding coffins of seven innocent people killed by terrorists in Uruzgan, they raised slogans against government. Shugufa Tabasom a 9 years old girl was a victim of this brutality. So as much as these occupiers and fundamentalists are raising their fascism more, more and more people stand up against them and join their hands with progressive forces and activist who are the only alternative for the future of Afghanistan.
6. What is about your personal situation, are you still working undercover, and do you need international support?
As the fundamentalists are in power and always I raise my voice against occupation and their puppets in Afghanistan and also outside, so I have to live underground and receive death threats. They are trying to eliminate me and want to silence my voice, then I have to be very careful, because of security problems even I can’t live with my baby and family.
The support and solidarity of the justice-loving people of the world always gave me more courage, hope and determination. I need your moral and financial support for this hard and just struggle.