Malalai Joya’s Historical Speech in the Loya Jirga, Loya Jirga Meeting, Kabul, Afghanistan, December 17, 2003:
My name is Malalai Joya from Farah Province. By the permission of the esteemed attendees, and by the name of God and the colored-shroud martyrs of the path of freedom, I would like to speak for couple of minutes.
My criticism on all my compatriots is that why are they allowing the legitimacy and legality of this Loya Jerga come under question with the presence of those felons who brought our country to this state.
I feel pity and I feel very sorry that those who call Loya Jerga an infidel basis equivalent to blasphemy after coming here their words are accepted, or please see the committees and what people are whispering about. The chairman of every committee is already selected. Why do you not take all these criminals to one committee so that we see what they want for this nation. These were those who turned our country into the nucleus of national and international wars. They were the most anti-women people in the society who wanted to [makes pause] who brought our country to this state and they intend to do the same again. I believe that it is a mistake to test those already being tested. They should be taken to national and international court. If they are forgiven by our people, the bare- footed Afghan people, our history will never forgive them. They are all recorded in the history of our country.
[Mojadedi in Dari] That is enough. Thank you. You had asked for three minutes which is now over. Sister, I have been saying since the beginning that all sayings should be courteous and expressed in a good manner. No one should be insulted, and if you have any complaints you could submit your written complaints to the secretaries of the Jerga and we will then follow them up.
[someone in the background in Dari] Mr Chairman, kindly give me two minutes!
[An indistinct voice of someone sitting close by to the Chairman in Pashto]
[Mojadedi replying to him in Pashto] I just did not understand her words, and what she said.
[The indistinct voice of the same person sitting by Mojadedi in Pashto] She hit a hard blow to the reputation of Jihadi people saying they are treacherous and [voice very low and indistinct]
[noise in the background]
[Mojadedi] Have your seats please.
[Mojadedi] Please let go. Our sister said something, but you people have patience and endure her.
[Continuous sound of noise and people yelling and shouting]
[Mojadedi] Sister, look what have you done. you raised everyone. Do you think one should say such words to affront everyone and disappoint all. You made a mistake.
[Sayaf's voice in Dari] Hello, Hello. Salam o alaicum. Dear brothers! In the name of almighty, Most gracious, Most compassionate.
Brothers! I request you to have your seats please for I would like to speak to you for five minutes. Please have your seats. Everyone sit on their places. I request you all to take your seats. [constant request from the attendees to have their seats].
[starts his speech] In the name almighty Allah, Most gracious, Most merciful.
By the permission of the Chairman of the Jerga, I only have a few words, and I request my brothers to please pay heed. Brothers! We have all gathered here for a very holy and important mission. In my short speech, yesterday too, I remarked that our sayings should progress in an environment of brotherhood, friendliness and peace.
I believe that there will be people intending this gathering to fail. The failure of this gathering is the failure of all nation which will reflect the lack of talent, competency [word in Arabic: Al ayazu bellah] the imprudence of our nation to the people [of the world]. We have achievements that have surprised both history and humanity. This courageous and brave nation crushed and scattered the Superpower, which had shaken the world, to pieces with the strike of their swords. [People voicing Islamic slogans]
Another request I have is that my brothers should not rise from their places supporting my words. If you want to welcome my words whether with applause or slogans, please do not rise from your seats.
One of the duties of those who have sympathy for this nation, and for these oppressed and helpless people, is to secure the peace and tranquility of this gathering. If people want to disorder it, we should not let them do so. Yesterday during my statements I remarked that our disputes and our discourse and conversations should not be be inconsistent with Islamic and humanitarian ethics and moral. These Mojaheddin [video showed pointing at himself by putting his hand on his chest] who gave two million martyrs for the freedom of this country had such an extended heart and determination who after their return [from Jehad] did not hang even one of the Russian slave.
The Chairman of this gathering, Mr Mojadedi, himself announced their amnesty. Those were exempted from punishment who could not have been forgiven by the history, religion, nation, and the customs and ethnicities of humanity throughout the history.
But this amnesty was proclaimed for the interest of our nation, for the clashes not to continue and for the calamities and oppressions not to aggregate. Not even forgiveness, but they again even entered the political sphere, and are benefiting their political rights. Possibly they were members of central communist committees, but they were allowed to participate in these elections. They came and are probably present in this assembly too. These all indicate the broadmindedness, liberalism and expanded horizons of the perspective of Moslems.
If despite the existence of these facts, you rise and call the true Ghazis of Islam and those who granted freedom to this nation from the mouth of the red dragon, felons and criminals, this itself is a crime. [Islamic slogans voiced by people]
I would not like to prolong my speech. This mission is for the house of this nation. This duty is conducted for the nation, and to fail this mission is wished by the aliens, enemies and others slaves here.
Anyone making any remark that harms the reputation of those who represent Islam, those who are the pride of the history of humanity, [Mojaheddin] in fact, want to fail this mission. You recognize your nation. 95 per cents selected representatives of your nation are Mojaheddin. What does this mean? This means that Jehad has formed the basis of this nation. I therefore request all brothers to observe manners and ethics while speaking. They should never speak a word to damage the reputation of the confronting party, or even a single attendee of this assembly. Each individual attendee of this Jerga is responsible for the peace, success and completion of this process. Therefore, I request my brothers that even if they hear anything sarcastic, don’t rise from your seats. Please submit your written requests and the Chairman who will give you the permission. Give your respond to swears with respect. Your reply to sarcastic statements should be in manner to enter the hearts of people. You could observe that two or three harming statements were about to disappoint the whole nation. Thus, I strongly request you to observe the order of the gathering, and any sarcastic and damaging statements should be avoided. One another request I have from the Chairman of the Jerga, his Excellency Hazrat Saheb [Mjadedi] is when a sentence is sarcastic, damaging and ironical, the speaker’s microphone should be disconnect, and should not be allowed to continue.
Hazrat Saheb [mojadedi] will himself reply on your behalf. Since we have selected him and trust him and our request is that the chairing commission and Hazrat Saheb should reply on behalf of the attendees. Peace, ethics, manners should be observed and we should all give hands in hand and not let this process fail which disgrace us to the world and nation. [words in Arabic : Wasalam o alaicum wa rahmatullah- e wa barakatohu]
[Mojadedi] Thank you very much, Ustad.
[Mojadadi] This sister did impertinence and was out of the frame of humanity. I tell the gathering to expel her from the meeting and she can’t attend the discussions. Go out. Security officer, security, take her outside.
Set down in your seats please. No. She should not be forgiven. Will not forgive her….
Brothers and sisters, some sisters beg to forgive her, saying she will not repeat the same attitude.
[A woman from meeting] She is a child like your daughter, forgive her.
[Mojadadi] She is Kafur…. Oh enough go and let me…
[Mojadadi] Due to intercession of some brothers and sisters, this time she was forgiven from expelling. But if she repeat a word against the will [of the meeting] and protest against Jehadi personalities, she will see what may happen to her. Now set down in your seats.
[A woman from meeting] She has been motivated by someone. She is small and her sense is not working fine.
[A jehadi from audience] The sister should come here and apology otherwise it is impossible…
[Mojadadi] This brother has a good suggestion and says that the sister should come here and apology and do penitence not to repeat her words; otherwise they will not forgive her. Come here sister, come and apology.
Oh you still do not apology? You did a very bad act. Oh my God she even does not apology.
Anyway brothers, it would be good if she apology… if not she will not be allowed to attend the meeting next time…. She is not small… impertinence… Infidel.
My comment: to respect some procedures in public places may be ok, IF there is given an accepted procedure to put a reclamation, to speach out an opinion, to contest any situation we no more can agree. The simple fact that no procedure for reclamations are created, and the kind of reaction on a statememnt judged not polite, gives us the dimension of how much Fundamentalists are unable to stand any critic.
And this is the point: people not able to stand any critic are unable to have official functiions of responsability over humans. These people have to be removed from official responsabilities.