Malalai Joya: West exploits Afghan terror victims

Kabul, July 23.

Although it was not deemed worthy of front page coverage in much of the Western media, the horrific attack against a demonstration in Kabul on July 23 should be known about and condemned by the whole world.

More than 80 people from the Hazara minority were slaughtered in the terrorist attack. Their only crime was to assemble in a crowd to peacefully protest against discrimination and demand justice from the corrupt and puppet government of Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.

Whenever terrorist attacks occur, dangerous right-wing demagogues everywhere use these tragic deaths to whip up fear of “foreigners”, and Muslims in particular.

The most terrifying example is that of Donald Trump — a hateful, egotistical man who is trying to seize control of the United States and its empire, which includes the most powerful and deadly military in the world.

The latest massacre in Kabul is a reminder that it is people in Afghanistan and across what is simplistically called “the Muslim world” who are the first and foremost victims of these terrorists and Salafi-jihadist groups. For decades these groups have used sectarian mass murderer as a political weapon.

They are the same brutal groups, rebranded with different names, who were nourished and supported by the West during the Cold War. They are still being used as tools in their brutal wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries.

Trump must not be allowed to hijack our pain. Nor are we comforted by the crocodile tears of Hillary Clinton, a warmonger herself who not only supported the war in Iraq but justified the long occupation of my country.

People in Afghanistan join in sorrow and solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who have suffered from these savage acts of mass murder in whatever corner of the world they occur — in Nice and Paris, in Munich, in Brussels, in Orlando, or in Baghdad.

People around the globe must stand together against terrorists, and against warmongers and imperialists who create more chaos and death under the nice banner of the “war on terror.”

And we must stand together against fascists like Trump who seek to use humanity's sadness and insecurity to whip up xenophobia, racism and division.

Now, more than ever, we must all stand together. And that means the lives of Afghans, Iraqis and others on the frontlines of this endless war must be considered as precious as the lives of Europeans and North Americans.

We all must understand that imperialism and terrorism/fundamentalism are two sides of a coin. We Afghans have been suffering for more than four decades at the hands of bloodthirsty fundamentalists backed and supported by the West — especially the US government.

Right now, the puppet regime in Kabul is run mostly by the same fundamentalist elements who are brothers-in-creed of Osama Bin Laden. They have just learned to hide their extremism behind a suit and tie, changing their appearance under the guise of the US occupiers.

My homeland's heart aches with the blood of hundreds of my innocent compatriots and the nation mourns. Offering condolences cannot relieve the harrowing pain of the Dehmazang tragedy perpetrated by medieval-minded savages.

The blood stains on the streets of Kabul should be a lesson of awakening and consciousness for our nation. For too long our justice-seeking movements have been hijacked by ethnic and religious sectarians, aided and encouraged by foreign military invasions and occupations.

Our Hazara compatriots should take this lesson from the martyrdom of more than 80 innocent people. They can fulfil their just and humane demands only if they hold accountable the traitors who have been using ethnic divisions to advance their own interests, and have ridden roughshod over our suffering people for decades.

A movement that is not led by honest, pro-people, progressive, national and anti-reactionary elements will always be perverted and robbed of its true values. This is proven by the blood and devastation suffered by millions of people in our history, and that of the world.

Although apparently ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack, there are countless unanswered questions on the matter that the treacherous government of Ghani and Abdullah needs to answer. They can block the entire Kabul city and stop the movement of six million inhabitants, but cannot stop a couple of suicide attackers?

From the persistence of these incidents we know that there are elements inside the government and state who are colluding with terrorists. There are many Trumps and Clintons in Afghanistan who profit from violence and use these attacks to further their own agenda.

People worldwide must join our hands together. If we let them divide us, we all will lose and no one will be safe and secure. Global solidarity is now more important than ever.

[Reprinted from Ricochet. Malalai Joya is a world-renown Afghan feminist and socialist. As the youngest elected MP in Afghanistan, and an outspoken women's rights campaigner, anti-war activist and author, Joya has faced numerous assassination attempts for daring to speak out.]

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