A prominent Afghan feminist and war critic was granted a visa to enter the United States on Thursday - by the same State Department office that turned her down last week - and belatedly started on a speaking tour that is scheduled to wind up in San Francisco.
The case of Malalai Joya is the latest of several in which the Obama administration, after at first refusing entry, has allowed a visit by a foreigner who has criticized policies of the United States or its allies.
The administration "does not engage in the practice of ideological exclusion," the State Department's legal adviser, Harold Koh, said in a letter in December to the American Civil Liberties Union, which backed Joya and others whose visits were challenged. ACLU attorney Jameel Jaffer said the administration has largely kept its promise.
If you're in the US, I highly recommend attending one of Joya's events. Tour dates are here, but because of the visa delay, some dates may have changed. Be sure to check with the local sponsoring organization for a revised schedule.
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