Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 15:11 PM EDT, 6 April 2012
AFGHANISTAN - When the book "The Kite Runner” was made into a movie many people, including me, were shocked at the scene where a Taliban leader rapes a boy in the story. I thought that this must be aberrant behavior peculiar to the individual portrayed in the film because I know that the Qur'an strictly forbids homosexual relations.
To be clear, we are not accusing homosexuals of being predatory pedophiles; as the two are not the same, the former being consensual, the latter a sick and aberrant abuse of children, which is also practiced by straight people with this predilection. Pedophilia is an incurable proclivity which even chemical castration does not correct.
In fact, many pedophiles justify their behavior with the delusional assertion that the children they sexually abuse and rape enticed them and are willing participants.The men and women who seek out children to abuse can mentally cripple their victims for the rest of their lives.
Such is the case of with the Bacha Bazi of Afghanistan. A little known scourge, it involves older men seeking out and enslaving young boys to gratify their own sexual desires. This practice has been on the increase since the Taliban no longer controls the populace’s behavior through fear and threat of death. Instead, the moral excesses the Taliban accused and executed others for, is now openly engaged in as these once 'moral arbiters' select young boys to forcefully sodomize and enslave.
Prior to this, when the Taliban was in control of certain regions of Afghanistan, women were stoned to death for what they perceived as the slightest infractions against the moral code of conduct and men were at risk of punishment or death for homosexual relations or disrespecting the religious edicts of the Taliban's version of Qur'an.
However, in many cases the Taliban's codes of conduct were not found in the Qur'an, and the men who foisted unduly restrictive guidelines upon women were egregious human rights offenders at least, and misogynist at worse.
Currently, the Taliban is either engaged in the war against America, or trying to survive in a leaderless world now that Osama bin Laden and many of his closest military advisors have been killed in targeted drone attacks and ISIS has filled the void.
Since the unraveling of Al-Qaeda's strict religious hierarchy, many Taliban are now engaged in a gross human rights violations because the energy that was previously directed at the West has dissipated. Now, this hatred and religious fervor has found expression in the abuse of the weakest members of their society.
Child sexual slavery in Afghanistan is on the rise as men groom young boys, many who are in their preteens, to be their sexual slaves until they tire of them. Many of these men are married but in fact are pedophiles. Now they can openly flaunt their preference for young boys because this type of behavior can be practiced without fear of reprisal.
Published: 6 April 2012 (Page 2 of 2)
In this Eurasian country young boys are often sold by their impoverished families to abusers because of the handsome fees they can garner. If the boy is an ‘unsoiled’ virgin and very beautiful, meaning they are androgynous and can easily pass as a woman, they can be quite expensive. However, these sunk costs are easily recouped by their masters by hiring the boys out as entertainers at men only parties or as prostitutes.
The Bacha Bazi, which means 'boy for pleasure' are sometimes kidnapped, but just as many are homeless and hungry and will do anything to get off the streets. Normally, when one thinks of sexual abuse, in particular rape, the focus is on women and girls.
Because of my personal experiences, I am passionate about informing readers of human rights abuses, with the hope that others can feel that their stories are worth telling and that they are not alone in their suffering. It is also a core mission of The Report to reach exploited and abused people world-wide to provide them with topical and relevant knowledge which will hopefully encourage them to put their experiences behind them to live fulfilling and productive lives.
One of the most powerful statements about moving past old hurts and wounds is by Aldous Huxley. “Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”
However, these Bacha Bazis who are sexually abused by the Taliban had little to work with in the beginning and once discarded because they are too physically mature, have nothing to turn to other than dancing and prostitution.
The most heinous thing about this epidemic of pedophilia, rape, and child abuse is that it is under reported. Perhaps it is easier to think of women as victims because we have been powerless for so long and continue to be abused in certain societies. But, these boys’ stories needs to be told; and America, a country that is raging war in Afghanistan should be on the front line, vociferously condemning this practice.
The U.S. should at least try to fund NGOs so that they can build shelters, educate, provide health care, and facilitate the punishment of the men who engage in this practice. Because Taliban members flaunt this behavior by regularly parading their Bacha Bazi in public, the U.S. has no excuse for not addressing this visible and obviously pressing human rights issue.
America is already at war with Afghanistan and is trying to root out Al-Qaeda and other radicals in the country. It would be but a short step to at least intervene to make it difficult for these men to engage in this type of aberrant and religiously prohibited behavior.
So much aid money is wasted on military effort, weaponry and outright larceny, a small portion of these funds would go a long way toward saving thousands of children.
If India can implement such a program, SCRP (Street Child Rehabilitation Project) as well as Pakistan to which the U.S. gives $1bn annually and where various NGOs like ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) operate; it is reasonable that the U.S. could fund an NGO to implement a similar program in Afghanistan to help these boys who are suffering.
Please share this post because even though you may think that it may touch only a few people, one never knows the positive impact your actions may have on someone you don't know. The movie “Pay It Forward” proved that. Though it was not a true story, the ideas inspired by the book and film are easily implemented and incredibly rewarding. Think about what you could do to help all abused children throughout the world, and tell everyone you meet about the continuous rape and abuse of the Bacha Bazi.************************************************************************************************ This post was inspired by award winning photos of the Bacha Bazi taken by Martin Von Krogh. He is the 2012 1st Prize Winner of the Photographers Giving Back (PGB) contest. PGB is the only contest in the world that gives monetary charity to the depicted people in the awarded pictures. Photos reprinted for this article with permission. If you are interested in publishing any of the photos included in this post you will need written permission. Per the photographer, photos can only be used for stories written specifically about 'Photographers Giving Back' and for no other purposes. For permission send email requests to: email@example.com Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor-in-Chief: @ayannanahmias
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