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human trafficking

Thousands of Afghan Boys Are Being Forced Into Child Prostitution. And the Perpetrators Are Proud

[flv:http://queerty-prodweb.s3.amazonaws.com/wp/docs/2010/04/bachabazi2.mp4 http://queerty-prodweb.s3.amazonaws.com/wp/docs/2010/04/bachalg.jpg 650 300]

Bacha Bazi, or “boy play” as it’s known (pronounced bah-cha bah-zee), is the underage sex trafficking phenomenon in Afghanistan. There is just no other way to describe what is portrayed in PBS’s Frontline documentary, where young boys are kidnapped or sold by their poor families into sex slavery. To dress up their horrific actions, the men involved in this trade will often insist these boys are merely dressing up in women’s clothing and dancing in front of groups of paying men. But these boys are subjected to more than that. They are forced to have sex with these adult men. That they are killed if they don’t comply. And what’s perhaps even more disgusting than their actions is their blatant openness about it.

What Frontline and reporter Najibullah Quraishi is showing us (the documentary first aired Tuesday, but can be seen in full here) is Afghan men admitting on camera, and then displaying their terrorizing “business,” what they are doing to little boys. Adult men, with the financial means, pay to rape them. Some look as young as nine. This is not entertainment. It is terrorism.

And as we watch the documentary, the entire system is just mind-boggling. Little kids on the street are selling Bacha Bazi DVDs — that, easily, they could have been forced to star in. And even the successful businessman shown in the film, who is married and has two sons, has no qualms about speaking to the camera and showing his own son, as he goes about abducting these children. Sects of the police and military appear complicit, so long as their hands are greased, covering up illegal activity; even the Bacha Bazi parties are illegal, let alone the human trafficking. (The documentary shows footage of police chiefs and officers attending, not cracking down, on these events.)

The whole thing is just horrible. It’s difficult to watch. And that these men are doing all of this so brazenly, in open daylight, and on camera, is evidence not just how widespread the problem is, but how accepted this “taboo” subject really is. This is a culture that finds homosexuality disgusting. And yet, there’s this.

By:           editor editor
On:           Apr 22, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , ,
  • 39 Comments
    • Cam
      Cam

      This is a culture that dehumanizes women so much that it doesn’t even allow them to have a face. They are not allowed to be uncovered, they can’t go out of the house without a male relative, and girls as young as 9 are sold into marriage….why would it surprise anybody that other segments of society are also treated in a horrifically brutal way? I hate to say it, but perhaps the culture over there is just plain broken. This stuff just makes me sick.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Meg
      Meg

      You say: “This is a culture that finds homosexuality disgusting. And yet, there’s this.” But doesn’t this encourage the totally misguided idea that pedophilia/child rape/other similar despicable behaviors are related to being gay? We need to be careful about our language.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      @Meg: No, it says that for a culture that thinks *homosexuality* is terrible, it still tolerates something like this. As in, its priorities, or societal standards, are seriously out of whack.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      I don’t *enjoy* sounding like some chauvinistic “we (Westerners) are better than everyone else in the world,” but having paid no small amount of attention to the state of culture in Afghanistan. Because I care about the Canadian troops fighting the Taliban there, and I care about whether the goals they’re getting shot at for are even achievable and whether the locals are helping or hindering the mission. Especially since I have a good friend deploying on his second tour in a couple days. So, given my observations… I’m kind of inclined to say “Fuck Afghanistan.” It’s an ungovernable, backwards shithole where a vast swath of the population would apparently *prefer* to live like cave-men *forever.* It’s like something about the geography there just hedges out progress and interconnectivity/harmony with the rest of the world (in other words, ‘civilization’). So fuck it. Blockade the whole goddamned country, let those who want to live in the 21st century emigrate and let the rest eke out some miserable fucking backwards existence until they run out of dirt to eat and small boys to fuck. Let those who choose to be ignorant child- and goat-diddlers have the place, and just contain them until they go extinct.

      I’m tired of the rest of the world spending its blood and treasure trying to carry into modernity a wretched spit of land that’s kicking and screaming the whole time. Build a wall around it, quarantine it, and wait for the ‘infection’ to burn itself out.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      Ugh- and I apologize for the sloppiness at the beginning of that first post of mine; partway through the first sentence I decided to change the arrangement and didn’t go back to revise what I’d already written :-P

      Apr 22, 2010 at 6:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Baxter
      Baxter

      @Ken S: And it’s that exact attitude that got us 9/11.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rodrigo
      rodrigo

      Ha! I saw this on Tuesday on PBS and as the article says, it is difficult to watch. What I found most disturbing was that the pimp of these boys is a “devout muslim” by day, but by night he has parties where he shows off all his “dancing boys”. How hypocritical of so called “muslims”…especially the fact that they make boys dress like women and dance suggestively ! Equally disturbing was the fact that the parents of these recruited children were willing to sacrifice their 9 year old boys to these disgusting men.
      To clarify many of the above comments , many of these men don’t see their acts as rape or molestation- as the boys haven’t reached puberty, it doesn’t count to them.

      sorry for the fragmented comment but this program is mind boggling. but im glad that the Western media has at least picked up in this modern day sex slave trade.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drewbrown
      drewbrown

      @Baxter: Uh, sorry, but our attitude did not get us to 9/11, a bunch of crazy religious Muslim zealots got us to 9/11. Please keep your stupid blame-the-victim mentality to yourself.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      A French friend of mine said she saw this kind of thing in Iran in the 1970’s. She said every truck driver in Iran had a boy riding with him for sex purposes. This is because Islam forbids any contact with females, so they get their rocks off with boys who are sometimes dressed up and made up to look like women. Once the boys mature enough to look like men, they get rid of them. So these heinous men are not gay.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      It truly is horrendous practice for the young victims of this slavery. However, be careful in blaming the parents of these poor exploited boys. If you live in dire poverty (poverty that we could not even comprehend) you have very few options and your children may be the only ‘commodity’ you have. In their desparation the parents may even hope that at least their sons may get fed which is something they cannot provide. The only way to overcome these dreadful practices is prosperity and education provided to the general population. Neither of these solutions come quickly but we in the affluent west need to assist in any way we can to achieve this in Afghanastan and other blighted countries in the world.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      And guess which celebrity has done more to end child sex trafficking than anyone else on earth?

      Ricky Martin.

      Hilary Clinton called Ricky Martin “heroic” for his work to end these practices.

      Score one for our team.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike L.
      Mike L.

      While watching this I almost felt like punching through the computer and somehow pulling those pedos through the comp and beat them.

      I’ve wondered how come Muslims in western countries aren’t critizing these ppl or other muslims that do things like this or spread hate but rather most keep their mouths shut or criticize those who dare criticize islam or their followers.

      Just like some catholic apologists and the xtians who’s defense is ‘they must be gay’ when pedos are found in their church rather than look at the problem pedophiles regardless of exual orientation. Gay have been scapegoated by religious ppl for so long and it’s enough, this is probably why some fundies of various religions are against the “homosexual” agenda b/c then who will they scapegoat, it’s not like they want to point the finger on heterosexuals who make up the majority of the population.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CondeNasty
      CondeNasty

      Oh God that was hard to watch. It is apparent that this has some overtones of the ancient Greek man/boy tradition and even some Geisha/courtesan angle with the music and dance training. Its a sexual outlet and clearly a status symbol to keep one of these boys. Bottom line it is wrong. The kid has no advocate and was sold into forced prostitution…..so depressing.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffree
      jeffree

      @hephaestion: Thanks. I was thinking along the same lines. Ricky Martin has been a key point-person in exposing the crime of sexual trafficking of kids, and this would be a great issue to get involved with for him (if he isnt already.)

      Is there *ANYTHING* any of us can do to help end this exploitation? If anybodu can think of something *please* post.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      @jeffree: Sadly, I’m pretty sure the hell that countless little girls go through at the hands of pedophiles and abusive caretakers is far worse than this. I know one woman whose story of abuse as a girl would make you cry for a month.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Whoddafunk?
      Whoddafunk?

      Hephaestion are you really going there? Are you really trying to weigh two traumas and say which is worse? Wow.
      Trauma is trauma, abuse is abuse. There are a lot of sad things going on in the world… just don’t even go there.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffree
      jeffree

      @hephaestion: I apologise if i seemed to discount the sexual abuse of young women & girls. The fact that Afghan custom allows prepubescent girls (& other cultures do as well, lets be honest) to marry is morally repugnant to me. Thailand, just 4 example, has been noted as a primo vacation spot for pedophiles looking for access to both girls & boys.

      The US State Department has not stepped into this issue loudly enough. The UN has committee with a focus on the issue, but no real ability to put pressure or sanctions on members who violate international law in terms of sex abuse of minors. The US foster care system (which i am a product of) certainnly is guilty of turning kids over to pedophiles, let me add.

      If it takes a celebrity such as Ricky Martin 2 bring attention to this issue then so I hope he will continue his work.

      My question to Queerty & its readers is still that if there is some way for the average joe/ Jane to do *anything* to help stop this abuse, I want 2 know. (that’s not a question directed @ you, it’s just restating what i said in a prior comment).

      Apr 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ricky
      Ricky

      @ no. 15 – The fact is children are being victimized by sex trafficing and their gender does not mean that one is going to have it easier than the other. They are being forced into sexual situations AGAINST their will. All of these kids stories would make any person with a heart cry… I doubt the degree of harrowing details will make it any more or any less of a trajedy.

      Apr 22, 2010 at 11:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Cam: Sounds very much like another broken religious culture. Ours.

      The bigots who run our country permit and even encourage christer, muslim and judaic parents to toss their LGBT children out on the streets for being gay. Underaged, jobless, homeless and uneducated, many turn to prositiution and substance abuse and end up on a coroner’s slab.

      It makes me sick at heart.

      They victimize GLBT children by passing laws like Clinton’s DADT and DOMA or Bushes state DOMAs that denigrate us. They do it by allowing christian thugs to set up ex-gay torture camps and fill them with GLBT or questioning kids. And they do it by willfully refusing to prosecute and persecute priests, rabbis, pastors, imams and ministers who rape children.

      Religion, not nationality, is the enemy.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick
      Nick

      This is awful. Apparently, this has been going on for generations. Islam is awful–I know I’m not supposed to say that; but that’s the way I feel and I really think I’m right. It’s a religion that allows men to do evil things and not feel any guilt as long as they perform their daily mandatory rituals/prayers to their god and think that’s all there is to it.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 3:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      Well here’s an ironic clusterfuck.

      The Taliban that we joyfully routed from power banned this practice and the growing of opium while they were in control.

      We “liberated” this country and are still trying to create stability over there, but no one in the State Dept or Pentagon seems concerned that this practice has returned as well as opium growing. We are fighting to nation build while ignoring child rape and heroin production. Charming, just charming.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 8:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shaun
      Shaun

      Islam doesn’t permit this, as some of the comments may have implied.
      We need to redistribute the world’s wealth, it would solve so many problems.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • delurker again
      delurker again

      I viewed the expose. Shocking and sad. The corruption is so deep. The authorities/police often don’t bat an eye and even participate in these dancing events/sex abuse.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OusslanDer
      OusslanDer

      @Bill Perdue: You’re digust for the west has you twist everything. The western society as a whole condems and foghts pedophilia yet because adults are denied some rights, we are just as bad as a society and religion that encourages and celebrates traing children as sex slaves. Simply amazing

      Apr 23, 2010 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @OusslanDer: You’re seriously uneducated Herr OusslanDer.

      Time to go back to school and learn to read. Only don’t go to a cult school, particularly a catholic cult school. Not if you want an intact rectum when you graduate, which won’t be anytime soon. You’re way behind the rest of us.

      In school you’ll learn that the christers, the roman cult, are one of the foundation stones of Western culture and that they’re a global criminal enterprise that promotes the rape of children, the spread of HIV/AIDs and the hatred of women and LGBT folks. Their protestant cousins promote and practice violence against us. In fact, all three Abrahamic cult groups are homohaters and violence prone.

      That part of Western culture, the religious and superstitious part, is rotten and ugly. The good side of our culture began with the Enlightenment, the secular American and anti-clerical French Revolutions and the beginnings of a secular, science based human-oriented society.

      Unlike islamophobic bigots I don’t hate any culture or nationality. I try to be respectful of nations and cultures. I do however, despise religion, christer, judaic, islamic and the others as humankinds greatest tragedy.

      But I’m taking too long. I don’t want you to be tardy. Scamper off to school. You badly need an education.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @Qjersey: Please do not pretend that the Taliban act on principles or morality. Some Taliban may have stated some opposition to pederasty and opium production, but that didn’t translate into any eradication program.

      This pederast tradition is more-or-less particular to the Pashtun tribe. The Taliban is composed, more-or-less, of Pashtuns. Do the math.

      The Taliban actually derived the major portion of their revenues from taxing opium poppies. They were against drugs until they went broke. After that, they encouraged poppy farmers to grow, baby, grow.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      Now it all makes perfect sense why the Vatican is so interested in establishing a presence in Afgahanistan……..

      Apr 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Xtian99
      Xtian99

      um..yeah…just wondering…. are we still saying these misfits have a “culture” that should be “respected” and “negotiated” with?

      I mean what with intellecual dwarfism, suicide bombers, hijackers, fatwas on writers and cartoonists, jihads, misogyny, femal genital mutilation and now the twin wonders of virulent homophobia AND screwing little boys deos it get any better?

      Hypocrites, misfits, global dead weight that should be called what it is- a doomed demographic that gets in the way of the rest of us moving forward and onward.

      but love the blanckets… and the camels– those are FAB! – so not a total loss.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thunderpuss
      Thunderpuss

      I am tremendously affected by this story. My heart is absolutely broken for those children and their families.

      The kind of poverty that they are living in is so far beyond my own comprehension.

      Please, if anyone knows of ways (charities, organizations, etc) that work to prevent this type of abuse and social corruption, post your information.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Qjersey: The rise of ant-GLBT and anti-female violence from Palestine to Pakistan is directly and primarily the result of the US invasions, occupations and wars for oil in the region.

      Right wing islamist movements from HAMAS to the killer ayatollahs of Iran and the Saudi supported Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan try to excuse their violence against GLBT folks by identifying our sexuality as “Western”.

      In Afghanistan, while it seems true that Taliban did try to suppress forced same sex prostitution they did it for their own superstitious cult agenda. At the same time they carried out a murder campaign against same sex couples, killing them with great cruelty.

      In Iran the ayatollahs régime has murdered (probably) thousands of gay men, again with great cruelty and after torturing them. http://www.irqr.net/

      Iraqi society has been thoroughly degraded and disrupted by the murder of over a million people in the American invasion and occupation. Jihadist shiite militia and sunni police, both armed and trained by the US are believed to have kidnapped, tortured and murdered thousands of GLBT folks in the last couple of years. http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com/

      The best thing we can do for our brothers and sisters in the region it to join with the antiwar movement in demanding the total, immediate and permanent withdrawal of US and satellite troops from the region. We should leave it to our brothers and sisters, to women, trade unions and students to solve the problems posed by bankrupt reactionary islamists and quisling collaborators like Karzi and Talabani.

      The recent events in Iran and the role of Iraqi oil unions show that they’re willing to do just that.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Xtian99
      Xtian99

      In Response to Bill Perdue- my responses in CAPS

      The rise of ant-GLBT and anti-female violence from Palestine to Pakistan is directly and primarily the result of the US invasions, occupations and wars for oil in the region. OH OK RIGHT, THEY DEFINITELY HAVE NOT BEEN THIS WAY FOR CENTURIES, IT IS ONY SINCE 1992 WHEN THE US INVADED KUWAIT. ALL THIS YEATS OF VIOLENCE TOWARDS INFIDELS, MERCY KILLINGS, STONING AND TOPPLING STONE WALLS ON PEOPLE JUST STARTED BECAUSE OF AMERCICA. AND WHATEVER YOUR ON, CAN I HAVE SOME?

      Right wing islamist movements from HAMAS to the killer ayatollahs of Iran and the Saudi supported Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan try to excuse their violence against GLBT folks by identifying our sexuality as “Western”. WHAT DOES IT MATTER HOW THEY DO IT, THE POINT IDS THEY DO IT… AND HOW SHOCKING OF THEM NOT TO OWN UP TO STORIES LIKE THE ABOVE- OF THEIR OWN PIMPING EACH OTHER OUT. AND LETS NOT EVEN GET INTO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PEDOPHILE AND A HOMOSEXUAL– THESE FOLKS CANT SPELL “GED” LET AONG GET ONE, SO THOSE BIG WORDS ARE GOING RIGHT OVER THEIR LITTLE TURBANED HEADS!

      In Afghanistan, while it seems true that Taliban did try to suppress forced same sex prostitution they did it for their own superstitious cult agenda. At the same time they carried out a murder campaign against same sex couples, killing them with great cruelty. ANY TIME A PEOPLE ARE DESCRIBED AS HAVING A “SUPERSTITIUOUS CULT AGENDA” ONE SHOULD BE WARY OF THEM- AND PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM THEM THINK WACO, JIM JONES, RELIGIOUS FANATICS…

      In Iran the ayatollahs régime has murdered (probably) thousands of gay men, again with great cruelty and after torturing them. http://www.irqr.net/

      Iraqi society has been thoroughly degraded and disrupted by the murder of over a million people in the American invasion and occupation. Jihadist shiite militia and sunni police, both armed and trained by the US are believed to have kidnapped, tortured and murdered thousands of GLBT folks in the last couple of years. http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com/

      The best thing we can do for our brothers and sisters in the region it to join with the antiwar movement in demanding the total, immediate and permanent withdrawal of US and satellite troops from the region. We should leave it to our brothers and sisters, to women, trade unions and students to solve the problems posed by bankrupt reactionary islamists and quisling collaborators like Karzi and Talabani. THEY ARE NOT MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS MY FRIEND, THEY ARE DARWINIAN WOOPSIES THAT CANNOT EVOLVE WITH CULTURES OF THE WORLD…THINK NEANDERTHALS ONOY WITH CEL PHONES AND BASIC CABLE. AND THE BEST THING WE CAN DO IS CUT THEIR FIGURATIVE LEGS OUT FROM UNDER THEM (MONEY, AID, ANYTHING THAT ENABLES THEM) AND KEEO THEM MIRED IN THEIR OWN FILTH UNTIL THEY CAN WAKE UP, GROW UP AND PLAY NICE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD.

      The recent events in Iran and the role of Iraqi oil unions show that they’re willing to do just that. OH, LIKE WHERE THE LADY GOT SHOT ON YOU TUBE? THAT WAS TAKING IT INTO YOUR OWN HANDS ALRIGHT.

      Read more: http://www.queerty.com/thousands-of-afghan-boys-are-being-forced-into-child-prostitution-and-the-perpetrators-are-proud-20100422/#comments#ixzz0lxevhze8

      Apr 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evan R
      Evan R

      Sure, I’ll be the prick. Why don’t we ask the boys what they think, instead of simply speaking for them? We can’t possibly assume that we’re ‘just right’ by relative virtue of our own practices. Enforcing that, just as we pretend to ‘enforce women’s rights’ and all the rest of the bullshit we spew to justify our invasion/occupation, merely accomplishes a physical manifestation of ignorance and racism.

      I don’t need to remind anybody here that the Greeks were fond of boys starting at about age 10 or 11, and yet we don’t indict our forefathers. We say “it was just the time”; we put in context. How can we strip any human action (no matter how despicable it seems to our eyes) of the context that we afford ourselves?
      This isn’t a justification of pedophilia, sexual slavery, or exploitation of any variety. It’s quite the opposite. I’m stating plainly that if we assign an entire people a subaltern status because some of them don’t meet our hypocritical standards of ‘right’, we’re exploiting a power relationship that will continue to destroy chances for peace in the region.

      Just my 2 cents.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Xtian99: You’re a hate filled bigot. You live in the same unreal world as Der Papenfueher and Ssempa except that you’re an islampphobic propagandist for the oil wars.

      What else is there to say?

      Apr 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Evan R: I don’t imagine the ‘boys’ have much of a say in the matter.

      Here are a couple of sober gay articles that’ll help explain what’s going on:

      http://www.advocate.com/Politics/Commentary/The_Dancing_Boys_of_Afghanistan/

      http://globalgayz.com/country/Afghanistan/view/AFG/gay-afghanistan-news-and-repor-3#article7

      Apr 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      @Baxter: Uh, no, I’m pretty sure that what “got us into 9/11″ was a mix of arrogant and exploitative foreign policy on ‘our’ part, and zealous religious extremism (applied with equal parts sincerity and cynicism) combined with an embittered sense of powerlessness.

      Those backwards motherfuckers didn’t fly planes into the WTC because we wanted *disengagement* from them; they did it because ‘we’ kept meddling with their affairs and their bronze-age dogma emboldened them to lash out the only way they felt they could against the “decadent infidels.” But build a high, thick wall around them and leave them alone within it- let them eat their dirt and fuck their goats and watch as their women and children flee for civilisation on the other side of the gates- and we could let them *have* their “way of life,” with the proviso that they don’t get to force it on outsiders who are content to progress and live under a regime of human rights.

      The academic in me- who’s studied history and politics and culture- concedes that “human rights” is ‘merely the latest thing’ in a long progression of relative ideological positions, and that objectively speaking it’s not more or less valid than what the Taliban or A-Q would choose for us. But y’know what? Given the real limitations of our species and how we’ll likely never achieve perfect objective relativism, and whereas we’re *inevitably* going to gravitate to one subjective preference or another… I’m quite comfortable siding with Human Rights and Liberal Republic (as in “the rule of the law,” not “the Republican party”). As objectively as I can see it, that’s human civilization’s best shot at “getting out alive”- certainly better than interminably abusing each other out over whose imaginary sky-deity is better. I hope that ultimately it’s ‘the winning side,’ and I defy anyone to propose a better side to be on for any human being who likes, to name a few: having rights, having the protection of law, having the intellectual freedom to believe what *evidence* (not someone else’s ‘faith’) tells you is true, and having human-serving technological advancement improve our material quality of life. Because the alternatives, as history *shows* us, are pretty fuckin’ grim.

      Apr 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      Oh my, so many ignorant people in the world, and I’m not referring just to the video…

      Afghanistan once was a prosperous country, as were most of the “developing” countries. These nations have been exploited to the fullest, leaving everyone in poverty, with very few choices. You see this happening in almost every poor country. Its not because of Islam or their “backwards” culture. Its turned into a means of survival. I’m not justifying it or saying its acceptable, I just think we should look at the broader picture, and not through an elitist Western lens.

      We’re not going to bring about change by yelling at people and telling them their culture and religion are backwards, or attempting to be saviors (as the colonizers did). Its important to actually realize why such conditions came about, rather than simply judge it.

      Yeah I sound like a total hippie…but whatevs. You know I’m right. :-)

      Apr 23, 2010 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evan R
      Evan R

      @Bill Perdue
      Thanks for the links, much appreciated.
      It’s worth noting that baccha bazi is nothing new, and can (imo) be considered a cultural artefat. However, the exploitation in the video goes well beyond traditional tolerances. It seems that an old practice that had some use has been coopted and warped by some abusive men.

      That said, look at the crowds at these parties. They’re not little. Nor, I’m betting, are they all engaged in the systemic exploitation that now surrounds baccha bazi. These ‘bystanders’ are probably enjoying it for what it was intended: admiration of the androgynous body.

      I look forward to getting a chance to read those articles.

      Apr 24, 2010 at 12:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken S
      Ken S

      @Jay: Understanding how things got to be bad is useful if you have a time-machine. If you don’t, you’re left with only the option to deal with what’s in front of you. Even if Afghanistan used to be at the forefront of civilisation, today it’s broken. It’s been broken for such a long time that brokenness has become deeply entrenched. The state of “normal” there is so irreconcilably at-odds with where the rest of the world is trying to go that something’s gotta give.

      When modern society is virtually unanimous in condemning- say, the suppression of women and the rape of children- and you’ve got a co-ordinated front resisting that paradigm (whether it’s a religious institution, or a significant population within a country, or whatever) one side of that disagreement or the other has to come out on top, nullifying the other. Some differences of opinion aren’t benign or harmless, and legitimizing the other side at all- letting them continue to prey on naive or bitter people with propaganda and radicalize them- leaves a festering wound, and perpetuates greater harm over time. It isn’t pretty but that’s the march of history for you. Sticking your head in the sand and saying “I’m okay, you’re okay” when someone wants to kill you isn’t enlightened. It’s suicide.

      Apr 24, 2010 at 3:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Xtian99
      Xtian99

      Re: Bill Perdue who posted
      “@Xtian99: You’re a hate filled bigot. You live in the same unreal world as Der Papenfueher and Ssempa except that you’re an islampphobic propagandist for the oil wars.”

      Lol- I love how beelding hearts always feel the need to invoke a “phobia” or “oil wars” blah blah blah and can never just entertain the fact that that ceratin things are OK to be sniffed at. If I am I am an islamophobe, I guess that makes you a pro-misoginit, pro-honor killing, proponent of institutionalized homphobia, and great support of terror and jihad as espoused in the Quoran?? Let’s celebrate this kind of cultural backwater by also denying gravity and returning to the good old days when the earth was flat!

      So silly to just label people islamaphobes – I’d despise any culture that has these same characteristics. But I suppose when your arguments are from-the-heart-and-not-the-mind, ( alla “oh the poosr little things) without thinking through the bigger picture, silly responses is what one excpects.

      Apr 26, 2010 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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