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Afghanistan’s “Dancing Boys”

Posted By Phyllis Chesler On April 22, 2010 @ 12:02 am In FrontPage | 30 Comments

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Last week, in Quetta, Pakistan, a homicide bomber attacked a prominent Shiite bank manager—and when his friends and relatives followed him to the hospital emergency room, another bomber attacked them, killing eight. The police assume that this was a “sectarian” (Muslim Sunni vs Muslim Shia) attack. This is nothing new; this is the template, the pattern. For example, also in 2009, in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, a Shiite Muslim leader was shot down; the next day, at his funeral, a homicide bomber killed himself and 28 mourners. Again, the police described this as “sectarian” violence. In 2008, in the same town, after the shooting death of a Shiite Muslim cleric, both the hospital and the funeral were subsequently attacked either by a homicide bomber or by a “planted” device. These Muslims take no prisoners. Yesterday, the deputy mayor of Kandahar, in Afghanistan (123 miles away from Quetta), was shot to death while he was praying in a mosque.

What mercy might such people show to infidels, women, or children, including their own?

None. None at all. Westerners are so confused about this—not only because they are brainwashed and do not want to be called “racists,” but also because these people tend to have such charming and “sincere” faces.

Last night, I watched the saddest little movie, a brave Frontline documentary about the “Bacha Bazi,” the underage “dancing boys” of Afghanistan. These children are sex slaves to older, powerful Afghan men–in this instance, former Northern Alliance warlords, who have purchased them from their impoverished families or, as orphans, simply taken them off the street. When they try to escape, they are found and punished—or they are murdered.

“Dagastir,” a former Northern Alliance warlord, who today has hundreds of police officers at his disposal, has an impassive, even a kind face. He does not look or sound ashamed or guilty about what he does. Yes, of course, he is married and has two young sons.

Human Rights Watch, cited by Amnesty International, first broke this story in 1997. They cited it as a Taliban-abuse. I write about this in my book The Death of Feminism. Now UNICEF says that this practice “has to be eradicated.” The documentary narrative admits that, although such sex slavery is illegal, the police will not make arrests, and that the rare jail sentence is quickly commuted. The police themselves often comprise the all-male audiences who enjoy the dancing boy performances.

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