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Posted in: Islamic Gender & Religious Apartheid, Arts, Film & Culture

Published on Apr 21, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Islamic Homosexual Pederasty and Afghanistan's "Dancing Boys"


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.

An Afghan dancing boy

"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.

And the people are so very poor and have so few options.

Bacha bazi (dancing boys) are taken and trained in singing and dancing when they are as young as six years old, more often when they are nine or ten. They wear women's clothing, women's jewelry, women's makeup, and are taught to dance with alluring "feminine" gestures. Here, we might call them "transvestites," but that would be an inaccurate comparison. These dancing boys are children, who are forced to dance and then have sex with men old enough to be their fathers and their grandfathers.

Afghan dancing boy with older man

Homosexual pederasty is epidemic in the Muslim world. Think ancient Greece (Alexander the Great marched on through Afghanistan clear to India); think Ottoman Empire Turkey; think Persia; think Saudi Arabia, where grown men still hold hands in public. The dancing boys are but one example or expression of it. Nevertheless, the phenomenon is hotly denied, and "homosexuality," as westerners understand it, is strictly forbidden and often savagely punished in Muslim countries. On camera, one man suggests that the practice was learned in Pakistan when Afghan warriors fled the Russian invasion. But homosexual pederasty may also be indigenous to Afghanistan.

The bacha bazi kind of homosexuality is strictly prison-sex: it is taken by force, and is strictly about money and power. (In prison, this translates into "protection.") The Afghan children have no choice but to make the best of it. Their lives are "ruined," as one boy said on camera. But, when they "age out," at eighteen, they hope to set up a stable of dancing boys of their own as the only or the best way to earn money.

Other than Radhika Coomaraswamy of UNICEF, we see no woman's face on camera in the Frontline documentary. We see Afghan women in chadors prostrate, begging, on the street; we see women in chadors scurrying by. Only once do we hear an Afghan woman's voice. It belongs to the mother of a murdered "dancing boy." She sits, in full, eerie chador, at home, right next to another naked-faced son, and talks to the naked-faced interviewer, the very brave Afghan journalist who made this film: London-based Najibullah Quraishi. (His producer is Jamie Doran). To his credit, with the help of a former warlord, Quraishi actually manages to rescue one very young boy and relocates both him and his family.

The other young sex slaves are left to their own devices. Perhaps UNICEF or even President Karzai will rescue them. (This is a bitter, heartbroken comment. Please don't think I'm holding my breath here).

Look: Wherever women are forced to wear chadors, burqas, niqab, be sure: That in addition to woman-abuse and woman-hatred, that children are also being abused. For men, especially warriors, who are brought up apart from women, taught to fear and despise women, their major erotic and social drives will be male-centric, not female-centric. Homosexual pederasty accompanies extreme gender apartheid in an extreme way.


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