Sodomy and Sufism in Afgaynistan

By Spengler / Asia Times (thanks to all who sent this in)

Image thanks to TT

Yet another report on the culture of child rape in Afghanistan:

Social scientists attached to the Second Marine Battalion in Afghanistan last year circulated a startling report on Pashtun sociology, in the form of a human terrain report on male sexuality among America’s Afghan allies. The document, made available by military sources, is not classified, just disturbing. Don’t ask, don’t tell doesn’t begin to qualify the problem. These are things you didn’t want to know, and regret having heard. The marines got their money’s worth from their Human Terrain adjuncts, but the report might have considered whether male pedophilia in Afghanistan has a religious dimension as well as a cultural one. I will explain why below.

Most Pashtun men, Human Terrain Team AF-6 reports, engage in sex with men – boys – in fact, the vast majority of their sexual contacts are with males. “A culturally-contrived homosexuality [significantly not termed as such by its practitioners] appears to affect a far greater population base then some researchers would argue is attributable to natural inclination. Some of its root causes lie in the severe segregation of women, the prohibitive cost of marriage within Pashtun tribal codes, and the depressed economic situation into which young Pashtun men are placed.”


The human terrain team responded to scandalous interactions between Pashtun fighters and North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops, some reported with hilarity by the media. An article in the Scotsman of May 24, 2002, reported, for example: “In Bagram, British marines returning from an operation deep in the Afghan mountains spoke last night of an alarming new threat – being propositioned by swarms of gay local farmers. An Arbroath marine, James Fletcher, said: ‘They were more terrifying than the al-Qaeda. One bloke who had painted toenails was offering to paint ours. They go about hand in hand, mincing around the village.’ While the marines failed to find any al-Qaeda during the seven-day Operation Condor, they were propositioned by dozens of men in villages the troops were ordered to search.”

Another interviewee in the article, a marine in his 20s, stated, “It was hell. Every village we went into we got a group of men wearing makeup coming up, stroking our hair and cheeks and making kissing noises.”

The trouble, the researchers surmise, is “Pashtun society’s extremely limited access to women,” citing a Los Angeles Times interview with a young Pashtun identified as Daud. He only has sex with men, explaining: “I like boys, but I like girls better. It’s just that we can’t see the women to see if they are beautiful. But we can see the boys, and so we can tell which of them is beautiful.”

Many of the Pashtuns interviewed allow “that homosexuality is indeed prohibited within Islam, warranting great shame and condemnation. However, homosexuality is then narrowly and specifically defined as the love of another man. Loving a man would therefore be unacceptable and a major sin within this cultural interpretation of Islam, but using another man for sexual gratification would be regarded as a foible -undesirable but far preferable to sex with a ineligible woman, which in the context of Pashtun honor, would likely result in issues of revenge and honor killings.”

How prevalent are homosexual relations among Pashtuns? The researchers note that “medics treated an outbreak of gonorrhea among the local national interpreters on their camp. Approximately 12 of the nearly 20 young male interpreters present in the camp had contracted the disease, and most had done so anally. This is a merely anecdotal observation and far too small of a sample size to make any generalizations regarding the actual prevalence of homosexual activity region-wide. However, given the difficulty in procuring such data, it may serve as some indicator.”

Through Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel The Kite Runner, Western audiences caught a glimpse of what the military team calls “an openly celebrated cultural tradition. Kandahar’s long artistic and poetic tradition idolizes the pre-pubescent ‘beardless boy’ as the icon of physical beauty. Further, even the newly re-emerging musical nightlife of southern Afghan cities idolizes pre-pubescent boy performers, whose star status lasts only as long as their voices remain immature.”

“Kandahar’s Pashtuns have been notorious for their homosexuality for centuries, particularly their fondness for naive young boys. Before the Taliban arrived in 1994, the streets were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, flaunting their relationship. It is called the homosexual capital of South Asia. Such is the Pashtun obsession with sodomy – locals tell you that birds fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their posterior – that the rape of young boys by warlords was one of the key factors in Mullah Omar mobilizing the Taliban,” the report adds.

Although the Taliban discouraged open display, it “should not be viewed as free of the culture and tradition of homosexuality of the Pashtun world of which it is a part” the authors add.

“Men who take on a halekon [young male lover] often attempt to integrate the boy into their families by marrying him to a daughter when the boy is no longer young enough to play the ‘beardless’ role. This maintains the love relationship between the father and son-in-law which inevitably makes difficult the establishment of a normal relationship with the wife,” the human terrain Team explains.

The team’s results are striking, but they place too much emphasis on the weirdness of Pashtun tradition and give too little attention to the broader role of homosexuality in Islamic (and especially Sufi) culture. What scholars now consider the Golden Age of Islamic love poetry, the Persian high middle ages, made homosexual pederasty the normative mode of love. While Petrarch wrote sonnets to Laura and Dante longed for Beatrice, their counterparts in the canon of Islamic poetry, Hafez and Rumi, wrote of their infatuation with young boys.

Afghanistan’s own Sufi poet was the 17th-century bard Abdul Rahman Baba, of whom little is known except that he is said to have eloped with a young boy named Mujnoon. He is generally portrayed as a premature flower-child dedicated to peace and love; that must be what the Taliban thought as well, for they placed a bomb in his tomb in March 2009. According to the limited available criticism of Rahman’s work, his Pashto poems are closely related to the Persian style of Rumi.

The prevalence of homosexual pedophilia in classical Islamic poetry, Persian as well as Pashto, suggests that the human terrain team may have missed an important dimension, namely the religious. In a study entitled Sufism, Sodomy and Satanpublished in this space August 12, 2008, I argued:

Sufi pedophilia cannot be dismissed as a remnant of the old tribal practices that Islam often incorporated, for example, female genital mutilation. Genital mutilation is a pre-Islamic practice unknown in the ancient and modern West. Even though some Muslim authorities defend it on the basis of Hadith, no one has ever claimed that it offered a path to enlightenment. Sadly, pedophiles are found almost everywhere. In its ascendancy, Sufism made a definitive spiritual experience out of a practice considered criminally aberrant in the West. But pederasty as a spiritual exercise is not essentially different in character from the furtive practices of Western perverts. As the psychiatrists explain, pederasty is an expression of narcissism, the love of an idealized youthful self-image.

All forms of contemplative mysticism involve the danger that the object of adoration into which one dissolves might turn out to be one’s self. It sounds well and good to seek God in the all, that is, no place in particular. The trouble is that if one tries to dissolve one’s self into the all, one’s self becomes part of the all. The lover cannot distinguish himself from the all. The self and the all are the same, and one loves one’s self. There is no other in Sufism, only your own ego staring back in the carnival mirror of mysticism. The adept does not worship a God who is wholly other – YHWH of the Hebrew Bible or Jesus of the Gospels – but a younger and prettier version of himself. In that respect, pedophilia in Afghanistan may have a distinctly religious motivation.

5 thoughts on “Sodomy and Sufism in Afgaynistan”

  1. Wouldn’t it be great if they actually applied their shariah to the letter and executed themselves for homosexuality??

  2. As long as they’re married they don’t consider sex with other men homosexual activity.

    Homosexuality and pedophilia: Pashtun Muslims in southern Afghanistan.

    “Don’t ask, don’t tell” creates problems…

    US Military Covered-Up Open Pedophilia In Afghanistan

    Afghan sex practices “concern” U.S., British forces

    Z secret note:

    This is a very big deal in America, where pedophiles are prosecuted as criminals because they are.

    This is yet another disgrace for the US military. (Pravda)

    Along with Abu Ghraib, and the arrest of Manning, this report displays how sickening perverts have infiltrated our government, and now they want to infiltrate our military with more pedophiles and queers until it has been totally corrupted.

    By: Sara A. Carter 12/20/10 8:05 PM
    National security correspondent

    A document released by WikiLeaks described efforts by high-ranking Afghan officials to quash reports of police officers and other Afghans arrested for “purchasing a service from a child.”
    The leaked diplomatic cable quoted former Minister of the Interior Hanif Atmar’s concern that publicity about the arrests, which involved the hiring of “dancing boys,” would “endanger lives.”

    The author of the diplomatic cable fretted that the case would be “blown out of proportion, an outcome that would not be good for either the U.S. or Afghanistan.”

    The vast gulf between U.S. and Afghan attitudes about homosexuality and pedophilia has generated concern among U.S. advisers in Afghanistan since the American presence there began to expand.

    In late 2009, U.S. and British forces ordered a study of Pashtun male sexuality. They were worried that homosexuality and pedophilia among Afghan security forces and tribes could create “cultural misunderstanding” with allied troops (Z: some of whom still have morals and a conscience), according to a copy of the report obtained by The Washington Examiner.

    The study, requested by 2nd Marine Expeditionary Battalion along with British forces in Lashkar Gah, was conducted by members of one of the Defense Department’s Human Terrain Teams stationed in Afghanistan. The report was authored by team member Anna Maria Cardinalli, who said the goal was to learn how to advise “U.S. and British service members who report encounters with men displaying apparently homosexual tendencies. These service members are frequently ‘confused’ [by] this behavior.”

    The report described unease by U.S. Marines and British soldiers who felt they were being propositioned, or who were outraged by apparent acts of pedophilia by Afghan soldiers and police. It documented one case in which 12 of 20 Pashtun interpreters working with one U.S. Army unit had contracted gonorrhea from homosexual encounters.

    Troops interviewed by The Examiner say they are frequently forced to deal with a radically different attitude toward sex with male youths by Afghan security forces.

    “I know Marines and soldiers who have refused to work with Afghan military or police,” said one U.S. military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s not about homosexuality as much as it is about the young boys. Some of them like to show pictures on their cell phone — that should be illegal. Some of the Afghans have their own young boys they use for sexual purposes and we can’t do anything about it.”

    Cardinalli told The Examiner by e-mail that she is writing a book about widespread acceptance of male homosexuality among Pashtuns, a culture where far fewer opportunities for premarital heterosexual encounters exist.

    “To dismiss the existence of this dynamic out of desire to avoid Western discomfort is to risk failing to comprehend an essential social force underlying Pashtun culture which can potentially effect the success” of the U.S. effort there, Cardinalli wrote in the report.

    An American military official who works closely with Afghan security forces called the discomfort among U.S. and British troops “the elephant in the closet that no one’s talking about, but needs to.”

    The study makes a number of observations about the extreme segregation of women in Pashtun culture.

    It discusses the prohibitive cost of marriage within Pashtun tribes and the long-standing traditions in which boys are appreciated for their physical beauty and apprenticed to older men to learn a trade at an early age.

    “Homosexuality is strictly prohibited in Islam, but cultural interpretations of Islamic teaching prevalent in Pashtun areas of southern Afghanistan tacitly condone it in comparison to heterosexual relationships,” the study states.

    For a male to have sex with a boy is considered a “foible,” the report said. By contrast, having sex with an “ineligible woman” would set up “issues of revenge and honor killings.”

    Years of living under that cultural construct have greatly altered sexual attitudes, the study said. “One of the country’s favorite sayings is ‘women are for children, boys are for pleasure,” the report noted.

    The study said the prevailing sexual attitudes in some parts of Afghanistan are creating a cycle damaging to boys and young men.

    “There is frequently the risk that Pashtun boys will face a set of experiences that mold their beliefs regarding sexuality as adults in ways that are ultimately damaging, both to themselves and to Afghan society,” the report concludes. “It appears that this set of experiences becomes cyclical, affecting generations, and that this cycle that has existed long enough to affect the underpinnings of Afghan culture itself.”…british-forces

    Pashtun Sexuality

    A popular poem by Syed Abdul Khaliq Agha, who died last year, notes Kandahar’s special reputation. ‘Kandahar has beautiful halekon,’ the poem goes. They have black eyes and white cheeks.16

  3. If little kids are constantly raped it’s no wonder they turn into disgusting cretins later on. I’m not making excuses for them, I’m just following the hateful dots of islam.

  4. Paedophilia ‘culturally accepted in south Afghanistan’


    British forces were advised by a military study that paedophilia is widespread and culturally accepted in southern Afghanistan.

    Older, powerful men boosted their social status by keeping boys as sexual playthings and the practice was celebrated in song and dance, a military study claimed.

    British officers in Helmand requested the study to help them understand the sexual behaviour of locals and Afghan comrades after young soldiers became uneasy they were being propositioned.
    American social scientists employed to help troops understand the local culture reported that homosexual sex was widespread among the Pashtun ethnic group in southern Afghanistan.
    Strict separation of men and women, coupled with poverty and the significant expense of getting married, contributed to young men turning to each other for sexual companionship.
    “To dismiss the existence of this dynamic out of desire to avoid western discomfort is to risk failing to comprehend an essential social force underlying Pashtun culture,” the report said.

    The study, called ‘Pashtun Sexuality’, said that as well as willing sex between young men, “boys are appreciated for physical beauty and apprenticed to older men for their sexual initiation”.
    The practice of ‘bache bazi’ or boy play, is known throughout Afghanistan, but is particularly renowned in the city of Kandahar next to Helmand, where prepubescent boys are widely admired.
    Western soldiers often report feeling unease at the attentions of their Afghan comrades, who are affectionate with each other and sometimes wear make-up.
    British troops have also talked of their disgust at police or militias keeping young boys as hangers on.
    Anna Maria Cardinalli, author of the report, said British officers requested the research in the summer of 2009 when she worked with them in Lashkar Gah.
    She said: “They were having young men who were beginning to feel uncomfortable because they felt they were being approached.” She said the study gave no advice about what action troops should take if they confronted paedophilia.
    A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “Afghanistan is a sovereign nation with its own law under which the sexual abuse of children is illegal.
    “British forces working as part the wider [coalition] force continue to work with and assist the Afghan National Security Forces, including the Afghan National Army and Afghan Police, to ensure that the rule of law in Afghanistan is adhered to and upheld.”

Comments are closed.