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December 10, 2004

On Islamic Men, Madrassas, Little Boys, Open Secrets, and Terrorism

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

This is serious stuff. We may be getting to the bottom of how we ended up in a war on terrorism!

In Rusty's Jawa Report post on Madrassas in Pakistan being hit by sex abuse claims, he points to a BBC News (UK) article from Islamabad on child abuse in that country. If you think that the title of this post is inflamatory, it's not meant to be, rather, to advance the issue that there are dots to be connected and that the real issue isn't child abuse in Pakistan but pederesty in Islamic society. Here are is excerpt from the BBC article:

A Pakistani minister has revealed hundreds of cases of alleged child sex abuse at Islamic schools, or madrassas.

....There were 500 complaints this year of abuse allegedly committed by clerics, Aamer Liaquat Hussain, a minister in the religious affairs department, said. That compares with 2,000 last year, but as yet there have been no successful prosecutions, Mr Hussain told the BBC. The minister's revelations have sparked death threats and infuriated some religious political leaders. Mr Hussain said he had received death threats from clerics, but that he had done his job and his conscience was clear.

The BBC News article in which these excerpts appear is amazingly brief, especially considering the subject matter that is involved here. Were this story to be about clergy in America, you would see an exponentially greater amount of news coverage. But of course that's not the point here, at issue is the matter of whether or not pedersty, indeed child abuse, is tolerated to such degree that it is an open secret in Islamic society, and further, whether or not the Pakistani mandrasas are an exception to what is routine throughout Middle Eastern Islamic society.

To help us to get a better handle on this let's take a look at another article that originally appeared in The Boston Globe(source not available). This article is by Miranda Kennedy who is a journalist based in New Delhi and a Contributing Editor of The Old Town Review. She reports frequently for National Public Radio from across South Asia and from her article, "Open Secrets," which appeared in the Old Town Review, we'll look at the following excerpts.

In Pakistan, sex between men is strictly forbidden by law and religion. But even in the most conservative regions, it's also embedded in the society.

LAHORE. The first time Aziz, a lean, dark-haired 20-year-old in this bustling cultural capital, had sex with a man, he was a pretty, illiterate boy of 16. A family friend took him to his house, put on a Pakistani-made soft-porn video, and raped him. Now, says Aziz (who gives only his first name), he is "addicted" to sex with men, so he hangs around Lahore's red-light districts, getting paid a few rupees for sex. At night, he goes home to his parents and prays to Allah to forgive him.

In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, homosexuality is not only illegal, it is a crime punishable by whipping, imprisonment, or even death. But across all classes and social groups, men have sex with men. In villages throughout ; the country, young boys are often forcibly "taken" by older men, starting a cycle of abuse and revenge that social activists and observers say is the common pattern of homosexual sex in Pakistan.

Often these boys move to the cities and become prostitutes. Most people know it happens -- from the police to the wives of the men involved. Homosexuals in Pakistan walk a fine line between harsh legal and cultural prohibition and some form of unspoken social acceptance. "Islamic tradition frowns on but acknowledges male-male sex, and this plays a role in permitting clandestine sex so long as it is not allowed to interfere with family life, which is of paramount importance," the San Francisco-based sociologist Stephen O. Murray writes in "Sociolegal Control of Homosexuality: A Multi-Nation Comparison," a collection of scholarly essays published in 1997.

Further complicating matters, the most common form of male homosexuality in Pakistan, according to Murray, is pederasty, where an older man entices or coerces (sometimes forcibly) a younger boy into sex.....

So much for the current madrassa matter being an isolated incident or a new occurence. Now lets look at a FrontPagemagazine.com article from October 4, 2001 entitled "The Sexual Rage Behind Islamic Terror."

Throughout the Islamic Middle East, men and women are taught to be vehemently opposed to pleasure, especially of the sexual variety. Men are raised not only forbidden to touch women, but to even look at them. Sex before marriage is not just a sin -- but a criminal offence. It is punishable by a severe beating at best, and an execution at worst.

Socially segregated from women, Arab men succumb to homosexual behavior. But, interestingly enough, there is no word for "homosexual" in their culture in the modern Western sense. That is because having sex with boys, or with effeminate men, is seen as a social norm. Males serve as available substitutes for unavailable women. The male who does the penetrating, meanwhile, is not emasculated any more than if he had sex with a wife. The male who is penetrated is emasculated. The boy, however, is not, since it is rationalized that he is not yet a man.

In this culture, males sexually penetrating males becomes a manifestation of male power, conferring a status of hyper-masculinity. It is considered to have nothing to do with homosexuality. An unmarried man who has sex with boys is simply doing what men do. As the scholar Bruce Dunne has demonstrated, sex in Islamic societies is not about mutuality between partners, but about the adult male's achievement of pleasure through violent domination.

The problem is that trying to recover from sexual abuse, and to recapture one's own shattered masculinity, is quite an ordeal in a culture where women are hated and love is interpreted as hegemonic control.

With women out of touch - and out of sight -- until marriage, males experience pre-marital sex only in the confines of being with other males. Their sexual outlet mostly includes victimizing younger males - just the way they were victimized.

In all of these circumstances, the idea of love is removed from men's understanding of sexuality. Like the essence of Arab masculinity, it is reduced to hurting others by violence. A gigantic rupture develops between men and women, where no harmony, affection or equality is allowed to exist. In relationships between men, meanwhile, affection, solidarity and empathy are left out of the picture. They threaten the hyper-masculine order.

If all this sounds a little sick to you at this point, you are going to love the next excerpts from the same article:

With women out of touch - and out of sight -- until marriage, males experience pre-marital sex only in the confines of being with other males. Their sexual outlet mostly includes victimizing younger males - just the way they were victimized.

In all of these circumstances, the idea of love is removed from men's understanding of sexuality. Like the essence of Arab masculinity, it is reduced to hurting others by violence. A gigantic rupture develops between men and women, where no harmony, affection or equality is allowed to exist. In relationships between men, meanwhile, affection, solidarity and empathy are left out of the picture. They threaten the hyper-masculine order.

It is excruciating to imagine the sexual confusion, humiliation, and repression that evolve in the mindsets of males in this culture. But it is no surprise that many of these males find their only avenue for gratification in the act of humiliating the foreign "enemy," whose masculinity must be violated at all costs - as theirs once was.

Violating the masculinity of the enemy necessitates the dishing out of severe violence against him. In the recent terrorist strikes, therefore, violence against Americans served as a much-needed release of the terrorists' bottled-up sexual rage. Moreover, it served as a desperate and pathological testament of the re-masculinization of their emasculated selves.

Now , if I get this right, there seems to be a pattern here. I've said this before but it's worth repeating, I am a hard-science kind of guy, not a very touchy-feely fellow(don't try to go anywhere with this) that cares much about a terrorist's sensitivities, especially if  these articles are accurately portraying the radical Islamic male  and his society. So don't expect me to get this exactly right, besides, I'm from South Georgia and grew up on a farm, am not too bright, and certainly not very versed on psychological and social issues in American society, let alone Muslim societies.

But in the FrontPageMagazine.com article it sounds to me like an awful lot of Islamic men in Middle Eastern societies make it with little boys because the women are unavailable for whatever reason, that this then makes them mad as hell, so much so that they can't take it anymore, so they then go out and blow themselves up to kill people that they never met, and the fact that they didn't get womanly love when they were younger makes them all the more hateful and violent.

Oh. I think I get it. Damn, I shutter to think what Jawa Report could do with this!

Update
: Inasmuch as at least one reader seemed a little upset with this post, be advised that it is not meant to be homophobic in any way whatsoever, nor to imply that all homosexuals are pedophiles. The post attempts to address the serious issue of child abuse in some Islamic societies while poking fun at terrorists. The tool used here was the address of a serious topic but then use that lead-in to belittle thugs who abuse and committ violence against others pretending that they are men. Yes, some license was taken. Apparently it is having it's intended effect judging from my emails. Ergo I am damned well going to keep this post up.

Posted by Hyscience at December 10, 2004 6:07 PM

Suddenly, the who 72 virgins fixation seems to make more sense.

Posted by: Gordon at December 11, 2004 10:24 AM



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