Bacha bazi and cultural relativism

· Culture, Philosophy

There is a very real danger in insisting that Muslims assimilate into the American culture. I have always thought assimilation is best, when foreigners want to live permanently in Western culture, and I am still not oppposed to the practice.


However, we have to consider all perspectives when we analyze this issue. I have always subscribed to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers, who came up with the best form of government in the history of the world, in my opinion. I have had to let go of some assumptions over the years, meaning that I was convinced of certain things, which I know not to be true, based on my and others’ research.


One shock I received was when I realized that the United States was not founded as a Christian nation. In fact, although the Framers were certainly not Muslim, they believed that a Muslim had every right to be a citizen, just like a Christian, Jew, etc. They wanted complete separation of state and religion. It’s important that when we come across information that we initially find distasteful, that we do not reject it out of hand. We are under no obligation to believe what others are saying, even if the information they cite is found between the pages of a book; however, we should research for ourselves. If you read and I don’t, you hold complete power over me.


In a way, when Muslims practice their particular religious beliefs in America, that’s assimilation right there. Assimilation doesn’t mean changing your religion to Christianity when you become an American citizen or want to be a permanent resident. It means obeying American law, but worshipping as you choose.


Now the question becomes: What obligations do Americans (or Canadians!) have when we visit Eastern cultures? There is a practice called bacha bazi in Afghanistan. I have read that the Taliban banned it when it came to power. I have heard that both the Taliban and Pushtoon tribes perform this ritual, where young boys, normally between the ages of 10 and 15, dance for older or middle-aged men. After the dancing ends, many of these boys are tortured and passed around sexually.


What I’m about to write is the crux of this article. When American soldiers are in Afghanistan, they have been told not to intervene, due to the fact that this is a part of Afghan culture. So the question is: What obligation do American soldiers to stop this practice that so many people view as wrong and even evil? When in Rome, do as the Romans do, went one popular cry years ago. In the Bible, however, Jesus says that he who hurts a child, it would be better for him to have a millstone around his neck.


Some people hold the opinion that if a young boy is homosexual, he will enjoy the opportunity of having sex with multiple men in this manner. Others report that if a young man is discovered by the general community to have danced for older men in this fashion, that he will be shunned, and will find it difficult to marry and have a normal life. Not to mention the fact that these boys do not just have sex with older men; they suffer torture at the hands of at least some of the men who attend these festivities.


Given the fact that many view this practice as an abomination, should Americans intervene when they see this is going on? It occurs in Afghanistan out in the open, at least to a degree, although there is also a certain amount of hypocrisy, given that sharia law is the operative law in Afghanistan, and the torture of these teenaged boys is not in accordance with sharia law, because of the restrictions on homosexuality.


Hypocrisy, of course, is universal. Anyone who is familiar with the current American Election of 2016 knows that most or all of the candidates are largely hypocritical. Consider the situation of Justice Scalia’s death, how Democrats are suddenly shocked that anyone would filibuster a potential Supreme Court nominee, and how both parties do what is politically expedient and furthers the aim of the global elite, rather than actually obey overriding political principles.

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