Monday, September 21, 2015

Learning Not To Impose Our Values On Other Cultures

Sep. 20, 2015 New York Times article:
KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.

It is a very troubling article.  Islam regards this as immoral, but it is widespread in Islamic societies.  A friend who served in Iraq with JAG, told me that a common expression among his Iraqi counterparts was: "Women are for babies, boys are for pleasure, goats are for emergencies."

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