@ No Mosque money



Dec. 6, 2010

Citibank is suing the developer of the proposed Ground Zero mosque to recover some $100,000 in overdue credit charges.

Not to worry, though, says Sharif El-Gamal — getting yourself sued, he alleges, is a way to get “financial institutions” to “restructure debt.”

Sounds a little loosey-goosey to us — and certainly not a practice that’s appropriate when tax dollars are involved.

Which, as chance would have it, is cause for concern: It seems that El-Gamal and mosque co-developer Imam Feisal Rauf have applied for some $5 million in grants from a fund set up with federal post-9/11 money meant for downtown cultural projects.

Sharif El-Gamal
AP – Sharif El-Gamal

On its face, the use of federal funds for this project would be the height of irony. Picture it: an Islamic center hard by Ground Zero — the very site where Islamists struck Americans on 9/11 — built in part with post-9/11 money from . . . Americans.

Heck, if you’re going to rub your victims’ noses in the dirt, why not use their money to do it?

Could there be any more reason to oppose this project?

Well, yes: See above, defaulting on loans as a means of forcing the renegotiation of terms.

This isn’t to say that the developers don’t have the right to apply for federal money.

But the decision-makers have every right to turn it down flat.

Which they need to do.

Then again, who are the decision-makers? Turns out it’s those rocket scientists at the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. — i.e., the folks who still haven’t managed to tear down the old Deutsche Bank building, which was ruined almost 10 years ago in the strike on the World Trade Center. Uh-oh.

Those who back the mosque, like Mayor Bloomberg, argue that supporting it is necessary to show tolerance for Islam and a commitment to constitutional freedoms of religion and speech.

But the mosque debate has never been about that. Rather, it’s been about the intent of the project — ostensibly, to foster greater understanding of Islam and improve ties between cultures.

Fact is, everything its backers have done to ram this project through — from siting it near Ground Zero to this latest attempt to use 9/11 funds for, among other things, Arabic courses — gives the lie to that goal.

If these folks get even one dime of US taxpayer funding, Americans will be taken for fools — yet again.

If they don’t find themselves in court first, as El-Gamal seeks to “renegotiate” terms.


Minorities Under Islam @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt6niIvYiH0

Norway Refuses Mosque https://honestreporting.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/norway-refuses-to-approve-the-mosque/

What they said on conversion 

By MSN Menon


The argument for conversion never ceases in India. This is because Hindus are tolerant. But how tolerant can we be when Hinduism is called a religion of the Devil? I thought that the correspondence between Gandhiji and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur will shake the certainties of those who argue for the superiority of their the faith.

RAJKUMARI Amrit Kaur was a Christian by birth (Catholic) and a close friend of Gandhiji. It was natural that she exchanged views on Christianity with Gandhiji, perhaps the most knowledgeable man on Christianity in the Congress Party. Gandhiji admired Jesus, but he was a fierce opponent of conversion of Hindus to Christianity. According to him, Hindus were getting denationalised in the process of conversion. He says: “As I wander about throughout the length and breadth of India I see many Indian Christians almost ashamed of their birth, certainly of their ancestral religion. He was emphatic that “conversion does not mean denationalisation.” More need be said on why Hindus object to conversion.

Rajkumari once wrote to Gandhiji on why she objected to conversion. She says: “To me conversion or the desire to impel another person to change his faith has always savoured of an arrogance, tantamount to a violent turn of mind, which must surely be against that very doctrine of love, for which I believe Gandhiji lived and died.

She says, the Christian missionaries have wronged the Indian Christians in more ways than one. Many converts have been denationalised; e.g. even their names have been changed to those of Europeans. They have been told that there is no true light to be found in the religion of their ancestors.” In order to close the ranks of the Indian Christians, they were told they would be massacred when the British left India. Not this alone, she bemourn that the West planted seeds of its own sectarian strife in India. No wonder, she says, it had become the cause of strife among the Indian Christians. She points out that “the taint of untouchability in Hinduism has been exploited to the extent of attempted mass conversion to “so-called” Christianity. I say “so-called” advisedly because I know that not one of those poor people to whom I have spoken-and I have spoken to many-has been able to tell me the spiritual implications of their change of faith.”

“That he is equally ignorant of the faith of his forefathers … does not mean to me to be ample reason for transplanting him on alien soil where he can find no roots.” She is firmly of the opinion that the “spiritually minded intelligentsia of Indian Christians have to evolve for themselves a religion which will be purged of the impurities that exist in institutional Christianity as it stands today.” What is more, they will have to purify their own hearts of the arrogance that denies salvation to all who do not happen to be labelled “Christian.”

Rajkumari asks: “Are we not all Hindus inasmuch as we are all the children of Hindus?”

At the end, she invites Gandhiji to help Indian Christians to realise the message of Jesus. “You can” she assures him “because you have drawn inspiration from Jesus’ undying teachings as embodied in the Sermon on the Mount. They assuredly stands in having guidance, she pleads.

In reply, Gandhiji says: “I do not feel competent to give advice to Indian Christians… I am on safer ground when I say that there is a room enough in Hinduism for Jesus and Mohammed, Zoroaster and Moses.” He says religions are like flowers in a garden, that “it is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversion after the style that goes on in India today.”

Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu, he asks, when he should be satisfied if the Hindu is a good and godly man?

“Insistence” he says “on a particular form of religion may be a potent cause for violent quarrels, leading to bloodshed and disbelief in God.

An English lady, who read the Gandhiji-Amrit Kaur correspondence, wrote to her saying that “the work of the missionaries was all wrong.” (She was associated with the missionary work in India) She was also wondering “if we the British people had any right to be ruling India.” At the end she says “what you said needs saying by someone who is a Christian.”

HATE INDIA BRIGADEhttp://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=374&page=5



Refuse to approve the mosque one million

Mona Grivi Norman- October 19,2010

Jonas Gahr Store will prevent Saudi Arabia to finance mosques in Norway as long as it is not allowed to build churches there.

Saudi government and wealthy individuals want to build mosques for tens of millions in Norway.

It has the full right under Norwegian laws on financial support to religious communities. But the gifts in the millions, there is a proviso that the Norwegian government approves support.

Foreign Ministry refuses not only to approve mosque contributions. In a response to the Islamic Center Tawfiiq MFA writing that it would be “paradoxical and unnatural if it was given approval for funding from sources in a country where it does not open for religious freedom.”

– We could have said no, the principle does not give UD such approvals. But when we asked, we use the opportunity to add that an approval would be paradoxical since it is a crime in Saudi Arabia to establish Christian communities, “said Jonas Gahr Store told VG.

Equal Treatment

State Secretary Espen Barth Eide, visiting Saudi Arabia today, and will take up the allowance:

– I understand that many of my European colleagues have the same problem, and Norway will take the matter up in the Council of Europe, says the Minister.

Could it mean a restriction of the ability to provide financial support to religious communities?

– There will be a parliamentary debate and the government may have to take.

The answer from UD is Tawfiiq Islamic Center, but the Minister said that the religious community Alnor that will build the mosque in Tromsø with the support of a Saudi Arabian businessman, will have an identical response.

– We have freedom of religion

The last week has the newspaper Nordlys written an article series about Alnor with message as “the Muslim leader of Tromsø linked to terrorist networks” and “Islamic fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia sponsoring the mosque in Tromsø.”

– Is that the direction of Saudi Islam, wahabisme, which is too controversial in Norway?

– I have noticed that the Saudi direction has a profile view of Islam, but I will not be the judge of the schools or the directions of Islam that establish themselves in Norway. We have freedom of religion. This is about the laws that exist in the country where the money comes from, “said Minister of VG.

Board of Tawfiiq Islamic Center does not want discussion of the matter, or to give any comments, said attorney Shazad Nazir on behalf of the church.

** This page has been translated from Norwegian to English

From the heart of a Muslim
By Tawfik Hamid

I was born a Muslim and lived all my life as a follower of Islam.

After the barbaric terrorist attacks done by the hands of my fellow Muslims everywhere on this globe, and after the too many violent acts by Islamists in many parts of the world, I feel responsible as a Muslim and as a human being, to speak out and tell the truth to protect the world and Muslims as well from a coming catastrophe and war of civilizations.

I have to admit that our current Islamic teaching creates violence and hatred toward Non-Muslims.

We Muslims are the ones who need to change. Until now we have accepted polygamy, the beating of women by men, and killing those who convert from Islam to other religions.

We have never had a clear and strong stand against the concept of slavery or wars, to spread our religion and to subjugate others to Islam and force them to pay a humiliating tax called Jizia. We ask others to respect our religion while all the time we curse non-Muslims loudly (in Arabic) in our Friday prayers in the Mosques.

What message do we convey to our children when we call the Jews “Descendants of the pigs and monkeys”.. Is this a message of love and peace, or a message of hate?

I have been into churches and synagogues where they were praying for Muslims. While all the time we curse them, and teach our generations to call them infidels, and to hate them.

We immediately jump in a ‘knee jerk reflex’ to defend Prophet Mohammed when someone accuses him of being a pedophile while, at the same time, we are proud with the story in our Islamic books, that he married a young girl seven years old (Aisha) when he was above 50 years old.

I am sad to say that many, if not most of us, rejoiced in happiness after September 11th and after many other terror attacks.

Muslims denounce these attacks to look good in front of the media, but we condone the Islamic terrorists and sympathise with their cause. Till now our ‘reputable’ top religious authorities have never issued a Fatwa or religious statement to proclaim Bin Laden as an apostate, while an author, like Rushdie, was declared an apostate who should be killed according to Islamic Shariia law just for writing a book criticizing Islam.

Muslims demonstrated to get more religious rights as we did in France to stop the ban on the Hejab (Head Scarf), while we did not demonstrate with such passion and in such numbers against the terrorist murders.

It is our absolute silence against the terrorists that gives the energy to these terrorists to continue doing their evil acts. We Muslims need to stop blaming our problems on others or on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. As a matter of honesty, Israel is the only light of democracy, civilization, and human rights in the whole Middle East .

We kicked out the Jews with no compensation or mercy from most of the Arab countries to make them “Jews-Free countries” while Israel accepted more than a million Arabs to live there, have its nationality, and enjoy their rights as human beings. In Israel , women can not be beaten legally by men, and any person can change his/her belief system with no fear of being killed by the Islamic law of ‘Apostasy,’ while in our Islamic world people do not enjoy any of these rights.. I agree that the ‘Palestinians’ suffer, but they suffer because of their corrupt leaders and not because of Israel .

It is not common to see Arabs who live in Israel leaving to live in the Arab world. On the other hand, we used to see thousands of Palestinians going to work with happiness in Israel , its ‘enemy’. If Israel treats Arabs badly as some people claim, surely we would have seen the opposite happening.

We Muslims need to admit our problems and face them. Only then we can treat them and start a new era to live in harmony with human mankind. Our religious leaders have to show a clear and very strong stand against polygamy, pedophilia, slavery, killing those who convert from Islam to other religions, beating of women by men, and declaring wars on non-Muslims to spread Islam.

Then, and only then, do we have the right to ask others to respect our religion. The time has come to stop our hypocrisy and say it openly: ‘We Muslims have to Change’.

Also Read:

Making of Unbeliever @



What Non-Christians Want Christians To Hear

John Shore

By way of researching a book of mine (“I’m OK – You’re Not: The Message We’re Sending Nonbelievers and Why We Should Stop), I posted a notice on Craigslist sites all over the country asking non-Christians to send me any short, personal statement they would like Christians to read.

“Specifically,” I wrote, “I’d like to hear how you feel about being on the receiving end of the efforts of Christian evangelicals to convert you.” (To that I added, “I want to be very clear that this is not a Christian-bashing book; it’s coming from a place that only means well for everyone. Thanks.”)

Within three days, I had in my inbox over 300 emails from non-Christians across the country. Reading them was one of the more depressing experiences of my life. I had expected it to be a message of anger, but if you boiled down to one the overall sentiment most often expressed in the nonbelievers’ statements, it would be this: Why do Christians hate us so much?

Below is a pretty random sample of the statements non-Christians sent me. If you’re a Christian, they make for a mighty saddening read. Or they certainly should, anyway.

“The main thing that baffles and angers me about Christians is how they can understand so little about human nature that when, in their fervor to convert another person, they tell that person (as they inevitably do, in one way or another), ‘You’re bad, and wrong, and evil,’ they actually expect that person to agree with them. It pretty much guarantees that virtually the only people Christians can ever realistically hope to convert are those with tragically low self-esteem.”– E.S., Denver

“I feel that Christians have got it all wrong; it seems to me that they’ve created the very thing Jesus was against: Separatism.”– T. O., Denver

“I am often distressed at the way some Christians take as a given that Christians and Christianity define goodness. Many of we non-Christians make a practice of doing good; we, too, have a well-developed ethical system, and are devoted to making the world a better place. Christians hardly have a monopoly on what’s right, or good, or just.”– C.R., Seattle

“Christians seem to have lost their focus on Jesus’ core message: ‘Love the Lord your god with all your heart and with all your soul, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.’”– R.M., Tacoma, WA

“I have no problem whatsoever with God or Jesus – only Christians. It’s been my experience that most Christians are belligerent, disdainful and pushy.” — D.B., Atlanta

“Whenever I’m approached by an evangelist – by a Christian missionary – I know I’m up against someone so obsessed and narrowly focused that it will do me absolutely no good to try and explain or share my own value system. I never want to be rude to them, of course, but never have any idea how to respond to their attempts to convert me; in short order, I inevitably find myself simply feeling embarrassed–first for them, and then for us both. I’m always grateful when such encounters conclude.”– K.C., Fresno, CA.

“I don’t know whether or not most of the Christians I come across think they’re acting and being like Jesus was – but if they do, they need to go back to their Bibles, and take a closer look at Jesus.” — L.B., Phoenix

“I grew up Jewish in a Southern Baptist town, where I was constantly being told that I killed Christ, ate Christian babies, and was going to hell. So I learned early that many Christians have – or sure seem to have – no love in their hearts at all. It also seems so odd to me that Christians think that if I don’t accept their message my ears and heart are closed, because it seems to me like they have excessively closed ears and hearts to anyone else’s spiritual message and experience. They seem to have no sense of the many ways in which God reaches out to everyone. As far as I’ve ever known, Christians are narrow in their sense of God, fairly fascistic in their thinking, and extremely egotistical in thinking God only approves of them.”– B.P., Houston

“I wish Christians would resist their aggressive impulses to morph others into Christians. Didn’t Jesus preach that we should all love one another?”– M.G., Shoreline, WA

“I’m frequently approached by Christians of many denominations who ask whether I’ve accepted Christ as my savior. When I have the patience, I politely tell them that I’m Jewish. This only makes them more aggressive; they then treat me like some poor lost waif in need of their particular brand of salvation. They almost act like salespeople working on commission: If they can save my soul, then they’re one rung closer to heaven. It’s demeaning. I always remain polite, but encounters like these only show disrespect and sometimes outright intolerance for my beliefs and my culture. In Judaism, we do not seek to convert people. That is because we accept that there are many paths to God, and believe that no one religion can lay sole claim to the truth or to God’s favor. Each person is free to find his or her own way. To Christians I would say: Practice your religion as you wish. There is no need to try and influence others. If your religion is a true one, people will come to it on their own.”– M.S., Honolulu

“When did it become that being a Christian meant being an intolerant, hateful bigot? I grew up learning the positive message of Christ: Do well and treat others with respect, and your reward will be in heaven. Somehow, for a seemingly large group of Christians, that notion has gone lost: It has turned into the thunders and lights of the wrath of God, and into condemning everyone who disagrees with them to burning in the flames of hell. Somehow, present-day Christians forgot about turning the other cheek, abandoned the notion of treating others like they would like to be treated themselves; they’ve become bent on preaching, judging, and selfishly attempting to save the souls of others by condemning them. What happen to love? To tolerance? To respect?”–S.P., Nashville

“There are about a million things I’d like to say to Christians, but here’s the first few that come to mind: Please respect my right to be the person I’ve chosen to become. Worship, pray and praise your God all you want–but please leave me, and my laws, and my city, and my school alone. Stop trying to make me, or my children, worship your god. Why do we all have to be Christians? Respect my beliefs; I guarantee they’re every bit as strong as yours. Mostly, please respect my free will. Let me choose if I want to marry someone of my own sex. Let me choose if I want to have an abortion or not. Let me choose to go to hell if that’s where you believe I’m going. I can honestly say that I’d rather go to hell than live the hypocritical life I see so many Christians living.”– D.B., Seattle

“I had a friend who was, as they say, reborn. During my breaks from college she invited me to her church, and I did go a couple of times. In a matter of a month, at least ten people at her church told me that I was going to hell. The ironic thing is that I do believe in God; I’ve just never found a church where I felt at ease. However, in their eyes, I was nothing but a sinner who needed to be saved. I stopped going to that church (which in the past four years has grown from a small to a mega-church), but in time, through my friend, have seen some of these people again. None of them ever fails to treat me exactly as they did four years ago. All I can say is this: Constantly telling someone they’re going to hell is not a good way to convert them.”– A.S., Chicago

“I am a former ‘born again’ Christian. It’s been my personal experience that Christians treat the poor poorly–much like the Pharisees did in the parable of the old woman with the two coins. I found the church to be political to a fault, and its individual members all too happy to judge and look down on others. As a Christian, my own fervor to witness was beyond healthy. My friends would come to me to vent and express emotions, and all I would do is preach to them. I was of no real comfort to them. I never tried to see anything from their perspective.”– J.S.W, Philadelphia

“Once Christians know I’m gay, the conversion talk usually stops. Instead, I become this sympathetic character who apparently isn’t worthy of the gift of Christ. From my childhood in a Baptist church, I recall the ‘loathe the sin, love the sinner’ talk, but as an adult I can’t say I’ve often found Christians practicing that attitude. Deep down, I’m always relieved to avoid disturbing “conversion” conversations with Christians; discussing one’s most intimate thoughts and personal beliefs isn’t something I enjoy doing with random strangers. But at the same time, I feel as though Christians make a value judgment about my soul on the spot, simply because I am gay. I don’t pretend to know the worth of a soul, nor the coming gifts to those who convert the masses, but I would guess converting the sinful homosexuals would merit a few brownie points. But I get the feeling that most Christians don’t think we’re worth the hassle.”– R.M., Houston

“Religion always seemed too personal for me to take advice about it from people I don’t know.”– D.P., Denver


There was a time when Tibet ruled China

Weekly Organiser

Arabinda Ghose

The Tibetans had never accepted Chinese suzerainty, and remained a sovereign nation forcibly under occupation and control by the Chinese. In fact Tibet had once occupied China and sacked its capital too. The time, therefore, has come to tell the people of India as also the world, that China must grant full sovereignty to Tibet and leave the Tibetans to their own fate.

It is most disconcerting for any Indian to watch the Government of India reacting in an abject manner to the objections by China to the visit by our Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visiting Arunachal Pradesh as if this country is a client state of China.

Instead of quoting the Constitution of India for asserting that this State is an inalienable part of India, as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee did in Kolkata recently, the country wants this Government to tell China to shut up and vacate their occupation of Tibet,

What is more, it is time for India and the democratic world to demand that Tibet be given back her sovereignty because the “fact ” of Chinese suzerainty over Tibet, which this country had gullibly swallowed during the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Chinese had exercised control over Tibet by fraudulent and even murderous means, as will be revealed in the following paragraphs quoting reliable authorities. In fact Tibet had once occupied China and sacked its capital too.

We have in our hands two or three very reliable sources to support our views-one is a book by Nepalese scholar-politician Balchandra Sharma referring to cultural influence of Nepal over China, the second is the book Chronology and History of Nepal from 600 BC to 880 AD by Dr Kashi Prasad Jaiswal and lastly, Lhasa Vols I and II by Perceval Landon, Special Correspondent of the Times, London, who had accompanied the 1903-04 British expedition to Lhasa led by Sir Francis Younghusband.

We will briefly take up the writings of these three authors.

Shri Sharma who was a leading light of the Nepali Congress in the 1950s and the 1960s, had led a cultural delegation to China in the 1960s when he saw the remnants of the several architects built by a Nepalese sculpture-builder Arniko, spelt Aniko in Chinese. One of them is a monastery near Bejing, still standing. One may remind readers that the Kathmnadu-Kodari Highway which takes one to Lhasa and built by the Chinese in 1964-67, is called the Arniko Rajmarga. in Nepal.

One will find on page 79 of the book Chronology and History of Nepal from 600 BC to 880 AD the following lines: “The T’ang History, gives the contemporary history of Tibet, which had been translated by Dr S.W. Bushel, physician to the British Legation in Peking, in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,1880 p.433ff. According to it, Strong-stand-Gampo (Chinese Ch/it-sung-lungtsan) died in 650 and was succeeded by his grandson aged 8,whose son Chi’nu Shsilung was killed in this expedition against Nepal and was succeeded by a minor son aged 7 in 703 A.D. It was no until 755-756 (two successions later) that the Tibetan King once more rose in military greatness by attacking China and taking its capital in 736 A.D.”

So it is the T’ang history that says that a Tibetan King had actually attacked China and taken its capital. We have more evidence in the two books by Perceval Landon who incidentally, had authored a book on the ancient history of Nepal too by discovering a “vamsavali” (genealogy).

Landon’s Vol.1 has this to say about the Tibet-China relationship, abridged for want of space: “This history is not one of great interest and may be chiefly dismissed as one of continued hostility with China, but on hostility on equal terms. That the result of these border skirmishes was by no means as uniformly satisfactory to China as one may imagine from her version of the events, is clear but about the 640 A.D, the King of Tibet, Srong-tsan-Gambo, succeeded in obtaining the hands of a princess of the imperial house of the Tang against the will of the emperor and after some years of fighting…..

Strong-tsan-gambo’s grandson, Ti-strong-de-stand, resumed hostilities with China and in 763 actually sacked the capital Changam or Hsia-Fu…..”

Vol II has more details of how the Chinese had controlled Tibet. One recalls that this distinguished journalist had accompanied the Francis Younghusband mission of the British to Lhasa in 1903-04. Referring to this, in Chapter I of the Vol II, Landon says :…”Before taking up again the story of the Expedition, I propose to sketch the internal affairs of Lhasa for the last few years with somewhat greater detail than before.

The key to the situation in Tibet, which was now becoming desperate, is to be found in the deliberate and steady determination of the Tibetans to do away with Chinese suzerainty. This is a policy of long standing. Thirty-five years ago, the spirit of independence was already abroad in Tibet, and there was a recognized progressive party, headed by no less a dignitary than the treasurer of the Gaden monastery. Under the old regime, as is well known, a consistent policy of regency, made possible only by the equally systematic assassination of each successive young Grand Lama before he reached the age of eighteen ,resulted in a continual regency ,and therefore, also a continued opportunity for the assertion and reassertion of the Chinese suzerainty, for no regent could be appointed without the sanction of the Chinese emperor.”

The very election of the Dalai Lama himself was theoretically subject to the approval of Peking, but this prerogative was seldom or never, exercised. In other parts of the his dominions the Chinese emperor made undoubted use of his rights, Without going into more details at this stage, we would like to quote Landon once again here: “China had been of no use to them in their dispute with India (prior to the Younghusband expedition) and to have the “reincarnated” the Dalai Lama at that moment meant a repetition of the usual opportunity for the exertion of Chinese influence which would have peculiarly inappropriate and even disastrous. He was, therefore, allowed the survive maturity, but only as a religious pontiff, the temporary power remaining in the hands of the regent. But as soon as the Treaty was signed, the last vestige of Chinese influence in Tibet was thrown off by a coup d’etat, in 1805 (The Treaty was with Russia, if one is not mistaken).”

These references show clearly that the Tibetans had never accepted Chinese suzerainty, and remained a sovereign nation forcibly under occupation and control by the Chinese. The time, therefore, has come to tell the people of India as also the world, that China must grant full sovereignty to Tibet and leave the Tibetans to their own fate.(The writer can be contacted at arabinda.ghose@gmail.com)

Related article : Human Rights Violations:TIBET

Afghan dancing boys suffer centuries-old tradition

Atia Abawi CNN

October 27, 2009

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — A young boy dressed in women’s clothing, his face caked in make-up, dances the night away for a crowd of men.

The bells on his feet chime away, mimicking the entertainment and sexual appeal of female dancers. But there is no mistaking his pubescent body and face as he concentrates, focusing on every step in order to please his master and his master’s guests.

This all played out in a video that CNN obtained from a person involved in the parties.

The boy is but one youth among many throughout the country forced into an age-old underground tradition known as “bacha bazi,” or “boy play,” in which young boys are taken from their families, made to dance and used as sex slaves by powerful men. The number of boys involved is unknown — the practice has been going on for centuries, in a country where such practices are overshadowed by conflict and war.

“It’s pretty much unappreciated by [the] society, unaccepted and illegal,” said Mohammad Musa Mahmodi of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, one of the few organizations in the country working to end “bacha bazi.”

Islamic scholars have denounced “bacha bazi” as immoral but the practice continues in Afghanistan, where the government is in the throes of an increasingly bloody battle with insurgent Taliban militants and is also working to recover from decades of conflict.

The abuse stays on the backburner of issues in Afghanistan. People are aware of it, but they don’t really talk about it. Almost everyone in the country is coping with some level of injustice, and they are just trying to survive.

It is widely known among the population that, most of the time it is commanders, high-ranking officials and their friends who partake in the abuse of the boys.

“It continues because of the culture of impunity and lack of legal provision against this practice,” Mahmodi explained.

Farhad,19, and Jamel, 20, are two grown dancers who were forced into “bacha bazi” about five years ago.

Farhad was 13 when his older neighbor tricked him into coming to his home. He was made to watch a sex tape and then raped. After the brutal assault, he was taken to another location where he was locked up and used as a sex slave for five months.

“I got used to him,” Farhad said, trying to explain why he stayed with his neighbor after the traumatizing experience.

“He would sometimes take me to parties, and sometimes other places. I was with him all the time,” he said.

In Afghan society the victims of rape and assault — both male and female — are often persecuted and punished rather than the perpetrator. The shame forces boys like Farhad to continue in leading such lifestyles, even when they have the chance to break away.

Jamel, Farhad’s friend and dance partner, is now married but he was the “bacha bereesh” — or “boy without a beard” — of a powerful warlord who has since left the country. He said the only reason he continues to dance is to provide for his younger brothers and sisters.

“I make them study, dress them, feed them. Any money I make I spend on my family. I don’t want them to be like this, be like me,” he said, brushing his shoulder length hair away from his eyes, framing his thin oval face.

Farhad and Jamel say their families know what is going on now but are powerless to stop it — in fact they need the money and income they make.

Both Jamel and Farhad look and act more like women than men, a trait that can be deadly in Afghanistan’s male-dominated society. Even the police can’t be counted on for protection.

Farhad said that he was taken from a party by four police officers one night and almost gang raped at the station Before their commander walked in and stopped the assault. But then, “He said if I wanted to be set free I should give him my money and my mobile,” Farhad said. “I had no real choice, so I gave him my money and mobile.”

The boys said they are continuously threatened, beaten and raped by men who attend the parties they dance at; parties fueled by alcohol and drugs.

“The nights we go out, we are scared,” said, Jamel, who is the more talkative of the pair and the one who more resembles a woman. “We always think about how we will be able to get out without someone attacking us.”

Despite the dangers, they continue to dance, making $30 for the night — a night that usually ends in assault — because they say it is the only thing they know and their only way to make money. There are no opportunities in Afghanistan for people like them.

And once branded as men who danced as women, there is no turning back.

“We are not happy with this line of work,” Jamel said. “We say that it would be better if God could just kill us rather than living like this.”

Also Read:

Sufism & Sodomy @ http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JH12Ak03.html