Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
These young girls would be forced to serve as sex slaves and the Taliban call such cruel acts a “prize for fighting”.
Almost 60 per cent of Afghanistan is now under the control of the Taliban. According to media reports, the Taliban is making rapid advances and could isolate capital Kabul in 30 days and bring Afghanistan under its complete control within less than three months. Reuters said, “Taliban fighters could isolate Afghanistan's capital in 30 days and possibly take it over in 90, a US defence official told Reuters, citing US intelligence, as the resurgent militants took control of an eighth provincial Afghan capital. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the new assessment of how long Kabul could stand was a result of the rapid gains the Taliban had been making around the country as US-led foreign forces leave.”
With the rapid advances of the Taliban, people are already feeling helpless and devastated as the radical Islamist terrorists have started the door-to-door hunt in search of young girls. These young girls would be forced to serve as sex slaves. Taliban call such cruel acts a “prize for fighting”. Meaning, hundreds of young girls would now fall victim to the Taliban. According to The Daily Mail, “Taliban fighters are going door-to-door and forcibly marrying girls as young as 12 and forcing them into sex slavery as they seize vast swathes of the Afghanistan from government forces.”
The newspaper further said, “Fighters have then been going door-to-door to claim their 'prizes', even looking through the wardrobes of families to establish the ages of girls before forcing them into a life of sexual servitude.”
It may be mentioned here that, Taliban’s involvement in the trafficking of Afghan women was long reported by Afghan refugees fleeing Afghanistan during the Taliban’s rule.
According to a 2002 report in Time magazine, government officials and witnesses have revealed that the Taliban routinely kidnapped women from Tajik, Uzbek, Hazara and other ethnic minorities to be trafficked and used as sex slaves. Some women were also forced to “marry” Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, who often raped and later abandoned them.
The girls were dishonoured and then discarded. Other women were sent to Pakistan to be sold to brothels, trafficked to Al Qaeda training camps, or sold to wealthy clients inside and outside of Afghanistan.
Following a 1999 research trip to Pakistan, the Feminist Majority Foundation reported to the US State Department that numerous refugees had described the Taliban rounding up women on trucks and abducting them as the regime moved into different country areas. Taliban were taking these women for sex trafficking.
Taliban are not only looking for young girls as sex slaves; they also are looking for young boys for the same purpose. Afghans are fans of ‘bachas’ (playboy). In Afghanistan's gender-segregated society, Bacha bāzī (having sex with young boys) is not seen as homosexuality. Instead, the possession of young boys decked out as pretty women symbolize power and primacy. It has been carried out with impunity, often within Western-backed Afghan forces.
Bacha bāzī is a slang term in some parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan for a custom created in Afghanistan involving child sexual abuse between older men and young adolescent males or boys, who are called dancing boys.
The custom is connected to sexual slavery and child prostitution. In the 21st century, Bacha bāzī is reportedly practised in various parts of Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan. Force and coercion are common, and security officials state they cannot end such practices because many of the men involved in bacha bāzī-related activities are powerful and well-armed warlords.
With almost no American troops in Afghanistan, radical Islamic Taliban continue to bring newer territories in the country under their control, and until now, almost 60 per cent of the country has fallen to the Taliban.
Along with the annexation, the Taliban has turned the clock back and ushered Afghanistan into its blood-infested, deadly and inhumane era of 1996-2001, where Taliban laws were the standard. Fatwas have begun to be issued with the latest one requiring members of Islamic clergy to compile a list of girls above 15 and widows under 45 so that they can be married to Taliban terrorists. Essentially, the Taliban wants sex slaves.
“All imams and mullahs in captured areas should provide the Taliban with a list of girls above 15 and widows under 45 to be married to Taliban fighters,” said the letter issued in the name of the Taliban’s cultural commission.
President Joe Biden’s haphazard and incongruent decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is being forced upon Afghans, with smoking and beard-shaving banned in areas – and women stopped from going out alone. The Taliban warned that anyone caught defying rules will be “seriously dealt with”.
Like the Taliban of the yore where Women were mandated to don a burqa at all times, as showing the face would corrupt the noble, Islamic men–the Taliban of the present is continuing its regressive policy.
Restrictions targeting women include ‘not leaving our houses’ without a male companion and wearing a burqa.
Under its rule, girls can no longer go to school and women are not allowed to participate in public life, including holding political office or working outside the home.
Taliban officials have already prohibited watching television and imposed restrictions on smartphones by banning them outright in some cases, thereby limiting residents’ access to information and their ability to communicate, study, or work using the internet.
Meaning, Afghanistan is poised to enter the dark age again.
The writer is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research scholar, counterterrorism specialist and editor of Weekly Blitz
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