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March 09, 2005

Child molestation in Pakistani madrassas

The Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society has a fantastic piece on instances of child molestation that has occurred in Pakistani madrassas and how it has been completely ignored by Western media. The effects of this story?

If they are true, the madrasa story is to Pakistan (and by extension to the Muslim world) what the analogous story was to the Catholic Church a few years ago—or for that matter what Abu Ghraib has been for the US occupation of Iraq. Both of the latter scandals have permanently scarred the institutions responsible for producing them. The consequences of inflicting the same sorts of damage on the Pakistani madrasacracy are incalculable—incalculably good, that is.

The charges also give some perspective to Islamic fundamentalists’ tedious habit of sermonizing at us about the supposed sexual dysfunctionality of “the West” and the superior moral virtue of “the Islamic East.”

The Asia Times columnist Spengler has recently produced an amusing quasi-parody of such a sermon in which he rails at the sexual depravity of “the West,” and which he jokingly claims to have gotten directly from Osama bin Laden.

Joke or not, such sermons ought to provoke the rejoinder that dar al Islam is not exactly the abode of virginal chastity that the fundamentalists would have us believe that it is. With gang rape in Punjab (cf. the Mukhtaran Bibi case), mass rape in Darfur, female genital mutilation across parts of Muslim Africa, and honor killings of girls in various Arab countries, it would appear to be time for our holier-than-thou sermonizers to introspect a bit and focus on some of their own sexual hang-ups. Add polygamy to the rap sheet, plus the weird Muslim obsession with burqa, chador and hijab; add the yet-weirder cult of the 72 post-mortem virgins, throw in stoning as a punishment for adultery, and then consider burial-alive as a punishment for homosexuality. XXX- rated Qur’anic literacy lessons seem pretty much par for the course in this context. In short, put it all together, and the sexual depravities of “the West” begin to look tame by comparison with what the Muslim world has to offer in the way of polymorphous perverse sexuality.

Hat tip: Reason magazine (print edition)

Posted by Arcane at 12:10 PM