Pedophilia endemic in the Middle East

On September 28, 2009 an article entitled “Critics want independent investigation into Afghan child abuse” appeared in the news (see link at end of page). In a nutshell it describes the disturbingly frequent rape of children by the adult Afghan military, young boys in this case. A quote from the article paints the picture: ‘The sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan military and police personnel is so commonly known that Canadian and other foreign soldiers have coined a phrase for it; they call it "Man-Love Thursdays," although at least one soldier has noted that the rape of kids also took place on other days.’ ‘Man-love Thursdays’ are not confined to the Afghan military or just Afghanistan. The sexual abuse of children is a common and, in many middle-eastern and eastern countries, officially sanctioned. In the Western world we refer to the ‘activity’ as a crime - pedophilia - and have, certainly in the U.S., implemented draconian consequences for anyone who participates in it. Not so in the Middle East. Just a few weeks ago an editorial described the death of a 12 year-old Yemenite girl who died, along with her baby, while attempting to give birth. Children, some of whom are capable of getting pregnant, are incapable of giving birth; their little bodies are just not built for it. The result is that these children die painfully or suffer from obstetric fistulae, prematurely, stillbirth, and sexually transmitted diseases (including cervical cancer).

To add insult to injury the abhorrent sexual abuse of children results in the protection of the perpetrator more than the child. The act may be legally sanctioned through marriage. A recent case had a man in his 80’s married to 10 year old girl. If the victim is male, there is a chance that they will be accused of being homosexual if they protest to the authorities; homosexuality is a prosecutable crime. The victim in many cases is treated as an outcast – sometimes killed by their own family – for allowing themselves to be raped. The rape of a boy is not regarded as breaking the pre-marital rule. (Take a moment and digest this paragraph). To take one country as an example, according to the United Nations Population Fund, the widespread prevalence of child marriage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been well documented by human rights groups. Saudi clerics have justified the marriage of girls as young as 9, with sanction from the judiciary. There are no laws defining the minimum age for marriage in Saudi Arabia, and girls as young as eight years of age can marry. And that’s just ‘legitimate’ pedophilia. Child rapists in the Middle East are rarely prosecuted. The subject is taboo and swept under the carpet. It is silently accepted. Make no mistake however that it is a silent, horrible, deliberate practice. Pedophilia is deeply engrained in Arab culture. Even Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is recorded as having participated. According to Islamic texts the child Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad. She stayed in her parent’s home until the age of nine, when the marriage was consummated in Medina. 'Consummated,' now there’s a thought for a nine year old and a middle aged man.

If we in the west regard pedophilia with such disgust and punish it so harshly why then do we tolerate it in Arab and other countries? Are the children of these countries any less deserving of protection? Why do we not demand a stop to it and demand the implementation of punitive solutions? Why do we do business with societies that turn a blind eye to such blatant criminal behaviors? Pedophilia is a horrendous crime and should be treated as such no matter what the culture, tradition or religious beliefs. Rape of child is a sin like no other. It may supercede murder in some people’s minds. So what does it come down to? The treatment or mistreatment of women and children in these societies must change. If there was ever a cause to unite the women of the world, it is the realignment of Arabic, Muslim and other male-dominated societies to treat women as equals as opposed to property; to make pedophilia a capital crime, and to protect children though societal rules that disbar marriage before the age of 18. ‘There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.’ Nelson Mandela.

Critics want independent investigation into Afghan child abuse Child Marriage Fact Sheet Pedophilia Plagues Middle East Yemeni girl, 12, dies in painful childbirth