Today's essay is intentionally short, because it deals with an extremely distressing subject. And quite frankly, I don't want to write about it. But while researching another topic, I stumbled upon this and think that for the majority of us who've probably never heard of it before, it's something we need to know.
Normally, I try to stay away from topics which could tag me as a sensationalist, so that's another reason why I'm going to be brief. If you want to research this further, just click on the links.
Oh, and another thing - this topic involves explicit material regarding pederasty, so please be warned.
Increasingly, the debate over the "Ground Zero mosque" has turned from religious rights to a public discourse over Islam itself. But how much do Americans really know about this faith which, whether you believe it or not, is spawning most of the violence wreaking havoc on our planet today?
From Greece to Afghanistan
Jeffrey Gettleman currently works as the New York Times' bureau chief for East Africa, including Somalia, which has provided him breathtaking stories of atrocities committed in the name of Islam that should shame any moderate Muslim. In 2003, he won an Overseas Press Club award for a story about Pakistani boys serving as sex slaves in Afghanistan. In addition to the New York Times, no more polar opposites than Fox News and PBS have corroborated that common practice in rural parts of this strife-ridden region. Apparently, pederasty, which began in the ritual debauchery of ancient Greece, has been ingrained in Persian culture for centuries, but I had no idea.
What makes this topic even more scary is that only the Taliban, our arch enemy, has tried to obliterate pederasty in modern-day Persia. They view it as an atrocity against their strict interpretation of Islam.
When I lived in New York City, a friend of a roommate of mine would sometimes come down from his home upstate to lead protests against NAMBLA, an association which promotes pederasty here in North America. At the time, they had a headquarters office in the same neighborhood where we lived. Back then, I had difficulty accepting my friend's descriptions of the organization he picketed against, and now, I'm having difficulty reading about our supposed allies - the "moderate Muslims" in Pakistan and Afghanistan - who promote this same practice, only on a far more violent scale.
Do we really know what we're fighting against?