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Instant outrage over Afghani’s denial of cultural practices

 The headline sent shockwaves across the Internet — “Soldiers Die While Taliban Plays With Boy Sex Slaves”

Published in March of 2010, the article details findings from an unclassified military research study in southern Afghanistan in which men from the ethnic group known as Pashtuns exhibit homosexual behavior yet refuse to admit it. The report, obtained by Fox News, indicates several Pashtun men engage in same-sex relationships while shunning women and, all the while, rejecting the label of “homosexual.”

The report also details how Taliban commanders often keep young boys for sexual purposes. Its findings authenticate previous reports first appearing in the Times of London in 2002.

“It is sad to state that this practice of making boys dance, sexual abuse and sometimes even selling boys has been going on for years,” General Asadollah Amarkahil, a commander of security forces in the Kunduz province said at the time of the investigation.

Kandahar, capital of the Taliban movement, is cited in the report as the homosexual capital of South Asia where the boy sex trade is rampant. The Times report concluded that is viewed as status symbol among the wealthy and powerful Afghani men, including many Taliban and mujahideen commanders, to take young boys as sex slaves.

Around the time of the controversial study’s declassification, the Los Angeles Times interviewed an Afghani professor at Kandahar Medical College who estimated around 50 percent of the Taliban warlords were having sex with teenage boys. Dr. Mohammed Nasem Zafar went as far to state, the Taliban commanders were plucking the boys among ages 12 to 16, “before their beards grow in.”

According to the study, Pashtun men interpret the Islamic prohibition on homosexuality in terms of “love” meaning they are free to use boys as “sexual gratification.” In the study, it is mentioned time and time again that Pashtun men were fond of saying, “women are for children, boys are for pleasure.”

In its 2013 human rights report, the U.S. State Department said sexual abuse of boys is on the rise in Afghanistan and becoming quite common in the country’s capital city of Kabul. The practice is referred to as “bacha baazi” or dancing boys.

The military study was done by the U.S. Army and is comprised of personal field notes dated May 15, 2009 by Human Terrain Team AF-6, which was assigned to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Battalion and co-located with British forces in Lashkar Gah. It was requested to provide insight into Pashtun cultural traditions regarding male sexuality.

To this day, the story ranks No. 2 in online hits for any article ever published by the SFGN.