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Taliban violence, their devalued females and the tragedy of the bacha bazis PART-4

Taliban, Bacha Bazis


Taliban violence, their devalued females and the tragedy of the bacha bazis PART-4

In PART-4 in BLiTZ we continue examining the maternal bond and what has gone so terribly wrong in Taliban culture that it should brutalize not only its females but also its little boys – the Bacha Bazis.

The Bacha Bazis and Violence – an important email from a German woman’s magazine

On account of the bacha bazis the managing editor at EMMA wrote wondering if the Taliban’s violence was the upshot of raping little boys. They are known as the thirteenth man who are routinely raped and held hostage as sex slaves. EMMA’s editors had found an article that this analyst had written in 2015 in Tablet entitled “Sadomasochism and the Jihadi Death Cult.” Quoting from my The Jihadi Dictionary:


Pederasty is a routine, culturally condoned practice and behavior among jihadis. It is a violent fusion with and abuse of the boy. A good example is the Taliban’s Bachi Bazi boys, who are used as sex slaves. . .  “Anal rape also fits with Arab and Muslim cultures. In Afghanistan there is the ‘thirteenth man,’ a young boy called the Bacha Bazi whom the male group routinely rapes. If, as a child therapist, you saw a young child in play therapy take a toy car and repeatedly ram the car into the back of a toy truck like a suicide car bomber, you would wonder if the child had been anally raped. This is the nonverbal, symbolic language of terrorism. Terrorists have no boundaries. They form a malignant twinship with you, and project their terrors into you, and in turn victimize you. Sexual abuse, to the best of my knowledge, has not really been adequately factored into explaining the Islamic suicide terrorism. . . . the quality and quantity of the rage speaks to that kind of abuse.

Terrorism is about shame, not honor. Anal rape is a subject that counterterrorist experts, the majority of whom are male, are extremely uncomfortable talking about. If anything, they make jokes about it. To be a male and be raped is the ultimate sign of submission, of being made into the female through this violent act. Perhaps it is the ultimate shame. Anal rape occurs frequently in Arab Muslim cultures and in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well. The sense of physical and psychological submission cannot be dissociated from the visual concept of submission in Islam, as concretely made evident by its prostration in prayer. Indeed, in reviewing El Feki’s Sex and the Citadel, Maslin quotes an Egyptian woman cited in the book as saying: ‘Men in Egypt and the Gulf, they always want to have sex in the wrong place,’ and she was not referring to geography but to anal intercourse. They also wash their face with their hands as if to remove the stain of impurity.  


EMMA was right to ponder what the relationship is between political violence and child sexual abuse. While it is not the sole factor for precipitating Afghan violence it is an aspect and also part of what is intergenerationally transmitted from raper to rapee turned raper and/or murderer in the form of jihadi, and so on and so forth. It is not within the scope of this essay to delve into the subject of genetics and epigenetics, though there is no doubt that there is such an interplay between nature and nurture which should not be discounted.

The Bacha Bazis – The Soul “Honor Killing” of Their Own Children

The institution of the bacha bazi is only one cultural child rearing practices which is hard for Westerns to comprehend. This was seen with the travesty of the US stance on the bacha bazis which US soldiers found devastating. They were told not to intervene in the cultural practice and hence they became unwitting participant observers and its sadomasochism. This alleged “neutrality” on the part of the US Army reveals western disavowal of its own occurrence of child sexual abuse. The vulnerability of the child stirs up deep unconscious feelings in adults of their own vulnerability.


The Illusion of the Heroic mother and Her Death

What happens when the heroic mother dies? What happens with this “unseverable” maternal bond? While the heroic mother has been writ larger than life, this is merely an overcompensation for the abuse of the female. The heroic mother is a psychological defense against male dependency on the female. Moreover, it functions as a counterphobic response against male terror of the female body.

For how could such a devalued female be so powerful as to give birth to a male baby? All one has to do is to watch Arab Netflix be it Lebanese, Egyptian, Kuwaiti or even Turkish dezis to see how the mother is venerated to the point that it leads to the male feeling emasculated and resorting to violence to not only show his manhood but to carry out his ascribed social role as eldest brother tasked with monitoring family honor. Should family honor i.e. the vagina be tainted he must willfully spill blood in order to cleanse family honor and the female must be murdered. This is the honor killing. The Netflix series Al Hayba is one such good example. The cultural strategy not only allows for the unconscious killing off of the mother but it also promotes hatred of the Other due to psychological splitting and projection. The Other is not just the devalued female but the Other is feminized such as little helpless boys called bachai bazis and/or the subjected protected class of the dhimmis i.e. Jews, Christians, Hindus etc. and most especially homosexuals. Since in Afghan culture you can touch a female who is not your wife one resorts to penetrating a little boy. This is a huge psychological trauma which will pact down unconscious rage which will erupt later under the guise of political violence.


The heroic mother’s death yields a rage that exceeds murder itself similar to that of a serial killer who mutilates his victim’s body through the production of body parts, be it amputation, enucleation of the eye, beheadings etc. The list is endless. Khashoggi’s mutilation comes to mind. Yet it is known from criminology’s serial killers that body parts have a particular unconscious meaning, namely they are the psychic representation of the mother’s body before the baby learns that the mother is separate from him or herself. The baby knows the mother in parts, the breast, the mouth, the eyes etc. In serial killing it is known that the serial killer has a very disturbed relationship with its mother. The Taliban wants to reinstitute amputations and beheadings. This shows regressed unconscious infantile thinking.

In concluding this series with Part 5 next week we will look at specific jihadis who “lost it” when their mothers died. The loss unleashed terrorist attacks, demonstrating that the Taliban and its ilk harbor a rage that exceeds murder itself.

The above has been excerpted and updated from my essay originally published by United States Ret. Brig. Gen. John Galatas, M.D. in his HZS C2 Diary November 2021

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Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, Ph.D. is a Contributing Editor to Blitz, Psychoanalyst and Counter Terrorist Expert.

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