This is an issue that is perplexing to a very large degree.
You see, homosexuality is banned in Islam. There is no ambiguity about this. Homosexuals found guilty of homosexualling are to be executed. It’s the sharī‛ah.
On the other hand – and this is what’s most puzzling – homosexuality has a very rich history in the Muslim world. A number of caliphs openly chose favorites and paraded them around. One of them would make history. Captured and kept as ransom were the future Prince Vlad III Dracula (also known as Vlad III Ţepeş (tsepesh) or Vlad III the Impaler) and his brother Radu; they were kept as security for the obedience of Prince Vlad II Dracul to the Ottoman sultan. While captured, Vlad witnessed the, um, violation of his brother – who would later be known as Radu the Handsome. He was the Caliph’s favorite, and led the Caliph’s armies against his rebellious brother, Vlad.
In some societies during some areas, homosexuality was practically the norm, if not just tolerated or accepted. Of course, seeing the Muslim world’s traditional view of (or, rather, against) women – breeders to kept out of sight and hearing – this is not so surprising.
And although most areas where homosexuality was prevalent no longer are so, it still flourishes, really, in some areas. Most notorious are among the ultra-religious in South Asia – the all-men networks of madrasas (Islamic schools), Islamist groups, Islamist gangs, the Taliban. Indeed, the northwest of South Asia (what today is the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, the tribal areas across Pakistan and Afghanistan, and areas of eastern Afghanistan) seem to feel no shame whatsoever in its perverse obsession with young males – what with their sexual attraction to and activity with prepubescent, peripubescent, pubescent, and just postpubescent young men. Some are active in this activity by choice, sought after by wealthy and influential old(er) men and seeking the best patron, as it were. And oftentimes – especially within the madrasas – this is without consent. The rape of boys is not uncommon at all.
And this is perverse – which even gay people would (or should) recognize. There is no equality, there is often no choice, there is no normalcy in these relations. It is almost as if these people are so misogynistic that they would even rather have sex just with men, copulating with women only to have children or to fulfill any heterosexual desires. Of course, a man’s wife has no say whatsoever regarding whom her husband fools around with.
The men retain their traditional roles of bread-winner, husband, father, sire of children, master of his household, and so on. But add to this their chasing after young men who have yet to grow beards. Though once the beard has arrived, one becomes a chaser and does not remain a chasee.
These relationships are not relationships at all. There is no love, no romance.
And yet this same area prides itself in its strict adherence to Islam, to its valiant struggle against infidel forces. Could it be that the Greeks came through – as they did under Alexander the lover of Hephaestion – and left this anomaly in that region?
I can understand the prevalence of homosexuality in the Taliban. This is not so rare in an all-male environment. Considering this occurs quite rampantly in the madrasas as well, and considering Taliban are basically students who became terrorist warriors, it is almost to be expected. But for it to be so rampant even among non-students, this is puzzling.
This really has puzzled me to no end. Of course, when the Americans came in and kicked the Taliban’s rear (what if they liked it? maybe they liked being kicked in the rear by well-built American soldiers?), the Americans could not have missed this. And it seems they did not – they too mocked this perversity of the northwest South Asians.
And I am puzzled why this would be. Is it homosexuality or a result of absolutely perverted misogyny? Is it because they like men or hate women? Is it because they objectify men or because they believe women are less than cattle?
I don’t know. But, as far as I’m concerned, these terrorist soldiers have no right whatsoever to lecture The West how to behave while they rape 9 year-old boys, see women as chattel, and violate women without second thought.
Update: Dicentra makes excellent points again, which adds some perspective and helps to explain this situation:
I have heard it said that there is a correlation between rampant homosexuality and mysogyny, especially the kind you’re talking about. Most of the gays I know in the US aren’t mysogynists–quite the opposite, they admire women and identify with them–and their same-sex attraction is deeply emotional. So I think this is a different brand of homosexuality.
I guess when otherwise hetero men are taught to despise women, they decide they don’t want to deal with a woman’s emotional demands, so they leave off having sex with that admittedly complicated being and opt for the simplicity of sodomy with “feminine” (not yet sexualized) males. They’re not interested in relationships, just in getting off.
And the fact that it’s a total power thing is really disturbing, though. That can’t be healthy at all.