(NY Times) For Punishment of Elder’s Misdeeds, Afghan Girl Pays the Price

Shakila, 8 at the time, was drifting off to sleep when a group of men carrying AK-47s barged in through the door. She recalls that they complained, as they dragged her off into the darkness, about how their family had been dishonored and about how they had not been paid.

It turns out that Shakila, who was abducted along with her cousin as part of a traditional Afghan form of justice known as “baad,” was the payment.

Although baad (also known as baadi) is illegal under Afghan and, most religious scholars say, Islamic law, the taking of girls as payment for misdeeds committed by their elders still appears to be flourishing. Shakila, because one of her uncles had run away with the wife of a district strongman, was taken and held for about a year. It was the district leader, furious at the dishonor that had been done to him, who sent his men to abduct her.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Children, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Violence, Women

2 comments on “(NY Times) For Punishment of Elder’s Misdeeds, Afghan Girl Pays the Price

  1. Timothy Fountain says:

    As I read about the need to restore honor, I kept remembering Anselm’s feudal exposition of Christ’s sacrifice. Doesn’t make sense to a Westerner anymore, but it fits the Afghan context.

    [blockquote]“Giving baad has good and bad aspects,” said Fraidoon Mohmand, a member of Parliament from Nangarhar Province, who has led a number of jirgas. “The bad aspect is that you punish an innocent human for someone else’s wrongdoings, and the good aspect is that you rescue two families, two clans, from more bloodshed, death and misery.” [/blockquote]

    The girls are Christ-figures in the sense that they suffer unjustly to “save.”

  2. Ross Gill says:

    Fascinating insight, Timothy. Perhaps this might be one way for the gospel to penetrate this area. Reminds me of two books written by Don Richardson thirty or so years ago about how God has left himself a witness in every culture. Others here may have read his Peace Child and Eternity in Their Hearts.