Stories about paedophilia

#TherapistDiaries: Unmasking the paedophile

What would you call an adult who abuses children for sexual and/or romantic gratification? A paedophile. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a child is a human being less than 18 years of age. Going by the CRC’s definition, the global authority for all mental health practitioners, the American Psychiatric Association, has set a particular criteria to diagnose someone as a paedophile. Paedophiles can be exclusive or non-exclusive. Exclusive paedophiles are the ones with sole preference for children for romantic and/or sexual relationships, while non-exclusive paedophiles have a preference for adults as well. The perpetrators ...

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According to this “scholar”, ‘sins such as murder and rape will be ignored as long as you pray’

The dilemma of the contemporary age is the excess of unsorted information masquerading as knowledge and the most abundantly distorted type of ‘knowledge’ these days is ‘religious’ in nature. A certain breed of such so-called scholars exists among us, disseminating a message that is far from truth. Their half-baked ideas about religious norms, practices and forms of punishment aren’t based on logic or humanity. Such religious quacks probably existed before our time too but the ubiquity of social media brings them to our phone screens whether we want them to or not. Recently, I came across one such ‘religious cleric’ ...

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What if Kevin Spacey’s accuser had been a woman?

Something strange has happened amid the recent allegations levelled at Kevin Spacey by actor Anthony Rapp, who claims Spacey assaulted him – then aged 14 – at a 1986 Hollywood party. Oddly, nobody has asked Rapp what he was wearing at the time. Nobody asked why it took him so many years to report the abuse. Nobody asked if he were being paid to speak out, was a gold-digger, or just wanted attention. Nobody asked if he had a grudge against Spacey, or was a man-hater. Nobody asked why he freely went to Spacey’s house, or said he shouldn’t have been there. Nobody ...

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When privileged students Snapchat naked poor children for “fun” – because child pornography and poverty is a joke, right?

Yesterday, I was enjoying my Sunday having some me time and scrolling through my social media feed. While at it, I stumbled upon something that not only gave me a partial anxiety attack, but also shook me to my very core. A student of Beaconhouse National University (BNU) in Lahore went on a university field trip and decided to have some “fun” with her group of friends. The details of the aforementioned “fun” were graphic enough to trigger me, not only as a parent, but also as an educated person and a decent human being. This girl, who happens to be ...

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In Iran, you can marry your 13-year-old adopted child

Define irony: When you pass a bill to ‘protect’ children and in that bill you allow a man to marry his adopted daughter even if she is as young as 13-years-old. Woody Allen, are you listening? I think it’s time to move to Iran. Or at least base your next movie there. Or maybe George RR Martin would be interested in this as his next plot twist? Parliamentarians in Iran have recently passed such a bill, I kid you not. It allows the caretaker to marry his or her adopted child if the court rules in the interests of the child. There are so many fundamental issues with ...

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When it comes to sex crimes in Pakistan, is it better to remain silent?

Today, I am going to address one of the least talked about issues in Pakistan – sexuality. Our religious-conservative society does not encourage dialogue in this sphere, due to the stigma of immorality attached to sex, leaving little room for awareness on related issues. The topic of sex includes sex crimes, which also shares the same taboo status. This results in a very ugly scenario; uglier than what the common mind can anticipate. Snubbing such issues and covering up sex crimes leads to a misunderstanding of their nature which often causes victim blaming and an institutional lack of rehabilitation for ...

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Ahmad Saleem – a paedophile – and the tarnished image of Islam in the US

This week, American Muslims find themselves holding their heads and groaning over the new wave of sneering and jeering coming their way again. The tidal wave was set in motion last week with the arrest of Ahmad Saleem in Florida in a sting operation that busted a major child sex ring. Saleem was one of the 100 men arrested in attempting to have sex with girls between the ages of 12 and 14. Police officers in Lake and Polk counties in Florida posed as young girls on chat forums to lure in these predators. When Saleem arrived at the arranged house looking to have ...

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Dukhtar: A mother’s plight against child marriage

Rarely do movies of such calibre come along that transcend generations and provoke our greater thought process, not because of impressive visuals, A-list actors, extravagant set pieces and locales but because of its strong story-driven narrative – narrative that is deeply entrenched into the harsh realities of life, as opposed to a work of fiction.  Dukhtar too has a potential to lay claim to all of that and then some, thanks to its excellent subject matter. Dukhtar means ‘daughter’ in Farsi and Urdu dialects. The movie is predominately a story about the plights, miseries and ultimately the bravery exhibited by the principal protagonist ...

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Pakistan’s Hidden Shame: Exposing child sexual abuse and Pakistan’s ‘see no evil’ attitude

Pakistan’s Hidden Shame, a documentary exploring the widespread sexual abuse of children in the streets of Peshawar, is something one wishes every Pakistani would take time to watch, while imploring his or her own eyes to un-see it. The practice of ‘bachabazi’ (child prostitution), as it’s known around the country, is something most of us are aware of. It is an ignominious fact of life in Pakistan that has blended seamlessly among all the other facts we don’t like to talk about. The statistics are hair-raising. Of the estimated one and a half million street children in Pakistan, 90% have suffered sexual abuse. And for every 10 ...

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From pederasty to paedophilia and Freudian slips

A long time ago, a gay Pakistani I know asked me once whether the relationship between Rumi and Shams of Tabriz qualifies as paedophilia. I didn’t understand his question or the context of it because he is well-read, intelligent, knows his religious history and psychology. The question confused me because there was very little I knew about them compared to Madho Lal Hussain. Nevertheless, to avoid hurting my own ego, I referenced my mental notes on the romantic relationship between Madho Lal and Shah Hussain, and immediately tried to correct him. “The feelings Rumi had fall under what we know as pederasty, ...

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