Update: PBS’ Frontline will begin airing this on April 20 – see a preview below or watch the full version of ‘Uncovering the world of “bacha bazi“‘online (click the player window to view Chapters):
A special entitled The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan that was supposed to air on PBS’ Frontline has been delayed.
In Afghanistan today, in the midst of war and endemic poverty, an ancient tradition — banned when the Taliban were in power — has re-emerged across the country: Many hundreds of boys, often as young as 11, are being lured off the streets on the promise of a new life, many unaware that their real fate is to be used for entertainment and sex. They’re the “Bacha Bereesh,” literally “beardless boys,” chosen for their height, size and beauty, trained to sing and dance for male audiences, and then traded for sexual favors among former warlords and powerful businessmen. With remarkable access inside a sexual exploitation ring operating in Afghanistan, an Afghan journalist investigates this illegal practice, talking with the boys and their masters, and documenting how the Afghan authorities responsible for stopping these crimes are sometimes themselves complicit in the practice.
Please note that the January 19 broadcast of FRONTLINE’s The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan has been postponed.
Press Contact: Diane Buxton, Senior Publicist, FRONTLINE, 300-5375, firstname.lastname@example.org
Another site provided this explanation:
Frontline producers announced Friday 1/15/10 that due to issues involving the personal security of one of the boys profiled in “The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan” (#2807), scheduled to premiere Tuesday 1/19/10, they are delaying the broadcast until those issues can be resolved.
CNN ran a segment on the topic of the beardless boys and there are quite a few videos on jihad tube. A few samples below of another aspect of Islamic piety below.
More on this pious bunch here: The Dancing Boys of the North
‘Some men enjoy playing with dogs, some with women. I enjoy playing with boys,’ said Allah Daad, a one-time mujahedin commander in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz.
Update: And they fight, kill, and behead each other for the young, beardless boys
The New York Times was quick with the conclusion: the Taliban were behind it. They killed the men “because of their alliance with the Karzai government.” AFP told their readers they were killed “by the Taliban”, for “spying” for the Afghan government. Xinhua made it even more clear: the six beheaded Afghans were “ex-colleagues” from the Taliban who killed them.
A Belgian newspaper presented the story like this: “A group of moderate Taliban held a meeting in a house and a terrorist Taliban group came and beheaded them”, as provincial police commander Juma Gul told the journalist.
“To be honest – they fought about a boyfriend”.
The governor was clear: “No, it’s not extremist Taliban, they were not fighters, just students. We are researching it,” he said, “but yes, the idea is that it was about a boyfriend.”
“Here we have a habit of… they fought about misusing a boy for love.”