My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baad in Afghanistan....

It's depressing to read these stories...
Two-year-old Nilab sits on the floor, drawing with a stick. She is wearing a red dress and black shoes, her unruly curls falling in her eyes. Shy around strangers, she hides her face behind her big sister from time to time.

The toddler has no idea what awaits her: she has been traded away in baad, to make up for the sexual misconduct of her uncle.

Baad is a traditional means of settling disputes in Afghanistan, and usually involves giving a young girl to the family of the perceived victim of a crime.

“My uncle Jawad was found guilty of having unlawful sexual relations with Noria, my father’s cousin,” said Mariam, Nilab’s 19-year-old sister, tears running down her face.

“Noria became pregnant, but her husband has been working in Iran for the past seven months. Noria’s father-in-law accused Jawad of being the father, and the families agreed to settle the matter through the local jirga (council). The jirga decided that Nilab should be given to Noria’s brother-in-law, who is only six years old. Everyone agreed.”

Baad is seen as a way of avoiding more violent means of satisfying grudges, and many Afghans applaud the practice.

“Without baad, we would have conflict between the families, with murder and revenge,” said Nadira, a member of the family who accepted Nilab. “Baad is a good thing. Killing and enmity are prohibited in Islam.”

“This is a very good decision by the jirga,” said her sister Sabera. “Peace has been restored to the two families. Their enmity has turned to friendship. The girl taken in baad will have all the rights of a family member, and will finally marry a son of this family, she will become a bride.”

Nilab is lucky; she will be allowed to remain with her own family until she reaches puberty. In stricter cultures, she could have been taken immediately. In many cases, the family of the victim will take out its rage on the girl given in baad, as a way of exacting vengeance without starting an all-out war between two groups.


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