Hosseini’s (2003) The Kite Runner is a heartrending story of two boys, Amir and Hassan. The latter was sexually molested by Assef, a neighborhood boy, who later molests Hassan’s son, Sohrab. Assef is part of the Taliban government at the time he is sexually molesting Sohrab. This is not surprising, seeing that the Taliban regime is known to have committed numerous atrocious crimes against the people of Afghanistan. The fact that Assef had sexually molested Hassan as a young boy further reveals that he had a criminal mind to begin with.
On the contrary, Amir and Hassan had led virtually blameless lives. Why did Amir and Hassan refuse to join the Taliban? Of course, the difference between Assef on one hand and Amir and Hassan on the other may be explained by popular personality theories. Most young people in the United States, for example, do not join gangs, while many others do. It is very likely that the latter have personality traits that differ from the traits of those that desire to lead blameless lives without guns, drugs, violence, molestation, or dirty politics.
Of course, young people may also take part in unusual and often violent politics if they are convinced that they are doing so with a sense of righteousness. Assef may have trusted in the philosophy of the Taliban just as numberless young people are nowadays placing their faith in terrorist organizations and even losing their lives in suicide bombings because of that. Young people are considered impressionable, so it is easy for adult members of various organizations to fool them, if in fact the young people are exposed to such organizations. The young people of Palestine, for example, are told that suicide bombing is part of a holy war.
Naively believing that such holy war is pleasing to God Almighty, countless young people have lost their lives already. They had disregarded the fact that all major world religions condemn suicide, just as the Taliban government had overlooked the reality that violence and sexual molestation would not help them to build a government for the sake of God. If they do not necessarily believe in the ideologies of violent organizations that have managed to dupe them, young people may take part in dirty politics even if they are promised a lot of money in exchange for their efforts.
It is a well-known fact that terrorist organizations pay a huge amount of money to poor, illiterate, and gullible young people, who may not find it possible to earn as much through honest living. The young people are promised by such organizations that if they are killed their families would be provided for. Hence, money too is a reason why young people may be enticed by violent, dirty politics. After all, dangerous work is supposed to pay more. This is the reason why countless young people have also joined the illegal drug trade across the world.
Perhaps Assef was earning a lot of money as part of the Taliban government. Just the same it is clear that he was a violent young person who must have found likeminded people working for the Taliban regime. When ruthless governments take over, there is nobody that the ordinary innocent individual may approach for justice. Thus the criminal minded folks take advantage of lawlessness, regardless of their age.
References Hosseini, K. (2003). The Kite Runner. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.