Pedophilia: A Rampant Social Issue

Arbab Ali Shah

Pedophilia is a rampant problem. It is a major crime and it sickens those who have any semblance of self-worth. While most people seek to look at it less in the light of black and white and choose to look at it in a far more objective way. Looking at it as people who need help and giving the excuse that mental health problems are a major problem for what happens to these people and helping give justification to their actions. However, while they might not be completely responsible for their actions it is also true that the damage and psychological trauma that they put on children. When they are put through such a torturous incident early in their lives it makes sure that the psychological and physical growth of the child is greatly stunted and impeded. Children do not deserve to live in fear and trivializing and rationalizing the actions of these people lead to us ignoring the problems that these children have been exposed to.

This is especially common in Pakistan. A country that has often trivialized the problems that pedophilia caused in the minds of children. There have been regular attempts to hush up the actions of people who are responsible for raping and abusing children. Perhaps the most sad part is the religious justification and location where most of the incidents are concentrated. Most of the incidents of pedophilia we see in Pakistan occur in madrassas. Religious institutions where both girls and boys are brought by their parents which operate as religious schools. There they are kept under the tutelage of maulvis and religious heads. However, instead of providing guidance these religious teachers have often besmirched the name of Islam and used their influence to rape and abuse both boys and girls that were sent to them. In Pakistan a society where maulvis and religious scholars are treated with blinding respect there is often willful ignorance that exists which leads to people often making attempts to justify or hush up the incidents that are so common and so understated. These individuals not only taint the name of Islam with their action they also abuse the authority that it gives. While in the eyes of righteous supporters of the religion their actions would have immediately disqualified them from any of the benefits it provides spiritual or otherwise, however, that does not help the victims they have created and their future targets. Most of the reasons that the incidents are so understated can be brought about due to a number of factors. Majorly they are that the targets of these individuals are often from poor and less connected families. The ones who attempt to complain in any way are either threatened or bribed to remain silent. Even if they do come forward the blind religiously influenced trust in maulvis often provides no support for the victims family in less informed quarters and thus makes it even more difficult for them to get justice. The most horrible part might be that even if they case is taken to court it becomes even worse since the Islamic judges will often convince the family of the victims to take monetary compensation in exchange for the incident and also tell them to forgive the perpetrator. However, no monetary compensation could be enough for the psychological torture that those children were forced to endure. In fact, in several cases the victim families are forced to silence by stating that they could bring about shame for their village or might be charged with blasphemy if they take it to court.

In a country with a society that is motivated by religion to this extent it certainly makes logical sense why most of these cases are actually brushed under the rug rather than being bought into the light. They are ignored when people at the forefront of the religion are the people that are actually the perpetrators and if it was brought to light it could definitely adversely affect the name of Islam as a whole. A sign of wanting to fix this rampant problem came with the case of a 6 year old, named Zainab. She was raped and she was found dead in a trash heap. Upon inspection it showed that she had been rape and with the media frenzy that followed the problem of sexual abuse of children in Pakistan was brought to light again. The riots and internet frenzy that followed coincided with a similar campaign in the United States. Many prominent Pakistanis celebrities and alike came forward with stories of their abuse as children. Authorities have often been brought to criticism for their demeanor in treating these subjects. However, little else, there have been no proper implementations of methods for them to be punished for not doing their part.

As long as this culture of tolerance for pedophiles, willful ignorance and remaining blind to the abuse and problems of children in this country exists we can never be safe or sure that our children will be able to safely exist. It should be imperative for the government to not tolerate any type of pedophilia and help and assist children who at this vulnerable stage in life should be provided justice and security from these predators who have dropped down to the low level of suing religion to camouflage their disgusting actions.

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