The Harrowing and Unabated Shadow of Sexual Sadism Disorders at Kabul University

Hamidullah Bamik
Jun 8, 2018 · 6 min read
Source: https://tavaana.org/en/content/colleagues-sexual-harassment-workplace

Zahra Khawari is not the first girl who put an end to her life because of her monograph’s rebuff by her instructor at Kabul University, and she won’t be the last girl either. This epidemic tragedy will linger as long as the academic morality in Kabul University among the instructors is not improved. The vice-president of Afghanistan is maintaining that girls are afraid of meeting their instructors alone. To the say the fact, even handsome boys are scared of meeting alone their professors, let alone Zahra. Unfortunately, the academic situation of Kabul University is suffering very seriously from the predominance of male sexual sadistic behaviors towards their female counterparts, and this sexual sadism disorder by male instructors is projected in various forms — in the form of giving low scores intentionally to female students, rejecting their assignments, mandatory invitation of female students at their offices, and so on.

Everyone might ask themselves that why do male faculty at Kabul University reject mostly the girls’ assignments, monographs, and give them low scores versus the boys? What are the reasons? How a professor who considers himself the wisest person and constantly articulates in the class that “TEACHING” is a holy job, can have sexual sadistic attitude toward a girl? Aren’t such actions symptomatic of obsolescence of morality among the male faculty at Kabul University? To dissect such measures at academic places applied by academics need a deep psychological and sociological analysis of the cultural and academic entire ethos of Kabul University.

Sexual sadism disorder is a psychiatric sexual disorder categorized as paraphilic disorders. Paraphilic refers to sexual interests, preferences, fantasies, urges, and behaviors outside the norm; these are considered symptoms of a disorder only if they are acted upon in ways that have the potential to cause distress or harm others, especially others who have not given consent. Sexual sadism refers to causing pain, humiliation, fear, or some form of physical or mental harm to another person to achieve sexual gratification.

Given the above explication regarding the sexual sadism disorder, isn’t taking place of such actions emblematic of moral obsolescence among the faculty at Kabul University? Zahra Khawari’s suicide showcases that this catastrophic social disorder is very rampant at Kabul University. No wise persons kill themselves because of a rejection of a monograph by their instructors. Certainly, there are other factors that compelled Zahra Khawari to terminate her life. If this were the first time that a female student suicides herself, then one could maintain that the rejection of Zahra’s by her instructor may have forced her to do such an action but since it is not the first time that female students are victimized of sexual sadistic behaviors at Kabul, so it indicates that there are other hidden reasons behind such cases which need impartial and serious investigations.

I was a sophomore that one of my classmates, a girl, left university without saying anything to anyone. At the beginning, there was a kind of gossip in the class that she went to Pakistan with her family because one of the members of her family was badly sick and she accompanied her family but later on this pseudo piece of news was changed when the real reason was clarified. She left university due to an immoral and a sexual sadistic behavior of one of our instructors. There are myriad painful and horrendous such cases at Kabul University which echo that when female students notice that their honor is threatened by their instructors who consider themselves as spiritual fathers of the students, either they are abandoning university or in the worse scenario, carry out suicide.

All the above-mentioned instances are indicative of moral obsolescence at Kabul University. Unfortunately, not only Kabul University but the entire society of Afghanistan is suffering from this catastrophe. For instance, when we hear that a teenage girl is raped by a man in remote areas of Afghanistan, a father is raping his daughter or when we are the witness of raping a bride by her brother-in-law or father-in-law and so on, these are all the consequences of moral obsolescence and sexual sadistic disorders among the people. Partly these problems take hold in Afghanistan because the society is a male-dominated society. Lack of robust and rigorous rule of laws in Afghanistan bolsters this situation and make more vulnerable the girls and women in the society.

In post-war conflict countries, sexual violence, sexual sadism disorders, and other psychic behaviors are very rampant and prevailing. In Afghanistan over the past four decades because of civil wars, and germinating of religious fundamentalism in the society, the gender balance and relationship between female and male has been ruined very desperately, and this gender balance gap led to the preponderance of male appearance at administrative offices and academic institutions and granted them a kind of pseudo-superiority. When the vice-president of Afghanistan, Sarwar Danish, is asserting that the girls fear to meet alone their faculty, it echoes the most adverse and wicked of form of such male predominance at Kabul University.

Sexual sadistic disorder behaviors have victims in everywhere even the in the most developed and democratic countries like America but how the responsible authorities respond to such cases is different and important. It is recommended and necessary to avoid a tragic accident before it takes place whenever preventive interventions are hard and not possible. In case, the problems happen due to not having precautious measures, the responsible authorities must inspect and investigate the cases impartially and thoroughly, and find their origins so that they can prevent the occurrence of such incidents in the future. But unfortunately, in Afghanistan due to having a corrupt judicial power, rigid bureaucracy, and severe administrative corruption, such cases are not probed deeply, honestly, and impartially. After denunciation of the perpetrators by the concerned authorities, the matter is swept under the carpet. As I mentioned in one of my articles Kabul University and Academic Freedom that most of the Kabul instructors have a link with external political cliques that is why they are not prosecuted easily for their inappropriate actions. This political interdependency among the faculty and authorities created a sort of arbitrary circumstance at Kabul University. Moreover, some of the key authorities and faculty have close relative knit with each other at Kabul University. Hence, serious reforms and corrective actions against cases like rejection of Zahra’s monograph by her instructor that finally led to her death, are not exerted.

Suppose the instructor who caused that Zahra Khawari suicided herself is prosecuted and finally admonished by the Ministry of Higher Education and other responsible departments. For sure this action can decrease the intensity of the tragedy and can give a strong signal to other instructors who have the same plan, but this action may not uproot the origins of the problems. In my mind, prosecution plus holding a serious psychological and sociological investigation by the Ministry of Higher Education, Kabul University, Human Rights Commission, and other active academic organizations for dissecting the roots and origins of sexual sadistic disorders among the male instructors at Kabul University can help Ministry of Higher Education and Kabul University to design a better and more effective policy in this regard. Any rush interventions in this regard may only placate the situation for a temporary period. Therefore, I suggest that Ministry of Higher Education and Kabul University authorities must hold a psychological and sociological investigation to find out the roots and central factors of moral obsolescence and sexual sadistic behaviors among the male faculty at Kabul University so that we should not be the witness of losing Afghanistan’s young educated generation anymore.