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The Hazaras are the ethnic group most discriminated against in The Kite Runner. They make up less than 10% of the population of Afghanistan (Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group), and are mostly Shia Muslim--also a minority in the predominantly Sunni Muslim nation. Their Mongol features also set them apart from other Afghan groups, and the Hazara have long been discriminated against for these reasons. Although the life of the Hazara became somewhat better during the Russian takeover, the arrival of the Taliban threatened the survival of the Hazara, who were the subjects of "ethnic cleansing" after being declared "infidels." According to Assef, who had personally slaughtered hundreds of Hazaras during the massacre in Mazar-e Sharif,
"Afghanistan is like a beautiful mansion littered with garbage, and someone has to take out the garbage... Ethnic cleansing. I like it. I like the sound of it." (Chapter 22)
There are many places that you can go to talk about discrimination. Also it is important to remember that discrimination comes in different ways. For example, there is the discrimination between the rich and the poor. For the poor there is little hope, as they are marginalized. Their children also suffer. Here is a quote that shows this:
There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.
Here is another quote:
There is very little shelter here, almost no food, no clothes, no clean water. What I have in ample supply here is children who've lost their childhood. But the tragedy is that these are the lucky ones.
There is also discrimination against the Hazaras. Here is the full dialogue:
Assef's brow twitched. "Like pride in your people, your customs, your language. Afghanistan is like a beautiful mansion littered with garbage, and someone has to take out the garbage."
"That's what you were doing in Mazar, going door-to-door? Taking out the garbage?"
"In the west, they have an expression for that," I said. "They call it ethnic cleansing."
"Do they?" Assef's face brightened. "Ethnic cleansing. I like it. I like the sound of it."
We can also talk about discrimination against women. There is a pervasive attitude that women are less than men; at times there is even abuse.
The book said that my people had killed the Hazaras, driven them from their lands, burned their homes, and sold their women.
Here is another quote that shows this, as Talib, a minor character, acts in violence.
He was screaming at her and cursing and saying the Ministry of Vice and Virtue does not allow women to speak loudly. She had a large purple bruise on her leg for days but what could I do except stand and watch my wife get beaten?
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