Two of the most powerful scenes in the film of The Kite Runner involve the despicable Assef. Assef rapes young Hassan because of his hatred against the boy's Hazara ethnicity and his desire to control things around him. Later, he abuses Sohrab for the same reasons. As an older member of the Taliban, Assef beats Amir because of his perceived betrayal of Amir's Muslim culture and his hatred of all things American.
Near the end of the movie, Amir stands up to his father-in-law, warning the general to never refer to Sohrab as "that Hazara boy" again. The general, like Assef, considers Hazaras beneath his own Pashtun race. Even Amir's driver on his return to Afghanistan, Farid, at first scorns Amir for his desire to recover Sohrab, recognizing that he is a lowly Hazara from his photo.