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The discrimination against the Hazaras is the most obvious form of social bias in The Kite Runner. They are treated badly by many of the dominant Pashtuns before the Russian takeover, and when the Taliban gain control, the Hazaras are subjected to ethnic cleansing. Although Baba has no such hatred, especially for his longtime servants, Ali and Hassan, Amir can never regard Hassan as an equal. To Assef, Hazaras are little better than animals. He reasons that sodomizing Hassan is no sin because
"... there's nothing sinful about teaching a lesson to a disrespectful donkey.
"It's just a Hazara..." (Chapter 7)
Assef finds himself persecuted by the Russians when he is subjected to torture and imprisonment following the communist takeover. He in turn kills the Russian officer who had beaten him when when they met
"... on the battlefield a few years later... Then I shot him in the balls." (Chapter 22)
Afghan women face a second-class stature in both their homeland and in America. The Taliban force all women to cover themselves in the traditional burka and institute strict laws that restrict their right to travel or appear in public places. In California, General Taheri refuses to allow his wife to sing and considers his own daughter tainted because of her previous sexual indiscretion.
That she never sing in public had been one of the general's conditions when they had married. (Chapter 13)
As was mentioned in the previous post, Hazaras are marginalized Shiite Muslims who live in the predominantly Sunni country of Afghanistan. For centuries, Hazaras have been discriminated against and oppressed by the majority Pashtun population. Hassan and his father Ali are Hazaras who are marginalized and discriminated against in their hometown of Kabul. In Chapter 2, Amir describes how the Pashtun children would ridicule Ali and explains how the Hazara ethnic group was marginalized, excluded, and silenced in Afghanistan. Amir says,
They called him "flat-nosed" because of Ali and Hassan's characteristic Hazara Mongoloid features. For years, that was all I knew about the Hazaras, that they were Mogul descendants, and that they looked like Chinese people. School textbooks barely mentioned them and referred to their ancestry only in passing. (Hosseini 10)
In addition to witnessing children make fun of the facial features of Ali and the education system's refusal to teach about the Shi'a ethnic group, Amir reads about how the Hazaras are discriminated against throughout his country. Amir describes the book by saying,
"It also said some things I did know, like that people called Hazaras mice-eating, flat-nosed, load-carrying donkeys. I had heard some of the kids in the neighborhood yell those names to Hassan" (Hosseini 11).
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