Justice in The Kite Runner

Justice in The Kite Runner
In the literature, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, the idea and representation of justice, and its relationship to that of the treatment of women in Afghan society, the ever-changing politics of Afghanistan, and the desired results of redemption and forgiveness, become illustrated through the novel?s characters and motives. Justice can be defined as the quality of being guided by truth, reason, and fairness. The Kite Runner illustrates the power of influence from an outside power and its effects on society, and the minds and lifestyles of the people. In relationship to the Cheverus High School Grad-at-Grad profile the actions and wrongdoings that take place in the The Kite Runner and in Afghanistan prove to be injustice.
Amir, the main character and narrator in the Kite Runner, belongs to a wealthy family in which his father is a powerful businessman. Amir is also a part of the dominant Pashtun ethnic group and Sunni religious group. Amir in the Kite Runner tells the story of his friendship with Hassan. Hassan and his father, Ali, are Amir?s servants. Hassan on the contrary is a low-caste ethnic Hazara and belongs to the minority Shi?it religious faith. This provides many of the Afghan?s who are different such as Sunni?s, who make up 85% of the Muslim faith, to persecute people like Hassan for their religion.

The division between Shia and Sunni dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and the question of who was to take over the leadership of the Muslim nation. Sunni Muslims agree with the position taken by many of the Prophet?s companions, that the new leader should be elected from among those capable of the job. This is what was done, and the Prophet Muhammad?s close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr, became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. On the other hand, some Muslims share the belief that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet?s own family, among those specifically appointed by him, or among Imams appointed by God Himself. The Shia Muslims believe that following the Prophet Muhammad?s death, leadership should have passed directly to his cousin/son-in-law, Ali. Throughout history, Shia Muslims have not recognized the authority of elected Muslim leaders, choosing instead to follow a line of Imams which they believe have been appointed by the Prophet Muhammad or God Himself. The word ?Shia? in Arabic means a group or supportive party of people. The commonly-known term is shortened from the historical ?Shia-t-Ali,? or ?the Party of Ali.? They are also known as followers of ?Ahl-al-Bayt? or ?People of the Household?. The historical background of the differences of the two different Muslim faiths is important to recognize due to the significance of its effect on Afghan culture and lifestyle.
?Afghanistan was a monarchy ruled by King Zahir Shah. On July 17, 1973, when the king was on away on vacation, a man by the name of Mohammad Daoud Khan attained power. The military takeover did not cause any bloodshed, but as we see through Amir?s story, it was still a frightening time for the people of Kabul who heard rioting and shooting in the streets. For six years, Mohammad Daoud Khan was President and Prime Minister of Afghanistan. Then, on April 27, 1978, he was violently overthrown by the pdpa, People?s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Daoud was killed in the coup along with most of his family. Even though Afghanistan had long insisted on maintaining its independence from Russia, the pdpa was a Communist party and therefore held close ties to the Soviet Union. The pdpa instituted many political and social reforms in Afghanistan, including abolishing religious and traditional customs. These reforms infuriated groups of Afghans who believed in the following of traditional and religious laws. These Afghan factions began to revolt against the government so rigorously that in 1979, the Soviet Army entered Afghanistan, beginning an occupation that would last a decade.?
In The Kite Runner, during this take over by the Soviets,Baba and Amir leave Afghanistan for a new place of safety and hope. Throughout the ten years of Soviet occupation, internal Muslim forces put up a resistance. Farid and his father are examples in The Kite Runner of these mujahedins or men engaged in war on the side of Islam. The United States was among the countries that supported the resistance, because of its own anti-Soviet policies. When the Soviet Troops finally withdrew in 1989, Afghanistan remained under pdpa for three more years. Then in 1992, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and therefore Soviet support for the government, the mujahedin finally won Afghanistan and converted it to an Islamic State. After the fighting ended the people of Afghanistan were still unsafe. Many lived their everyday life in fear and felt that their lives were put into jeopardy everyday. In The Kite Runner, Rahim Khan describes the fear in Kabul during the civil war ?The infighting between the factions was fierce and no one knew if they would live to see the end of the day. Our ears became accustomed to the rumble of gunfire, our eyes familiar with the sight of men digging bodies out of piles of rubble. Kabul in those days, Amir jan, was as close as you could get to that proverbial hell on earth.? (p.196) The fear of the people was then capitalized by the new and incoming organization of the Taliban. Which once again would take advantage of their power and influence on the people of Afghanistan implicating customs and traditions that can be viewed as brutal and full of hardship.
While in power, the Taliban implemented the strictest interpretation of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world, and became notorious internationally for their mistreatment of women. Women were forced to wear the burqa in public. They were allowed neither to work nor to be educated after the age of eight, and until then were permitted only to study the Qur?an. Women seeking an education were forced to attend underground schools, where they and their teachers risked execution if caught. Under the Taliban, a woman?s livelihood depended upon how much freedom and respect the man in her house would give. Women had no recourse outside of the home, or outside the marriage. They share a lot of hardships, Mariam and Laila. Outside the home, on the streets, the Mujahideen are blowing the city to pieces, or the Taliban carrying out other great atrocities. Inside the home, the symbol for abuse and injustice is the man, Rasheed. Therefore in the Kite Runner, and in the time and reign of the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan and in this case directly illustrated the devastating effect of an outside power and its influence on the people.
Amir tells the story as he looks back, at all of his memories, even the idyllic ones of his childhood and the harsh ones such as the rape. Amir looks back at these memories and tries to see what he did wrong in the given situation and what he could do to redeem himself, especially in the betrayal of Hassan. Towards the end of the Kite Runner, not only Amir is in need of a second chance and redemption but Assef. Until Rahim Khan reveals Baba?s secret, Amir thinks he is the only sinner among his family and friends. Hassan, through his own actions makes Amir feel guilty long before Amir even betrays him, due to his strong perseverance, and righteousness. Amir is constantly trying to measure up to Baba, because he does not realize that Baba is so hard on him because of his guilt over his own sin. Throughout the The Kite Runner, sin and the need for forgiveness in order to become one with the self and to bring redemption comes up over and over. This holds true for Soraya, who needs Amir to forgive her before she can marry him and Rahim Khan, who needs Amir to forgive him for keeping Baba?s secret before he dies. ?I know that in the end, God will forgive. He will forgive your father, me, and you too ? Forgive your father if you can. Forgive me if you wish. But most important, forgive yourself.? Amir is not able to forgive himself until the very end of the novel, and then sees and feels his redemption.

Afghanistan since its beginning has been a place of conflict, despair, and at times lost hope. It has been taken advantage of and lost its sense of identity, which has had a direct effect on its people, and there own sense of what justice truly is.

Justice in The Kite Runner 8.8 of 10 on the basis of 989 Review.