The Kite Runner takes place in Afghanistan, where conflict between the Sunni-Muslim Pashtun's and the Shiite Hazara's is very heavy. But this rivalry is not against only the Shiite Hazara's, but it includes all kinds of the Hazara people, including minorities of Sunni Hazara and Ismaili Shia Hazara. In 1747 when Afghanistan was originally founded, Pashtun had the vast majority of the state. It wasn't until the Hazaras immigrated to Kabul in the second half of the twentieth century, that their religious, ideological, economic, geographic, and linguistic characteristics were threatened. The idea of their culture being over ruled, forced the Pashtun to hate the Hazara and attempt to hinder their ways. The way the Pashtun saw the Hazara was the same way the Hazara had seen the Pashtun; wrong. If at first two people collide because of religious differences, chances are they will never get along. How can one expect others to accept their religion and way of life, when they cannot accept that of others? Being born and brought up learning a certain religion, the mind is not open to other cultures because they are given the idea that basically, what they know is "correct" and "acceptable", while anyone who goes against it is supposedly "wrong."
Cultural difference is heavily focused on between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras. Throughout the novel the main character Amir is somewhat embarrassed to admit Hassan, his best friend, was a Hazara in fear of judgement. Pashtuns and Hazara have heavy conflict and the issues date back centuries before Amir and Hassan's time.
Pashtuns are Sunni Muslim and caucasian, while the Hazaras are Shiite Muslim and mainly asiastic, looking mongolian or chinese. The two are very easily distinguished because of the large difference simply by their appearance. It is hard to accept one another because of the many differences they have, and being raised to believe that another religion that conflicted with yours, was wrong. However, Amir was...
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