Women die everyday, yet this week Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan who recently returned to her home country to chair the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was killed after an election rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A suicide bomber first shot three rifle shots, and then detonated a bomb which killed 28 more people in the crowd. The cause of death is still confused, as the official report was that she was never hit by rifle fire, rather died from hitting her head on the sunroof of the car she was traveling in.
Martyrs are well received in Islamic tradition, and Bhutto being one of those may have been an unsavory notion… so let’s just have her hit her head and die… more of an accident that negates martyrdom. Well, anyway… whatever about that. It’s done, she’s dead and with her hope for better conditions for the people of Pakistan who have been living under a dictatorship for years.
Benazir wanted to bring democracy back, to give the people of Pakistan the ability to choose their leaders, and improve conditions for women throughout the country. (I’ve heard that if a woman gets raped in this country, she must have 4 witnesses to the crime in order to avoid stoning for her crime of being sexual with someone other than her husband).
It’s difficult for me to understand any wrongful death. I understand that there is room for everything in our world, and that space offers abundant possibility for us, yet it does seem a waste to kill each other because we don’t agree about something… I think that’s the fundamental reason for most of the violence we experience in our world.
Why this is under Amazon Lore is that Bhutto was, in my mind, a contemporary Amazon. A woman committed to preserving the people’s rights to a peaceful and more empowered life. Some of her methods and tactics were considered less than exemplary, yet she remained clear about her reasons and intentions for returning to Pakistan in spite of serious threats to her life. I’ve been impressed with her for a number of years, and feel great sadness at this news. I also feel that more of us will be called to stand firm in our convictions – whether the arena is huge, as in her case, or a smaller one…as in your own life.
She is survived by her three teenaged children and husband of 20 years. (more news stories about Bhutto)