Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, is alive.
Over a hundred people in Karachi, Pakistan, aren't.
Bhutto was on her way make a speech at the tomb of Pakistan's founding father. About 150,000 of her supporters were on hand, near her convoy. She had returned to Pakistan today.
In 1988, Bhutto became the first woman to lead a post-colonial-era Muslim state. She was booted out of office on corruption charges, re-elected in 1993, and booted out again in 1996 on - what a surprise - corruption charges. She's been living in Dubai since 1999.
I don't know whether there's anything to the corruption charges, or if it's part of the Stans' culture: a sort of post-election mudslinging.
Bhutto isn't exactly the Taliban's ideal of femininity. She studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford, has an additional degree from Harvard University, doesn't wear a burqa, and led a Muslim country.
Going on three times, if she runs in the next Pakistani election, and wins: both of which seem likely.
Back-to-the-seventh-century Muslims have many reasons to be infuriated with Bhutto. In this woman we have a woman who is:
- Doesn't wear a burqa
- Has run a country
- Supports the war on terror
Parts of the press and academia in America have a tough decision now: Is Bhutto
- A brilliant woman, fighting oppression
- corrupt puppet of a militaristic American administration
In any event, I like to think that Bhutto's popularity - and Musharraf's apparent efforts to team up with Bhutto because of her popular support - show that the people of Islamic countries are ready to accept an alternative to jihadist leaders.
Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.
Posts about Benazir Bhutto.