As you commemorate the 5th anniversary of Benazir’s death, in effect, a blow to democracy, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Pakistan and her people.
Even though the Prophet said to treat your women right, it was not obeyed by many. For that matter how many people in their religion follow Jesus, Moses, Krishna or Buddha? He wanted the governance of people by their elected representative and not a monarch or a dictator. The first 30 years after his death remained democratic, elected Caliphs, though not through a ballot but was with majority consensus. But that vision was shot by Yazid, the brutal monarch who usurped the power and declared himself the king with absolute powers, just like President Morsi did in Egypt.
Benazir gave hopes to Muslim women by becoming the first Muslim woman leader in 13 centuries, and paved the way for those women who aspired to become the Aisha’s and Fatima’s to lead their communities.
She opened the door for Muslim women leaders in Bangladesh and Indonesia to become the 2nd and 3rd heads of the states. As a single Muslim woman she met with the Muslim heads of the states and they did not flip over that, she set the new standards and established the acceptance of woman leadership in Muslim states, no Muslim nation would have allowed that, Pakistan did, while we don't even have one in the United States yet.
Had she lived, she would have rubbed off that influence on the Muslim Monarchs around the world to go back to the beautiful civil 7th Century Arabia, where women were equal partners in life and not chattels. With her untimely death, that dream for Muslim women in Pakistan is shattered, but not gone. Some one will pick up the mantle and I hope these events highlight the courage of women.
Of course nothing comes without sacrifice. You may not agree with the politics of Benazir, but agree and acknowledge her sacrifices, including but not limited to enduring humility and disgusting conditions of living in the wretched jails - because she believed in Democracy for the people of Pakistan.
Pakistan has severe problems in this area, the absence of rule of law causes fear among her people. The harassment of Hindus, abduction of Hindu women destruction of their places of worship, blatant violation of rights of Ahmadiyya, Shia and Christians go unabated and this will tear the country further apart. The first responsibility of any nation is to protect its unprotected. Right now, it appears no one in the governemt wants to do anything.
I hope that Benazir’s death will become symbolic in keeping the flame of democracy alive and hope she continues to inspire Muslim women around the world. Events like this help. The women who were barred from driving cars in Saudi need a Benazir, the Malalas need a Benazir so women can get their education and produce a better society.
More pictures on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2611840231275&set=a.2611839911267.69778.1713098878&type=3&theater