Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Assassination of Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto: A Terrible Day for Pakistan and for Islam

By Ibrahim Abdil-Mu'id Ramey
MAS Freedom Civil and Human Rights Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) Dec. 27, 2007 - I am struggling to find words to express my grief and outrage after hearing the news of the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto earlier today in Pakistan.

Regardless of one's political sentiments, or support for any of the factions struggling for political supremacy in that nation, the killing of Mrs. Bhutto is a tragic blow to democratic rule in Pakistan.

And, make no mistake about it, while the identities of the culprits are not known at this time, one thing is a virtual certainty: they are Muslims.

Sadly, the phenomenon of Muslims killing other Muslims is not shocking news for a world drenched in sensational, mass violence; and the people of Pakistan are certainly no strangers to political intrigue or fratricide. But with Pakistan - the world's second most populous majority-Muslim nation - at the crossroads of political change, and with the promise of that change being electoral, and nonviolent - the consequences of this killing are both profound and immense.

Benazir Bhutto, to be sure, had both staunch supporters and vehement enemies, among them being Muslims who categorically rejected the idea of a woman possibly, once again, becoming the leader of their nation.

There were also numerous Pakistanis, of all ideological persuasions, who viewed Bhutto's previous terms of leadership with deep disfavor.

But the idea of political assassination as a legitimate expression of dissent is un-categorically haram.

For those of us who claim al-Islam as our way of life and call ourselves Muslim, murder is unlawful, and an abomination in the eyes of our Creator.

Now is not the time to deconstruct and interrogate the legacy of Benazir Bhutto's past terms as a Prime Minister of Pakistan. Nor should we speculate on who is responsible for her murder, or for the deaths of scores of her supporters in the suicide bombing and shooting that claimed her life.

We must recognize that the violent authoritarian and repressive government of Pakistan has created a climate of hostility and hatred that made the murder of Mrs. Bhutto not only likely, but perhaps inevitable.

The unconditional U.S. political support for the Musharraf dictatorship, coupled with massive American economic and military support, added fuel to the fire of extremism that ultimately claimed her life.

And now, as we offer our condolences to the family of Benazir Bhutto and the people of Pakistan, we must pray for an end to the cancer of violence that has affected our Ummah, as we diligently work for the restoration of peace and democratic values that are vital to our collective survival.

Benazir Bhutto Killed in Attack
Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack.


Anonymous said...

Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmathullah
As you know these things happen because nobody listens to Islam. People say they are muslims but they go for their own judgements in shariah matters overriding it. Allah commands us to return to Him in all affairs of our lives, to return to Qur'an (His commands and guidance) and the Hadith or Traditions of Prophet (actions and sayings of Prophet Mohammad -peace be upon him) in case of any disputes amongst us. but do we follow this command? No, not at all. our politicians, our public, our muslim women all want to follow western style,in all affairs. So tell me, where is Islam? Whom are we blaming for all these nasty affairs of ours? Why can't we follow Allah's commands? Hold fast to His Rope of Qur'an and Deen of Islam? Why should be borrow ideology and philosophy, style of government from rejectors of Allah and His Prophet and Deen Islam who are actually in the dark???So long as we are not on Islamic path, you will see more such troubles but we beg Allah to pardon us all and save us in this life and in the hereafter from all troubles and punishments. aameen.

Usman said...

Brother Ramey,

Bhutto's death was tragic in only the same way that any human's death is tragic. The fact that you could utter the phrase that Bhutto's death dealt a blow to democracy in Pakistan proves your lack of knowledge on the situation there. Likewise, you state that now is not the time to deconstruct her legacy. Pay attention to the American media's portrayal of Bhutto after her death... they are painting her as a martyr for democracy, when in fact she was elected twice as PM, and both times she only served her own interests in raping the country.

Next you take a moment to label Musharraf a dictator. It's rather easy to make such statements from the comfort of Virginia, but the truth of the matter is that he is in a far more difficult situation than Bhutto or Sharif ever found themselves. Despite being pressured by the West, the Taliban, India, and internal Islamist parties, he has managed to lead the economy to 7% GDP growth year over year. No recent PM or President can claim anything that strong.

Yes, the country is unstable... and yes Musharraf is being supported by the West for their own purposes... but these purposes serve Pakistan's interests as well. For almost 30 years the Afghani refugees have spread drug use and crime around the country.

Anyway, I digress. I'm sure one day we'll find out who was behind her murder. For now, I'm looking at the person who benefits most from her death. Ask the new leader of her political party about his involvement... while you're at it, ask him about any involvement of Bhutto's brother in the 80's.