Benazir Bhutto 1953 - 2007

I wasn't sure that I wanted to 'blog' this particular topic as each time I think about it, I get quite emotional one way or another. Mostly angry, but I am also quite sad about this. So, rather than sit here and ravage my opinion on the Pakistani government and all of the horrors that could be, I have decided instead to pay my respects to former Prime Minister Bhutto by paying tribute to her legacy - not only as a politician, but a woman of power in an Islamic state who spoke the true beliefs of Islam - peace, good and equality for all.

I myself am one-half Middle Eastern. You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I am. Due to this, I had what most consider to be a unique upbringing and can guarantee that my household was the only one in our middle class NJ neighborhood tuned into late night world news so my father could keep up with the happenings in the Middle East. Thus, we were front and center in 1988 when Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister. My father, of course, had his opinions on the situation; but I was completely mesmerized by the fact that this strikingly beautiful, incredibly intelligent woman was being sworn in to lead an Islamic nation even though I know I was too young to understand the brevity of the situation.

I was saddened, and angered, to see her dismissed from power in 1990 due to corruption charges; and when she was re-elected in 1993 I hoped things would be different. Sadly though she was once again dismissed and then fled into self-imposed exile in 1998. When she announced she would return to Pakistan this past summer I had mixed feelings about it. I was of course elated that she was going to return to Pakistan, but feared that she would encounter violence that even she could not have imagined given the sweeping changes in view point that have taken place during the last five years in the Middle East. But, when she knelt down to kiss the ground upon arriving back in Pakistan, I knew that she would either change the world, or die trying. Sadly, it is now the latter. I commend her bravery and hope that her supporters continue to fight for her beliefs in her honor. May every man, woman and child around this Earth take a page from her book and come to understand that all persons, no matter sex, color, religion or economic status, are equal. Finally, may Allah keep Bhutto by his side and keep all she loved from harm.