Friday, December 28, 2007

The Murder of Benazir Bhutto

The news has been dominated since yesterday morning by the assassination in Pakistan of Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister who returned from exile to run for president in the upcoming elections against Pervez Musharraf. When leaving a political rally, Ms Bhutto was apparently shot several times by an assassin who then blew himself up, killing many other people .

Unsurprisingly, an unsubstantiated claim of responsibility for the murder has evidently been made by al Qaeda. Whether this claim is true or not, I think it wouldn't be going too far out on a limb to guess that the murderer wasn't a Catholic, Jew, or Buddhist. While suicide murderers are not unheard of in those religions, the vast majority of them nowadays are radical Muslims.

Why is that?

I, as do most Americans, find it utterly incomprehensible that people could commit murder in God's name. I find it horrifying that people could believe in a religion that honors brutal murderers as "martyrs" doing God's will. There are those who will offer all sorts of explanations and justifications for such heinous acts - that people are otherwise without hope, that they have no other outlet for their frustrations, that it's all right to murder those who don't worship God as they do.

This is disgusting.

Now, make no mistake: Benazir Bhutto was no saint. She had run a corrupt government while Prime Minister of Pakistan, and the fact that she was supported by much of the population probably had less to do with her personally than with the fact that she wasn't Pervez Musharraf. But the fact that someone would wantonly murder her, and kill large numbers of other people in the process, deserves the absolute condemnation of rational humans everywhere.

We often take for granted that we live in a country where, no matter how terrible the administration in power is, we change leadership by the ballot box rather than the bomb. Likewise, we take for granted that we live in one of the very, very few countries where people of all races, faiths, and creeds coexist in relative harmony. We have our share of political and religious morons, but most people are smart enough to treat them with the disdain they deserve.

Let's hope it stays that way. As much as I despise the current leadership of our country, I'm glad I live in a country where we can get rid of them by pushing the button on a voting machine rather than a suicide vest.

Much of the rest of the world isn't so fortunate.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



John A Hill said...

The USA may not always be home sweet home, but it is home...and I can't think of a place that I'd rather call my home. In spite of all of our faults, I'm glad to be an American with all of the freedom and responsibility that goes with it!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I can't believe that even the Muslim religion really condones killing in God's name...


Amanda said...

You are indeed very lucky to be able to vote for the government you want. There are some countries where they do have elections but the 'winners' are always the same!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Al Queda have claimed another scalp. Pakistan will be in turmoil for some time.

Mike said...

Not a good day for the human race in general.