Raquel Evita Saraswati on Bhutto

My good friend Raquel Evita Saraswati has just published a great piece in Haaretz on the failed hope of Benazir Bhutto. To read the article in full, please click here. For the Hebrew version, click here.

Money Quote:

“Bhutto’s leadership was profoundly flawed. Her stated ideas and values, however, indicated true promise. If Muslims – and believers in democracy the world over – can relinquish reverence for Bhutto as a woman, and instead live according to those stated ideals – that democracy is necessary for peace, and that you can “kill a man, but not an idea” – then we have a fighting chance at change. Muslim women have a particularly important role to play, as we have the least to lose and the most to gain by fighting tribalism head-on. After all, it is women who bear the brunt of the evils Bhutto chose not to confront, and thus it is women who must take the initiatives she did not. We even have the backing of the Koran, which states: “God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (13:11). This is a call to action and a command against passivity.”

3 responses to “Raquel Evita Saraswati on Bhutto

  1. Thank you for the props 🙂

  2. Great article. I don’t know much about the political system within Pakistan, but perhaps the reason Bhutto only gave “lip service when it came to issues of human rights” was because the system that she was working with was ineffectual or unwilling to see her ideas put into action.

    What I was thinking while reading the article was, not how momentous it was that a woman became prime minister of Pakistan, but how momentous it would be if a male leader stood up for the same ideals as Bhutto in terms of treatment of women.

  3. katia santibanez

    Raquel brings up a few issues in her great article.
    I feel lucky as a woman to live in the US and in Europe, I have much more freedom and rights than a woman living in a muslim country.
    It took many years for women in Europe and the USA to obtain what we have now (abortion, contraception, right to vote….).
    The first declaration of Women rights was written in 1791 by Marie Olympe de Gouges, she got decapitated by Robespierre after many women fought for their rights.
    Still there is much more to do everywhere in the world, the list is long (violence, rape…).
    The more rights we will have, the more rights women in Muslims countries will have, if Muslim men accept and respect the women as they are.
    It could make a difference if a male leader stand up for the women ‘s rights in the Muslim countries but who could that be?
    Right now Benazir ‘s son is too young, her widower Zardari, I doubt.
    There is Fatima Bhutto, if she decides to dive into the political world and it’s a very dangerous world.
    We shall see.
    Meanwhile women have to stand up for their rights and men are welcome to join us.

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