Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Benazir Bhutto

I haven't written much seriously in awhile, mostly because I have felt like all I have been doing is repeating myself, there is only so much you can say on a subject without getting very dull. Over the past few days on the news there has been alot of talk about the assasination of Benazir Bhutto, and talk about if she and/or her husband were currupt or not.

The thing that I find odd is what is not being talked about. In the west we are often very critical of the role of women in Islam. Pakistan is an islamic state, unlike Egypt, Morroco, Turkey or even Iraq under Sadam which although are mostly islamic populations have secular governments.

Pakistan had a female Prime Minister long before the "GREAT USA" would even seriously consider the possibility of having a female president.

Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist leader of an Islamic state.

What people fail to understand is the issues around what a women's role in islam is, are not dissimilar to the issues around women in christianity, these are more cultural interpretations of religion than they are about religion itself. The same is true about if you are inclined to have a very right wing or left wing government.

The US which is largely christian has right wing politics, largely based on the cultural interpretation of christianity.

Europe which is largely christian has left wing politics, largely based on it's cultural interpretation of christianity.

The same is true in the Islamic world, in both secular and religious states.

I realize all this is a bit of a ramble, because there are several points going on here at once.

I suppose the main points are:
1) that Pakistan, an Islamic nation is more progressive in many ways than the US.
2) we are wrongly blaiming religion for the behaviour of people when it is actually cultural and political interpretations of the religion which is the real issue.

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