Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto and Tigers

When I checked my computer this morning I got the news that Benazir Bhutto was dead at the hand of an assassin. The big story of the day before was the mauling at the San Francisco Zoo. These are quite different happenings, but both got my attention.

The incident in San Francisco was tragic and shocking, though also along the lines of bad things that occur as a price for living. Horrific, yes. Earth shattering, no. I was in San Francisco that same day, and at one point was trying to figure out how to spend half the day while waiting to go to a dinner. I never thought about the zoo, but my relative proximity to that bizarre event still got my attention. As we all know, we never know what's next.

All of that could be said of Bhutto's murder as well.

Her death is emblematic though of a Muslim world gone wild. Muslims aren't the only ones who assassinate their leaders, but this assassination is anything but a surprise. According to the reports on her life today she was an imperfect soul, and yet all agree an extraordinary one too. It's the frenzy of hatred and violence that is so dominant in the Muslim world that is disturbing.

Bhutto stood for democracy and stability in a nation that has neither. Her brave choice to return from the safety of exile to bring change to her country is the act of a great woman. Her death is a tragedy for all humans.