Updates (12/29): Benazir Bhutto Killed in Terrorist Attack

This story will be updated as more news and images are made available. Last Update 12/29 09:45 EST (towards the end)

Unfortunate turn of events in Pakistan. Although most decent Pakistanis and Muslims have no love lost for Benazir because of her bondage to the West and her anti-religion stand, there is still no justification for murder and carnage. This is pure terrorism that must be condemned by all, religious or otherwise. If anyone had a problem with her politics, then the proper route is to use one’s pen and mind to argue against her ideology, not use the coward’s strategy of shutting up who you can’t argue with. Violence is the nemesis that will sink Pakistan if people don’t wake up and recognize its evil (both in an Islamic and social sense).

I cannot imagine the Army having a hand in this, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Musharraf didn’t provide the full protect that he himself ensures around himself. In my opinion, Musharraf needed Benazir, but you can never put anything past a desperate dictator. With Nawaz Sharif already barred from the election, does it mean the King’s party is back in business?

What I find as an exaggerated headline: Fears Of Civil War After Bhutto’s Assasination. One fortunate and unfortunate aspect of Pakistan’s history is that the army is strong enough to take over when the going gets rough. Ironically, this may have actually been the RIGHT time to impose emergency, had Busharraf not misused it a few weeks ago to protect his dictatorship. Instead Musharraf has declared 3 days of mourning, great good that will do. What a perilous situation for the dictator!Of course, the Islamophobes are out blaming once again Islam for this murder, such as this article where the author urges the “West to gain some insight into the culture of Islam and, in particular, of the Middle East. What can be easily observed is the abject refusal to take any responsibility for anything done in the name of Islam”. I find it amazing that Islam is put on the docket every time some bad thing happens… soon you’ll be hearing that global warming is being caused by Islam, while the more subtle ones will add that is being caused by “Islamic hardliners”. So, where was the same blame-game in the murder of the Gandhis, or the Kennedys?

There is no doubt that a strain of radicalism exists in Pakistan, but it is being fed by Musharraf’s own policies, like his mass-murder of innocent students in the Red Mosque. Just like our nation’s (USA) foreign policies, like the invasion of Iraq are leading to increased terrorist recruiting (based on our own Intelligence reports), the same sort of thing is happening in Pakistan, where Musharraf’s blanket crackdown (not discriminating between orthodox practitioners and radical militants) is feeding the same terrorist propaganda. This is not a justification for terrorism, rather an understanding of root-causes.

Updates @ 12/29 (09:45) courtesy Dawn.com:

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  • Rioting in Pakistan kills 38, causes tens of millions of dollars in damage
  • Rioters also destroyed 176 banks, 72 train cars and 18 rail stations
  • Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema added that things were returning to normalcy and there was relative calm on Saturday [doesn’t sound like it, does it?]
  • Benazir Bhutto’s husband said in an interview Saturday that she left instructions about the future of the Pakistan People’s Party to be read in the event of her death, which would be made public Sunday
  • Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Qazi Muhammad Farooq has called an emergency meeting of the Commission on December 31 to discuss the prevailing political situation as well as damage to polling stations and election material in different cities
  • An alleged Al-Qaeda leader Baitullah Mehsud, blamed by the Pakistan government for killing Benazir Bhutto, denied any involvement in her death, his spokesman told AFP on Saturday. “He had no involvement in this attack,” spokesman Maulana Omar said in a telephone call. “This is a conspiracy of the government, army and intelligence agencies.” The spokesman said he was calling from Pakistan’s Waziristan area. “It is against tribal tradition and custom to attack a woman,”
    • In response, the Interior Ministry reiterated government’s claim that Baitullah Mehsud was behind Benazir Bhutto’s killing, despite Mehsud’s denials. “We have the evidence that he is involved,” Cheema said. “Why should he (Mehsud) accept that he has done it. It does not suit him. I don’t think anybody has the capability to carry out such suicide attacks except for those people.”
    • Cheema also dismissed foreign help in investigating the killing.
    • [Its tough to dismiss Mehsud’s tribal cultural prohibition stance. Though we know Al-Qaida is not too worried about killing women and children based on past history, it is entirely possible that the tribal folks may not go along with that. The fact that there are already suspicions about a coverup, the denial of foreign help adds to the uncertainty about the “official narrative”]
  • Sherry Rehman, a close aide to Benazir Bhutto and also her spokeswoman, told AFP Saturday she saw a bullet wound in the Pakistani opposition leader’s head when she bathed her body after her assassination.
    • “There was a bullet wound I saw that went in from the back of her head and came out the other side. “We could not even wash her properly because the wound was still seeping. She lost a huge amount of blood.” Rehman accused the government of mounting a cover-up over Benazir’s death. “The hospital was made to change its statement. They never gave a proper report,” she said. “I believe the interior ministry is saying that she died from some concussion that may have taken place against the sunroof. This is ridiculous, dangerous nonsense because it is a cover-up of what actually happened.
    • In response, the Interior Ministry stood by its contention of concussion injury: “We gave you absolute facts, nothing but the facts,” he said. “It was corroborated by the doctors’ report. It was corroborated by the evidence collected.” “It is immaterial as to how she died. What is more important is who are the people who killed her,” Cheema said
    • [I am kind of puzzled too… why would there be a lie either way. In both cases, the injury was caused, directly or indirectly, by the perpertrators. So, it doesn’t change the ultimate reality. What politics!]

Updates @ 12/28 (17:45):
Apparently, Benazir died of a skull fracture after her head hit the sunroof caused by the bomb shockwave. Not via bomb shrapnel or gunshots. SubhanAllah, when someone’s time is up, no direct hit is required… in fact no hit at all is required.

Here’s a video where you can hear the shots and the blast via CNN.

Updates @ 12/28 (09:45) about funeral and Benazir’s Last Moments Video (below the sleeve):

bilawal-and-zardari-at-benazir-funeral.jpgBenazir buried in the mausoleum, where her father is also buried. Tens of thousands attended the funeral. The coffin, draped in her party’s flag, was accompanied by her husband and three children. Attendees chanted anti-Musharraf and anti-US slogans. If that is any indication of where people are pointing fingers, then both Musharraf and US’s image is on the way downhill, as if has much further down to go. I am still awaiting an update on the Karachi situation from my friend. Here is Imran Khan’s reaction to his Oxford friend Benazir’s murder.

No confirmation whether elections will go on. Interestingly, the US is urging that elections go on because otherwise the “terrorists would have won”. What nonsense! The terrorists win MUCH more if you have a farce of an election that reelects the “King’s party” and confirms Musharraf’s dictatorship. And with Benazir dead, and Nawaz boycotting, any elections now WILL be a farce. Right now is a time for putting the brakes on political activity, taking a deep breath, and letting things settle down a bit. A farce election now will also be a violent election.

Rioting and unrest has been reported across the country. [BBC]

  • At least one passenger train was set ablaze in Sindh Province and a number of railway stations were reportedly burnt as security forces in the province were ordered to shoot rioters on sight
  • Several people died in Karachi as government offices, police stations and vehicles were torched by rioters and police opened fire on protesters in Hyderabad
  • The office of a pro-government party was ransacked and set ablaze in Peshawar
  • In the city of Multan in Punjab province, a mob ransacked seven banks and torched a petrol station

More Updates from 12/27:

Eye-Witness Account from Karachi:

I was shopping … In a split second, the atmosphere changed from a bustling shopping atmosphere to that of mass panic. As we were running out of a building filled with small shops, I saw mass amounts of dust in the air and people running all over the place, panicked. More at Freep

Benazir’s Last Moments Video (below); Another video showing Benazir’s jeep here

[youtube K3Hucx9sZ2U]

Updates @ 22:45: Most transportation systems are severely affected. My parents in Pakistan left at the crack of dawn to travel about 50 miles back to home in Lahore. Things are far worse in Karachi. Today (in Pakistan) is Friday, which means the crowds gathering for Friday prayers. I hope that this day of blessings is not misused for rioting and other unIslamic activities. I got the following from a friend who has been stuck in her office (in Karachi). I have asked her to write more about the ground situation if she gets the opportunity:

i am stuck at office Amad…lots of riot..half of us could not go home…family reached home after four bad hours on the road..i am still figuring out how we will get home… I promise to have something to you by the evening.. right now my head is totally zonked..no sleep…take care!

More on the violence erupting including new updates over the sleeve.

Updates @ 14:45: Nawaz announces boycott of elections, to which I say “good opportunism”. Because there is little chance that the elections will happen as scheduled. Nawaz already squandered semblance of being a principled man when he quit the movement to boycott elections in the first place. A stand that Imran Khan and others honorably kept. A stand to bring back the deposed judges, wrongly removed from office by Musharraf. A stand to inject the mildest of integrity in Pakistani politics. In other news, there have been reports of rioting and other unrest.

As expected, rioting has erupted in parts of the country, and more innocent people have died. What I never understood is how and why a reaction to violence is MORE violence, leading to MORE deaths. What is the fault of shop-keepers, or of hospitals or of public property, or of life and property of other citizens that someone killed Benazir? The Pakistani population needs to calm down… may Allah help the nation. More updates from Dawn:

Update @ 1445: At least 14 persons were killed including 10 Karachi as rioting broke out tonight in several parts of Pakistan… Television channels reported 10 deaths in different parts of Karachi in incidents of firing, looting and setting vehicles, shops and petrol pumps on fire (NDTV)

At least four dead in rioting after Bhutto death: police ISLAMABAD, Dec 28 (AFP) – At least four people were shot dead as rioting broke out in several cities across Pakistan on Thursday following the death of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, police sources said. (Dawn.com Posted @ 22:18 PST)

At least 20 vehicles were torched in Sindh’s second biggest town of Hyderabad. There were also small protests in Rawalpindi and the nearby capital, Islamabad. Protesters blocked roads with burning tyres and chanted anti-Musharraf slogans in Muzaffarabad, capital of Azad Kashmir. Police said they had been ordered to block the main road between Punjab province and Sindh province, apparently to stop the movement of protesters. Disturbances were also reported in the southeastern city of Multan, although details were sketchy. In Lahore, capital of Punjab province, Bhutto party workers burnt three buses and damaged several other vehicles, police said. (Dawn.com Posted @ 22:38 PST)

Earlier news:

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack after a rally in the city of Rawalpindi on Thursday, her party said. (ABC)

Ms Benazir Bhutto were killed and several others injured in an attack here outside Liaquat Bagh, Rawaplpindi on Thursday (Jang)

”We are traumatised. People all over are crying. Everyone is saying that this Army has killed Benazir. There is going to be more bloodshed. Will the world now finally wake up? said a distraught Asma Jehangir, Chairperson, Pak Human Rights Commission. (NDTV)

Nawaz Sharif was at the hospital and addressed Bhutto’s supporters. Sharif said he “shared the grief of the entire nation” and called on President Musharraf to resign (Guardian)

Washington Post’s Report & Pakistan Ambassador’s Interview

From BBC , BBC Audio, BBC Video of Rally, Coverage on Dawn Newspaper

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84 responses to “Updates (12/29): Benazir Bhutto Killed in Terrorist Attack”

  1. Amad says:

    Even if Musharraf didn’t have a direct hand in this, I blame him for the state of instability that has been created in Pakistan.

  2. Amad says:

    According to what I am hearing from talking to relatives… she was shot in the chest and the neck by two men with AK47s. Then there was a bomb blast and the guys killed themselves. (now confirmed by BBC)

  3. iMuslim says:

    I can’t believe what i’m reading! I haven’t watched the news at all today… subhanallah.

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon.

    Although we disagreed with many of her actions, she died as a Muslim (Allahu ‘alam); thus i pray that Allah has mercy on her soul.

    A very tragic story for Pakistan, and her family.

  4. Assalam Alaikum

    Inna lillahi wa inna illahi rajeeon..

    May Allah swt give us taufeeq to understand Quran & Sunnah… ameen

  5. […] MM: Benazir Bhutto killed in Terrorist Attack […]

  6. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon.

  7. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon…..

    bus chand din hai khawabon ka silsila
    phir hashr tak rahay ga azabon ka silsila….

    To what end do we strive?

  8. Hidayah says:

    SubhanAllah her father and two brothers were assasinated as well-

  9. me says:

    some1 shud tell the brainwashed militants that suicide bombing and specifically to kill other muslims is not freaking jihad..its HARAM!!!som1 shud regulate the fatwa factory

  10. me says:

    may Allah preserve Pakistan and destroy those who seek to disturb its peace ameen

  11. Solomon2 says:

    To what end, yes. Electing even a flawed democrat like Bhutto seems impossible. The alternatives appear to be Taliban-style totalitarianism or selfish military rule. What should ordinary Pakistanis do right now?

  12. Samir says:

    Something tells me this event, considering how much attention is being given to ‘Islamic extremists’ and ‘Islamists’ in the media, this will make or break the future of Islam in Pakistan.

  13. Amad says:

    There are enough fatwas against it… The problem is that its eaSy to brainwash people when there is a sense and atmosphere of hatred created by musharraf.

    Assasins come in all flavors. Whose fatwa was followed in the murder of the gandhis or jfks or other world leaders? Its not religion, but mind games played with uneducated or brainwashed individual with all sorts of ideological slants.

  14. Amad says:

    The alternatives appear to be Taliban-style totalitarianism or selfish military rule.

    A look a historical trends in Pakistan will make it clear to anyone who understands the Pakistani situation that the religious parties never have had a foothold in Pakistan politics. Not because of the “religious” label, but because they have been seen to be insincere and basically politicizing religion, rather than actually using it to promote human dignity and the rule of law and justice.

    Benazir was not a “good” alternative, even if she was alive. As I said, this doesn’t change the fact that her murder is an act of cowardice and completely unIslamic. We have a tendency to make martyrs out of the assassinated. And that too is the wrong reaction.

    I believe that Imran Khan, who has always stuck to principles over politics, would make for a good leader. But like Ron Paul, his chances are slim to none.

    If I were a betting man, I’d say that Musharraf’s party will remain/regain power in the forseeable future OR that he will make a deal with Nawaz Sharif, the latter becoming prime-minister. In this time of uncertainty, some system of checks and balances (which Nawaz as PM and Musharraf as Prez) may be all we can ask for. What will be the real test for the Pakistani people is whether they will be able to return the judiciary back to the principled judges and not Musharraf’s puppets.

    May Allah save Pakistan’s people from the wretchedness of both the liberals who want to rip Islam off Pakistan, and from the extremists who want to rip Pakistan for a perverted version of Islam.

  15. Umm Layth says:

    inna lillahi wa inna ilahi raji’oon

  16. nafsee says:

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon.

    A Muslim woman (I’m assuming) with a cloth on her head brave enough to stand up against criticism/threats/warnings and with an intention (so it seemed) to change her country. There were/are sooo many innocent ppl (women, children, and men) hurt or killed due to political turmoil, especially in Muslim countries.

    I don’t agree with everything Ms. Bhutto did in her political/personal life, but she was definitely not a coward. Unfortunately, she was killed by a cowardly act.

    I pray that Allah (SWT) grants peace in Pakistan and all the Muslim countries soon.

  17. H2 says:

    Its interesting how Nawaz Sharif (and even Bhutto) were considered such sought after presidential commodities, given they were chased out of pakistan each for corruption. Must be sad state of affairs when you would consider going back to two people who ran the country into the ground financially.

    Although I’m not a big supporter of Musharraf, I can sympathize somewhat with the position he is in, caught between a rock and a hard place with the pressure of his People’s demands and those of Amrica

  18. Amad says:

    If it was such a hard place for Mushi, then why chase this position like a madman? If you want power, then live with the consequences of decisions– good and bad ones. In Mushi’s case, the latter have taken the toll.

  19. Solomon2 says:

    A look a historical trends in Pakistan will make it clear to anyone who understands the Pakistani situation that the religious parties never have had a foothold in Pakistan politics

    A wider look at historical trends reveals that mature Indus valley cultures end up being conquered and ruled by the rag-tag bands out of the mountains.

  20. […] Muslim Matters, iMuslim also introduced this news! Posted in Death, Extrimism, Human Rights, Media, Middle east, […]

  21. Amad says:

    I just talked to my mother, who was visiting her family in Gujranwala, a city about 50 miles from Lahore. The situation is quite tense there. People are staying indoors.

    My family was to drive back to Lahore (where they live) tonight but the main highways are closed and there is a general fear of going out on the main roads anyway due to some of the rogue elements. In situations like these, the volatility is exploited by the everyday robbers and thieves. So, my family wisely decided to stay put for tonight.

    Inshallah I will be in Pakistan in a few days (if the situation doesn’t spiral out of control and air traffic is not hampered), and will be reporting on the ground-situation as I see it. May Allah keep things calm and peaceful, and protect the lives and properties of all Pakistanis.

  22. Shahrzad says:

    It is start of a long story in Pakistan. I hope Pakistanis be aware and try to make the atmosphere stable..
    Allahu Yarhamha our sister in Islam…

  23. AnonyMouse says:

    May Allah grant Pakistan peace and recovery from the calamities it has suffered, ameen!

  24. Solomon2 says:

    Update: Al Qaeda claims responsibility: “We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen”

  25. Amad says:

    Solomon, thx for the update. Al-Qaeda may have had a hand in this or may have planned this, but at this time, it may be good ole grandstanding. I mean why would NOT they claim this??

    And to be honest, Al-Qaeda should have been ASHAMED of this, not proud. Killing an unarmed woman is the hallmark of cowards… hmm… after I digested that thought for a second, well then perhaps it is appropriate! After all Al-Qaeda members are nothing but cowards who have hijacked Islam for their own perverted goals.

  26. Molly says:

    Do you seriously think Musharraf had nothing to do with this? He used “threats from extremists” to declare emergency rule and oust the judges, of course he would make this look like an extremist attack in order to get rid of his greatest threat (since according to you Sharif is already discredited) and still stay in with the West. This is obviously backed by someone other than Al-Qaeda, especially when Al-Qaeda hasn’t been mentioned as claiming the attack, at least not by any reputable sources. The first finger is always pointed at the “extremists” but this is obviously something else.

  27. Shahzad says:

    This situation in Pakistan is a tragedy for everyone involved and everyone has had a hand in perpetuating it. Tears will flow for Bhutto, but what of the hundreds of other anonymous fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sisters and brothers who have died in all political and religious camps. I can’t help but to believe that every Pakistani has a hand in this deplorable situation: the corrupted secular politicians and their supporters, the military and their supporters, the landlords, the religious leaders and their supporters, everyone who has given or taken a bribe, those who take their tribe or ethnic group as more superior than the other, and so on.

    “Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”

  28. Hidayah says:

    I doubt the authentity of Al-Qaeda claim as it hasnt been reported anywhere else

  29. Shibli Zaman says:

    as-salamu `alaykum,

    Jazakumullahu khayran, Amad for speaking out against injustice and may Allah preserve you.

    I am saddened that many Pakistanis see nothing wrong with shooting a woman multiple times then blowing themselves up along with her and 20 other people scattering their remains everywhere. We kill ANIMALS with more honor!

    Bhutto was a criminal who robbed the Pakistani people. Yet, I personally never saw anything from her that nullified her Islam. She was a sinner, but not a kafirah from what I know. From what I know she was a Muslim woman and unless there is proof that her Islam was nullified then we can not make takfir.

    So this was the brutal murder of a Muslim woman that should be condemned.

    فأقول إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون

  30. ummbasheer says:

    Updates! Benazir Bhutto Killed in Terrorist Attack
    This is pure terrorism that must be condemned by all, religious or otherwise.

    Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raajioon.
    I am wondering, did people call the assassination of the Kennedys and the Gandhis a “terrorist attack”? Is it a terrorist attack merely because Muslims are presumed to be involved, or because there was a suicide bombing in the mix? She was a political figure who was sadly and unjustifiably assassinated. May Allah protect us all.

  31. talib says:

    subhan allah…

    the events coming out of pakistan is getting bloodier and more devastating every since the attack on the red mosque. Allahu Musta3an.

    I see the only one benefiting from all these events Musharraf and not alqaida or any other political party.

  32. Amad says:

    Those assasinations were terrorist acts as well…
    Remember that at least 20 more people died in this act ofpure terrorism. As muslims, if we are not clear and unreserved in calling clear acts of terrorism by what they are, then our ambivalence in using the term will be exploited at other opportunities where ther is need for ambivalence.

  33. Solomon2 says:

    did people call the assassination of the Kennedys and the Gandhis a “terrorist attack”?

    Depends on which Kennedy we are talking about. President John Kennedy’s murderer killed only him, and the country was not threatened before or after in an attempt to terrorize either politicians or ordinary Americans.

    His brother Bobby Kennedy was also killed by a lone gunman, but one who invoked Bobby’s pro-Israel policies as justification for killing him. That makes Bobby’s assassination terrorism, for its intent was to terrorize American politicians and citizens into changing their ways.

    Please note how Americans responded to the assassination of the Kennedys and the attempted assasination of Reagan: in each case, Republicans and Democrats united and made quite sure to implement the controversial policies the president or presidential candidate had advocated, so as not to grant the attacker or his ideological soulmates any political advantage. So the U.S. pursued the war and space program that JFK wanted, the political and military support to Israel that Bobby (and Martin Luther King!) desired, and the arms build-up Reagan advocated.

    The result? While everyone worries what could happen if the Bhuttos or Musharrafs of this world are assassinated, no one I know of doubts what would happen if Bush gets killed.

  34. DrM says:

    I agree with you Amad. I couldn’t care less about Bhutto, but the murder of innocent people must be condemned. Notice judeofascist solomon doing the usual askheNAZI routine. Funny how the proponents of Eretz Israel shed crocodile tears over the history of the Indus Valley. Al-Queda? Yeah right. Sounds more like Mush, MQM etc.

  35. Amad says:

    Perhaps Solomon2, if the West did was not complicit by its interference and meddling in Pakistan’s affair, we wouldn’t be as disunited as we are now.

    We are seeing the fruits of the seeds that Bush and his neocons sowed in Pakistan with the help of dictator Musharraf.

  36. Solomon2 says:

    Interference is complicity? Aren’t they mutually exclusive?

    Regardless of who-is-to-blame-for-what, or arguments about the merits of “unity” in a proper democracy, apportioning blame at this moment just distracts you from considering the immediate issues facing Pakistan. Which means that rather than the future being shaped by moderates like yourself it will be shaped by the radicals who probably circulate such tales, knowing that by doing so the playing field will open up for them to shape the future themselves.

  37. Solomon2 says:

    “Crocodile tears”? Long ago I paid a visit to a Pakistani statesman after he was hospitalized in the U.S. following a heart attack. The man was my friend, and did not have long to live. It’s in memory of him that I spend time on Pakistani issues at all. I think you owe me an apology, DrM.

  38. DrM says:

    Apology? I don’t think so, Solomoan. We’ve gone through this before at AltMuslim. The sheer entertainment value of having a jewish extremist like yourself speak of the need for “Muslim moderates” is too ironic.
    Almost as laughable as your imaginary Pakistani bosom buddy, in whose memory you “spend time on Pakistani issues.” I’m sure it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Israel considers Pakistan a strategic threat.
    You’re out of your depth, as usual.

  39. BrownSandokan says:

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun

    Hmm .. two things:
    1) Analysis of the motives behind the assassination should also consider the fact that there was a bomb that killed civilians too. Who would benefit from that? What purpose did the bomb serve?

    2) I don’t mean to kick off a discussion, because this is ultimately inconsequential and clouds the more important issues, but would she be considered a martyr or shaheed(a?)?

  40. BrownSandokan says:

    (I meant inconsequential to us)

  41. Amad says:

    Good question on the “shaheed” thing.

    From what little I know… Just because someone dies a tragic death doesn’t wipe away the person’s past… and especially doesn’t make the person a martyr. May Allah forgive Benazir for her sins, but I think we should not be afraid to say she wasn’t a Muslim role-model (especially not for our kids)– not in her politics and not in her practice. And I say this not to bad-mouth her after her death but because we don’t want to give someone an Islamic status that we are not in a position to give or take away. When one of the mainstream ulemah says that she is, then we can talk further.

    We throw around the term “Shaheed” far too much… I cannot think of one politician in Pakistan who would be worthy of this maqaam on his/her death. But of course Allah knows best.

  42. oldschool says:

    I grew up in Pakistan. I grew up hating Benazir Bhutto because of what she (and her political rival —Nawaz Sharif) did to the country…and perhaps this is the sentiment of majority of middle class citizens of Pakistan who don’t meddle in politics.

    However, her assassination upsets me. As a Muslim, I have to be fair-minded. I had always appreciated her political charisma. She could stand up boldly, defend her, and wasn’t a fearful woman. Considering her background and secular lifestyle, it was great of her to stand up with a scarf on her head, although she didn’t need to. She was an icon of diplomacy and politcal smartness.

    If those who killed thought they were doing a favor to the country, then this is a gross error. It will only accelerate the violence in the country, as we all can predict. And as mentioned before, to kill an armless woman is sheer cowardice.

    As a Pakistani, I feel sad for the future of my country. However, I do not know why foreign political “democracies” are shedding tears over the so-called “death of democracy in Pakistan now.” The death of democracy did occur when Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif came to power — it is because of their semi-dictatorial governments, people had lost hopes. For average moderates of Pakistan, democracy became synonymous to corruption and vandalism of the country. Now, the average person is skeptic of both democracy and fake religious political parties.

    I shed tears for my country. May Allah have mercy upon Pakistan. ameen.

  43. awake says:

    This is a tragic event indeed. Those responsible, whether al Qaeda or not, will be revealed in time.

    Regardless, it does not do anything to improve the face of Islam on the world stage, to wit, I specifically refer to the non-Muslim world, globally, for in the US, this is a HUGE story.

    Probably the biggest in 2007.

    May Ms. Bhutto rest in peace and find solace in God’s kingdom.

  44. Islam Blog says:

    People like Benazir follow the religion of politics, which is about seeking and holding on to power. And killing and being killed is a part of this game. Anyone who gets in to it should know the risks involved.

    Right now its Musharraf who’s playing this game the best.

    With regards to the issue of change in Pakistan, looking at this issue simplistically this change should come from bottom up and not top down as some people may think.

    Remember, a simple change in leadership can never change the general condition of society. The seerah of our Prophet [SAW] is proof of this. That is why I think it is futile to mourn her death both on the political and religious level.

    Life will go on in Pakistan just like it did when her father was executed. All we have to do is wait another 10-15 years till Benazir’s son/daughter enters politics.

  45. oldschool says:

    definitely…life will go on. but how will it? with more bombings, killings and fasad?

    Violence and fanaticism weren’t so common in 1979 when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed.

  46. Islam Blog says:

    definitely…life will go on. but how will it? with more bombings, killings and fasad?

    Seems like that’s going to be the case.

    The ones who’d like to change the way things are….. can’t. And the ones causing all the problems wont change.

  47. Abdullah says:

    From the news I’ve heard the Amir Al Qaedah in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

    As for Benzair she was not a muslim. To start she was a member of the Ismaeli Shia sect. A group outside the fold of Islam.

    And Judging by her actions, she was a staunch ally of the west, who opposed shariah law, and dedicated her life to fighting “militants”.

  48. Abdullah says:

    Here is the article where the Amir of Al Qaedah claims responsibility,

    http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20070037061&ch=12/28/2007%208:21:00%20AM

    Added to the fact she was never a muslim to beging with (she was Ismaeli), she prefered Democracy to the laws of Allah azza wa jalle. And this is enough for kufr.

    She was a strong alliy of the kuffar and dedicated her life to fighting “millitantism”
    (as defined by her masters Bush and Blair)

    (I’m posting this comment for the second time, for some reason it didn’t post first time)

  49. me says:

    abudallah?are u retarded?benazir bhutto’s father zulfiqar ali bhutto was a sunni..her mother nusrat bhutoo is a shia..this makes benazir a sunni as its the religion of the father that counts in islam!!moreover..her funeral is being led by a sunni imam in accordance with sunni(islamic) funeral rites IN the presence of an ovverall majority sunni crowd in her village!
    learn the facts before spurting out ignorant comments

  50. […] such as this is deeply tragic and reflects the turmoil that Pakistan is likely to find itself in. Muslim Matters calls it an act of terrorism, and condemns violence as a tool of resolution. This is pure terrorism […]

  51. Islam Blog says:

    benazir bhutto’s father zulfiqar ali bhutto was a sunni

    Really?

  52. me says:

    to say that im shocked at the ignorance of people regarding benazir’s sect would be an understatement…lol @ sum1 saying that benazir was an ismaili!subahanallah…im not suprised that this comment would come from an “alqaeda” spokesman as a tactic to increase shock value and promote further controversies in this tragic hour and moment for the pakistani nation.

  53. Amad says:

    I was wondering where all the jihadis had disappeared, so Abdullah thanks for reminding us of the Ameer of the scum of the world organization called Al-Qaida. Based on your previous comments that were removed, would it be fair to say that OBL is your Ameer as well?

    First, I’ll get some facts out of the way. Benazir was a self-styled sunni but from a Shia family, and may indeed have been a Shia. Definitely NOT Ismaili… that is just another peg in the wheel of lies and propaganda that Al-Qrapda issues. For more factual information on Benazir and her family’s Shiasm, see this post

    With that out of the way, WHO CARES what she was? EVEN if she was NOT a Muslim. Even if she was a hindu, parsi, or pagan… that does not change ONE IOTA of my point that this act is WRONG, Islamically PROHIBITED, unjust and COWARDLY.

    As Muslims, are we allowed to kill anyone who doesn’t quite fit our “sunni” mold? Is that what your Islam teaches you Abdullah? If it is, then I am FREE of YOUR version of Islam. It is indeed a PERVERTED and deceptive version of this great religion, which has led to its followers to create havoc in the world: to kill innocent women and children, to destroy property and livelihoods of civilians, from Muslims and non-Muslims. What kind of evil means is your Ameer al-Qrapda willing to take to justify the end? Could your ilk honestly stand up and tell someone that the Prophet was a MERCY to mankind? Could your ilk honestly stand up and tell someone that Prophet Muhammad would be pleased with the killing of an unarmed woman along with dozens of other innocent bystanders? O heedless jihadis, think for a second. A Prophet, who did not even hurt a kid or a woman or even an innocent man, or bother his life-long servant… how could such a Prophet (S) be anything like the killing-machines some of your ilk have become?

    Anas bin Maalik (ra) said “I served the Messenger of Allah for ten years and he never said to me ‘uff’. Whenever I did something he never said to me ‘Why did you do that?’, and whenever I did not do anything he never said to me Why haven’t you done that?’

    I am sorry for the tirade, but these justifications for horrible crimes in the name of Islam just drives me CRAZY!

  54. this makes benazir a sunni as its the religion of the father that counts in islam!!

    Uhhh … I think you’re confusing religion with lineage.

  55. Hidayah says:

    People say Musharraf is not sunni as well- How true is that?

  56. Waleed says:

    I heard he was shi’tte (shia)…

  57. Waleed says:

    ‘this makes benazir a sunni as its the religion of the father that counts in islam!!’

    “Uhhh … I think you’re confusing religion with lineage.”

    I dont think hes confusing anything…..

  58. suhail says:

    Assalaam Alykum,

    Benazir was among the most corrupt leaders that pakistan had got and had no thought of pakistanis in her mind. She only cared for power as can be seen by her stance through out her life. I have no tears for her death as i reserve those for my brethren who are being terrorized and punished all over the world.

    The act itself is not justifiable but except PPP followers nobody will shed tears on her demise. People like Gandhi or even Indra Gandhi didnt suck the wealth out of there people and thus there death was tragic and a loss not so with Benazir.

  59. Umm Reem says:

    In all honestly, there is no point talking about her anymore. Whatever she did, good or bad, she will be giving the accounts for it or may have already given…

    The next time we will see her will be on the Day of Judgement, inshaAllah, and believe me none of us will be concerned about her there.

    However, if we do end up saying stuff about her that may not necessarily be correct, then she sure will be looking for us there!!

    Isn’t there some sort of prohibition about talking bad about the deads…

  60. […] such as this is deeply tragic and reflects the turmoil that Pakistan is likely to find itself in. Muslim Matters calls it an act of terrorism, and condemns violence as a tool of resolution. This is pure terrorism […]

  61. Umm Layth says:

    “Recall the good qualities of your dead, and refrain from mentioning their shortcomings.” [at-Tirmidhi]

  62. abu abdurrahman says:

    Trapped in Karachi…

    While the majority of people are discussing Bhutto’s demise and if she was a good leader or not, I don’t really care. I’m not a big of fan of her, either but that doesn’t matter much right now. What matters is the aftermath. Many PPP party workers have taken the event of her death as an excuse to go to the streets and rob, burn and kill. Pray to Allah that the situation calms down.

    What many especially the outside world doesn’t usually understand is that her supporters were not just the Liberals. They mainly consisted of the poor; she was a populist leader. The province of Sindh is a heavily populated but very poor province. Most of her support comes from there but her supporters are everywhere.

    In my area, it is relatively calm but shops are closed. My uncle had to walk a couple miles from work cause mobs were mainly targeting cars.

    Pray to Allah(SWT) that everything calms down quickly.

  63. Graceful says:

    Events like this really shouldn’t stir up useless debate, rather, this and every event of violence, turmoil and destruction should help us reflect on the time when our own demise will occur.

    Bhutto’s final moments, where she pops out from the sunroof and is waving, smiling, cheering to the crowds should be the most important thing to ponder. Because soon thereafter, she’s hit by bullets and blasts and then…….she’s gone.

    We as humans, never stop to think that it could happen to us. One minute, we might be filled with joy, the next, our souls are taken away from us. I often wonder, “What will I be doing before the Angel of Death comes to get my soul?”

    May Allah swt increase us all in our Taqwa and help us work towards securing Jannah in the Akhira. And may Allah help the Muslims the world over achieve peace and stability wherever they live. Ameen.

  64. Umm Layth says:

    Anyone who thinks her death is justafied, even if they didn’t believe she was Muslim, must be forgetting how our Rasul (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) forbade the killing of women.

  65. Amad says:

    salam
    thank you Abu Abdurrahman for the ground report from Karachi.

    I would encourage anyone in Pakistan to comment here about the situation or email us at info at MuslimMatters//dot//org … you will be helping us stay connected.

    Inshallah, I hope to be in Pakistan myself soon…

  66. Amad says:

    I find Graceful’s comment indeed very graceful… and something to ponder over. Probably one of the best comments on this post.

    jazakillahkhair.

    P.S. Oldschool’s comments are also worth rereading.

  67. Abu Omar says:

    It is strange to see how everyone gets all emotional and upset over the assassination of figures like Bhutto, yet the same people cannot seemingly find the time of day to address real atrocities committed on a daily basis.

    Political assassinations are a common occurrence in Pakistan, the only thing different about this one is that Bhutto was America’s woman. Yet we jump to rush forth with every sort of condemnation when the Western media tells us we need to be worked up.

    Where were the vocal condemnations for the tens of thousands of Muslims recently butchered in Ogaden region in eastern Ethiopia? I have heard not a peep about this. Is the life of Benazir Bhutto worth more than all of these people? Not to mention the violence perpetuated against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere by Western occupation forces and their local proxies.

    Now I am not trying to justify the assassination of Bhutto, but the level of self-righteous condemnations that I have seen from the Muslims is a little much. We moan and groan over this wicked woman, yet turn a blind eye to those suffering under the boot of far worse terrorism and oppression.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have grown quite cynical of this whole condemnation game, where the Western media and governments pull our strings over what we must denounce. I mean, after all, did anyone here assassinate Bhutto? So why the guilt trip?

  68. ibnabeeomar says:

    abu omar – the reality of the situation is this:

    a) Bhutto is a VERY public figure – thus her assassination will garner 100x the attention of any of the other events you mentioned (just or unjust this is reality)

    b) her assassination WILL be blamed on “islamic” motivations of some sort – again whether true or not, this will happen.

    c) before people start believing the hype and start saying, hey wait does islam really sanction this, etc. its time to put our foot down beforehand and say no it doesn’t and get that voice out before people have a chance to ask that question.

  69. Amad says:

    And pls look through the MM pages where we have done stories on oppression in Iraq, uzbekistan, gujarat, etc. We haven’t forgotten the silent victims but as Omar succinctly pointed out, these unfortunate incidents allow us to put our perspectives ahead instead of letting others become the mouthpieces to instead bash islam, and not the perpetrators.

  70. Omer Choudry says:

    Abo Omar: The reason why this assassination is being talked about more than other atrocities is because of the great impact this will have on Pakistani and Muslim affairs. The level of insecurity, chaos, and violence that this event is feared to bring is far greater than the assassination itself. Thats why people are talking, not because they have any particular love for this woman.

  71. […] the original post on Benazir’s assassination is already quite cluttered, I would like to leave that for updates […]

  72. 1/2AWiseMan says:

    Ok, so we know that things are getting crazy in Pakistan due to the assassination. I dono too much about Pakistan Politics, but after the emotions die down where will the people lie…

    – What will happen to the supporters of Bhutto? Are they gona turn to Nawaz Sharif or Musharaf or the next leader for her political party?

  73. nafsee says:

    Umm Layth, thanks for this:

    “Recall the good qualities of your dead, and refrain from mentioning their shortcomings.” [at-Tirmidhi]

    It really puts the death of a human being in perspective.

  74. Islam Blog says:

    The next time we will see her will be on the Day of Judgement, inshaAllah, and believe me none of us will be concerned about her there.

    So true! Jazakallah.

  75. aarij says:

    You live as a criminal, you die as a criminal.

    I feel much more for the people who lost their lives and properties because of this scum’s death. May Allah protect them and forgive their sins.

  76. Shaykha says:

    Asaalaamu Alaykum

    She was a corrupt leader among many corrupt leaders, dictators….

    But now that she died, i’ll refrain my tongue from saying anything that is negative or try not to fault find, because it really serves no purpose….

    Judgement is up to Allah SWT.

    May Allah swt have Mercy on any Muslims who died wherever they might be, ameen

    May Allah lift this ummah from this darkness into light, from this state of ignorance to one of knowledge and from disobedience to obedience to Him, Allahuma Ameen!!

    Wa’alaykum Asalaam

  77. Abdullah says:

    Assalamu Alaykum Rahmullahi Wa Barakatu

    Amad, I ask you by Allah who are these “militants” who both Benzair and yourself speak of?

    As for Benazir, I knows she says this she means any muslims in Pakistan Afghan area who bear arms in general and specifically against America. Anyone striving to stip Islam of “militancy” is going to inevitable come to clash with the people of Jihad, the Mujahideen. In summary she dedicated her life to exterminating the concept of Jihad and wiping out the Mujahideen.

    Yaa Amad, don’t speak foolishly as if in Khurasaan (Pakistan-afghanistan) there are no people of Jihad, and that Jihad is not commanded by Allah.

    This woman declared war on people of Jihad and strove against the Ayat of Allah (to remove Jihad from Islam.)

    And you should know the person who practices shirk, fahisha, and deviance
    is not the same as someone who spreads it among the people.

    My only intention is to explain why she was targeted not, not enter into a debate

  78. Ragheb Alama says:

    iqbal’s…

    Interesting post. I came across this blog by accident, but it was a good accident. I have now bookmarked your blog for future use. Best wishes. Ragheb Alama Website Team….

  79. sister says:

    first of all i don’t know why always al qaeda is blame for that too i really do think al qaeda has nothing to do with it whenever there any terrorist attack happens al qaeda is blame for that why ?
    secondly she was not killed she put her head to the window because she had no choice she wanted to wave and get out her head out of the window it’s a reliedf she’s gone she was really pain but and good for pakistan we need some good islamic learder !
    inshallah

  80. Ibrahim says:

    For those that believe that Bhutto’s Islam is still valid. Need to reflect on why ones Islam is nullified when they place ‘democracy’ above Allah’s Shariah.

    And anyone who abandons Allah for a taghout such as democracy. Is not only the lowest form of creature but also an apostate.

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