A woman police commander who led other officers in fighting insurgents, foiling terrorists, and apprehending drug traffickers in Afghanistan was shot in the neck on Sunday and is in critical condition. If she survives, doctors say, First Lieutenant Bibi Negarah likely will be paralyzed for the rest of her life. Lieutenant Negarah was the third Afghani police woman to be shot in recent months in the Province of Helmand, where 30 other police women remain active on the force. The other two police women were killed.
All in all, according to Oxfam, there are 1551 women officers in the Afghan National Police. These brave Afghani women, as well as women of other nations, forced by a particular reading of Muslim law to hide themselves beneath burkas and at home behind shutters on pain of death under Taliban rule, don’t ever seem to throw in the towel, or the burka, as it were, and give in. They continue to refuse to succumb to the slave status which those Taliban crazies would hoist upon them. Even if they are only fourteen years old and are shot for going to school, like Malala Yousafzai, they refuse to succumb to slavery. They continue to fight back with whatever it takes – with powerful words and courageous acts like Yousafzai; with the power of police, including guns and strong fists, like Negarah; with the power of mind, which is the ultimate tool by which the universe is shaped and the world transformed.
Negarah, 45, was also raising her children, three boys and a girl, when she was shot. Her family suffered economically to begin with, where they lived together in a ramshackle house. Without the ability to return to work, that situation will deteriorate further. Her siblings and her parents will be unlikely to assist, since her courageous choice to join the police enraged them. Even her own brother had tried to kill her, because she was fighting her good fight against the Taliban.
In the United States and other countries, when a police person is killed or injured in the line of duty, other officers rally to help, because they are all putting their lives on the line every day, and each person knows that one day, the same fate could befall him or her. Each police person goes to work every day, jeopardizing his or her own welfare, to protect the lawful rights of all society’s members, male or female, weak or strong, rich or poor. They do this knowing that if anything should happen to them, their families will be taken care of. Their children will not be left to starve.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of the police all over the world, men and women both, put themselves out by opening their hearts and their wallets in the same way for Lieutenant Negarah? She is a police officer who was shot down in the line of duty, and her family needs help.
She is not one bit less than any police woman or man patrolling the streets of New York City or Paris or London. In fact, her job has been quite a bit more perilous. Now her fellow officers should step forward all over the world and be there for her and the family she loves and cares for, just as they would rally to the aid of a comrade living in the house next door or a few blocks away.
Distance should not be the deciding factor; courage and honor should.
Written By: Bird Trungma