Wonder Woman and Supergirl now have a Pakistani counterpart in the pantheon of female superheroes — one who shows a lot less skin.
Meet Burka Avenger: a mild-mannered teacher with secret martial arts skills who uses a flowing black burka to hide her identity as she fights local thugs seeking to shut down the girls’ school where she works.
Sadly it’s not all sweetness and prayers. As the article grimly notes, “the Taliban have blown up hundreds of schools and attacked activists in Pakistan’s northwest because they oppose girls’ education. The militants sparked worldwide condemnation last fall when they shot Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old schoolgirl activist, in the head in an unsuccessful attempt to kill her.”
But action in the “Burka Avenger,” which is scheduled to start running on Geo TV in early August, is more upbeat and lighthearted. The bad guys are bunglers, who elicit more titters than tears. With the ineptitude of would-be terrorists (think underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab or Times Square bomber Raees Alam Qazi), it’s miraculous that these goofballs ever get a plot off the ground.
It’s also an indictment of our intelligence-gathering apparatus (think outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano) that the U.S. needs to rely on the stupidity of strangers to avoid another 9/11.
As for the Burka Avenger, Al Arabiya cautions that the decision to conceal the hero’s identity behind a burka “could raise eyebrows because some people view the outfit as a sign of oppression.”
It also seems to an outside observer that the move could evoke the wrath of the the Taliban, which could have implications that are anything but funny.