Just Roll To Your Rifle and Blow Out Your Brains
The Sunday Herald has an article on Kandahar's most fearsome lady detective, going up against all manner of Afghan perps, while swathed in a burqa. (Hat tip: MIG).
First her six children are breakfasted, their faces washed and hairbrushed and they are made ready for school. Next comes the firearms check. Malalai Kakar counts bullets into a curved AK-47 metal clip, rams it home into her assault rifle, and makes sure the safety catch is on. ... When these morning rituals are completed and the kids are off to school, Kandahar’s most fearsome woman hoists a blue burkha over her head, climbs into a pick-up truck and heads off to the office; another busy day with murderers, sexual abusers and wife batterers is about to begin.
Malalai Kakar is testimony to Arthur Eddington's observation that "not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine". Many years ago, in a mountain village on the Zamboanga peninsula, I met a follower of the charismatic cult leader "Tootpick", who founded a militia dedicated to the murder of Muslims. Toothpick's beef against Muslims started when a band of armed Muslims raided his village, killed his entire family then shot and left him for dead in a well. While in that dark hole he found a bottle of merthiolate filled with what he imagined to be a mysterious liquid to which in his delerium he attributed mystical powers. Although his neighbors dragged him out of the well and took him to the hospital, Toothpick forever attributed his survival to the strange power that pulled him literally from the grave. He ever after wore that bottle of merthiolate as an amulet around his neck. It wasn't long before he and his band of know-nothings had added to their store of ritual. One practice which his recruits found particularly impressive was that of playing Tony Orlando's "Knock Three Times" over a portable sound system as they went dauntlessly on the attack. The Kandahar story continues:
Shuffling around her office is one of the victims she rescued, 45-year-old Anar Gul, who was chained in a basement by her husband until Kakar discovered her and burst in with a truncheon in one hand and a pistol in the other. The woman’s first husband had died, so according to tribal custom Anar Gul was forcibly married to his brother, an abusive heroin addict. “I beat the husband,” Kakar says, “first in the house, then in the police station: punch, kick, slap, I was so angry. If I’d used my stick, he would have died.” ... Few of the male criminals who hate Kakar are brave enough to attack her. They have all heard the story of how during the Eighties she shot dead three would-be assassins who came on a mission to kill her.
British filmmaker Polly Hyman is making a film about Kakar’s life. I guess she'll never get around to doing Toothpick's. Too grotesque; too funny and too weird.