- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pakistani television now has a counterpart to America’s Wonder Woman — a burka-wearing superheroine who teaches at an all-girls’ school by day and employs her secret martial arts tactics to battle anti-school thugs by night.

Meet “Burka Avenger,” The Associated Press reported. The cartoon series is set to launch on Pakistan’s Geo TV in early August, and the heroine’s mission is mainly to fight those who seek to close down the all-girls’ school.

But critics wonder if the show is a bit too reality-based. After all, the Taliban in Pakistan admittedly has blown up hundreds of schools in the nation, in opposition to female education. And one of the militant group’s latest victims included 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted with a gunshot to the head for her public campaign to open school doors to girls for better education.

Critics also question: Why the burka?

The show’s creator, Pakistani pop star Aaron Haroon Rashid, said in the AP report the head-to-toe-covering burka was chosen only to hide the superheroine’s identity.

“It is not a sign of oppression,” he said. “She is using the burka to hide her identity like other superheroes. Since she is a woman, we could have dressed her up like Catwoman or Wonder Woman, but that probably wouldn’t have worked in Pakistan.”

He said in the AP report that each show “is centered around a moral,” but “it’s cloaked in pure entertainment, laughter, action and adventure.”

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