Sunday, August 31, 2008


Parliamentarian defends killing of five women buried alive, says 'these are centuries old traditions' A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by southwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of Parliament this week to spare him their outrage. "These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, said Saturday. "Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid." The women, three of whom were teenagers, were first shot and then thrown into a ditch. They were still breathing as their bodies were covered with rocks and mud, according media reports and human rights activists, who said their only "crime" was that they wished to marry men of their own choosing Zehri told a packed and flabbergasted parliament on Friday that Baluch tribal traditions helped stop obscenity and then asked fellow lawmakers not to make a big fuss about it. Many stood up in protest, saying the executions were "barbaric" and demanding that discussions continue Monday. But a handful said it was an internal matter of the deeply conservative province. "I was shocked," said lawmaker Nilofar Bakhtiar, who pushed for legislation calling for perpetrators of so-called honor killings to be punished when she served as minister of women's affairs under the last government. "I feel that we've gone back to the starting point again," she said. "It's really sad for me." COMMENTARY: Is it any wonder, therefore, that the opinion of Islam in the West and among so many others - in this MODERN DAY and AGE - is so often encapsulated in this knd of graphic? How can anyone complain that such drawings are insulting when fanatical and way outdated, now barbaric, customs and beliefs are implemented in this way? For such a reason? For wanting a say in choosing your own husband? Just as the outcry would reach the heavens if the Old Testament of the Bible were to be followed blindly - in "an eye for an eye" fashion the Old Testament decreed. It is mind boggling for any belief to try to implement social, cultural and philosophical behaviors that existed 2,000 years ago for Christianity or 1,400 years ago in Islam. Were the Old Testament imposed by force and death to anyone who refused to comply instead of the gentle New Testament, it would have been Jesus not Mohammad, whose name would have been on this skull. Or perhaps both. In either case it speaks of barbarity, death and oppression that no longer has a place in our new world. And leads to this criticism.

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