Buried Alive

AP reports:

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 on Saturday. “Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.”

I bet you’re shocked and outraged by the above two paragraphs, as I am. But at what? At the unusual act of burying the women alive, or the attitude of Zehri, which is so commonplace even in India?

To put it differently, if those women hadn’t been buried alive, but merely censured, and Zehri spouted the same crap about ‘centuries-old traditions’, would we have been as shocked? I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. And that’s the problem.

(Link via email from reader Yadhu.)