The Independent is running a series by the legendary Robert Fisk on honour killings in the Middle East. In the first part he talks to 'Hanan', a Jordanian woman forced to marry her rapist in order to avoid being killed by her younger brother. In the second, he describes honour killings as "the crimewave that shames the world". And finally he talks to Hina Jilani, a Pakistani lawyer who runs a shelter for young women, only to see many of them murdered by their families when they leave anyway.
Elsewhere on The Independent, Julie Burchill fulminates about the Iranian paper Kayhan's treatment of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Bruni-Sarkozy and Isabelle Adjani have provoked ire in Iran by daring to state that they're against the proposed stoning to death of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, the 43-year-old mother-of-two accused of adultery.
Interestingly, she mentions what few other news outlets have: that among the other 'charges' levelled at Bruni-Sarkozy (prostitute, adulterer), she is a 'danseuse'! Well, I knew that dancers in some parts of the Middle East have a terrible reputation but are they really worthy of being killed? Oh, right ...
"The Afghan Star TV show caused a public outcry when a woman named Setara from Herat, a major city in western Afghanistan, danced energetically on stage, causing her headscarf to slip twice. She was no Beyoncé, but it proved enough to trigger condemnation from the powerful local warlord, Ismail Khan, as well as a flurry of chilling death threats.
“She brought shame to the Herati people. She deserved to be killed,” said an anonymous man in an impromptu street interview with Havana Marking in Herat."
Anyway, now that you're thoroughly depressed, how about this Ignoble-worthy research into The Secrets of Male Dancefloor Success? All above the waist, apparently.