A depressing report from today's Independent. Not only have we failed to halt such barbarity in Afghanistan, but it has now obviously become common in Iraq too. On our watch, as it were.
These things matter because they are so at odds with all we believe about human rights. If moral obligation offers justification for the Iraq invasion it requires us to intervene here, certainly not to sit back and hand power to a government that condones such acts.
Here in the West we believe in the concept of democracy and that has left us between a rock and a hard place. It appears that many Islamic societies possess a significant majority prepared to support Sharia law, which embraces notions of morality we absolutely reject. Honour killings have no more moral justification in an approving democracy than in a despotic theocracy (and the latter may be the choice of the former anyway). To the extent that democracy lends legitimacy to the illegitimate, it is not the be-all-and-end-all of human rights that so many in the West imagine.