September 1st, 2010

[BRIEF NOTE] On death and sex and Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni has been controversial, but this controversy is rather much.

A “hardline” newspaper in Iran branded Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a prostitute who deserved to die for expressing support for an Iranian woman on death row, according to CNN.

The prostitute reference apparently is an allusion to Bruni’s active social life before marrying President Sarkozy in 2008. Bruni is a former supermodel and considered one of the most beautiful women in the world.

The Kayhan newspaper denounced Bruni after she posted a letter on her website expressing solidarity with the woman who is scheduled to be stoned to death by the Iranian regime for committing adultery. Bruni among many others in the international community is calling for clemency for the woman.

The French Foreign Ministry said the newspaper’s comments were unacceptable, and even Iranian officials at least publicly have backed away from the state-run newspaper’s editorial.

The Iranian government may have distanced itself, but as Iranian-Canadian and former political prisoner writes at the Huffington Post, that's not a very convincing lie.

Of course, as expected, the Iranian foreign ministry tried to do some damage control by announcing that Iranian media should refrain from insulting foreign leaders and dignitaries. However, the Iranian foreign-ministry spokesperson conveniently forgot to mention that the editor-in-chief of Kayhan newspaper has been appointed by Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader and is very much inline with the Iranian government.

Iranian authorities have a habit of trying to distract the world from the terrible disregard for human rights in their country, and the attack on Bruni is another example of that policy. In addition, for more than thirty years, Iranian authorities have interfered with all the aspects of the lives of Iranians, from their bedrooms to the streets. Iranians cannot wear what they want and cannot say what they think. Women cannot sleep with whom they wish and cannot date the person of their choice. Iranians are warned not to dance or sing and not to read Western novels. The comments in Kayhan directly reflect this way of thought: it is the government that decides how people behave in private and in public -- and if citizens don't follow these extreme, intrusive rules, they would deserve to die. As simple as that.

Me? I think that if she's a whore for condemning this atrocity, then she should be proud to be a whore; clearly, being a whore is the right thing to do. In the meantime, below's the video for the title track of her debut album, Quelqu'un ma dit. I like.