13 May 2012
(This piece is an amalgamation of information from articles originally published here: http://www.rferl.org/content/iran_rapper_/24578413.html / http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15944274,00.html / http://www.eurasiareview.com/11052012-germany-iranian-rapper-najafi-in-hiding-after-death-threats/ http://www.freemuse.org/sw47478.asp)
After the exiled Iranian rapper and rock
guitarist Shahin Najafi released a controversial song entitled ‘Naghi’,
an Iranian cleric issued a death sentence (fatwa) against him, and a
news site in the country started a campaign calling for his
assassination. The song ‘Naghi’ is believed to be offensive to Imam Naqi, the tenth Imam in Shia Islam.
The news website Asr Iran, which is closely tied to the regime in Tehran, launched an online campaign calling for the hanging of 31-year-old Shahin Najafi. The website stated that the aim of the campaign was to have Najafi condemned for blasphemy, a crime that carries the death penalty in Iran.
The campaign organisers called on all Shi’ites and Muslims in general to find and kill Najafi and “send him to hell,” according to the website. This happened after a Shia cleric based in the Iranian city of Qom, Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, issued a death sentence against Shahin Najafi for apostasy, the Persian-language Al Arabiya website reported on 9 May 2012. Al Arabiya dubbed Najafi as “Salman Rushdie of music”.
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