Iranian rapper faces death threats, bounty over song
The bounty for the killing of rapper Shahin Najafi appear on the website shia-online.ir.
May 15th, 2012
01:16 PM ET

Iranian rapper faces death threats, bounty over song

An Iranian rapper is facing death threats and has a $100,000 bounty on his head for a song that some say insults an Islamic Shiite imam.

Shahin Najafi, who sings in Farsi and lives in Germany, told the German website Qantara that the song "Naghi" is not about a religious figure but about the state of society in Iran.

"The story with 'Naghi' was just a pretext," Najafi said in an interview with Qantara, which the German Foreign Office funds to promote dialogue with the Islamic world.

"For me it is more of an excuse to talk about completely different things. I criticize Iranian society in the song. It seems as though people are just concentrating on the word 'imam,' " Najafi is quoted as saying.

Religious figures in Iran see it differently.

"Following the affront by rap singer Shahin Najafi against Imam Hadi (7th Imam of Shias) in a song called 'Naghi', his apostasy sentence has been issued by Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani," Iran's official Fars News Agency said in a website posting in Farsi.

Golpayegani is a grand ayatollah, which means the highest- ranking authority in Shiite Islam after prophets and imams. Being an apostate, or someone who forsakes Islam, is punishable by death under Iranian law.

"If the song contains any insults or indecency towards Imam Naghi, then it is blasphemy, and God knows what to do," Golpayegani, a 92-year-old Iranian cleric, is quoted as saying by Qantara.

A post on the blog entegham says Najafi should be sentenced to death.

"According to article 513 of Islam’s penal code: Anyone who insults the sanctity of Islam, anyone of the great prophets, the Imams, and Sadigheh Tahereh (the prophet’s daughter) should be executed," the post says.

The Iranian website Shia-Online.ir is offering $100,000 to anyone who kills Najafi. The money is being put up by "a philanthropist" in a Persian Gulf state, the website says.

In a blog post on Najafi, The Guardian in the UK calls Najafi "the Salman Rushdie of music," a reference to the author of "The Satanic Verses," who was given a religious death sentence by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 after Khomeini said Rushie's book was blasphemous.

But writing in the state-run newspaper Kayhan, columnist Sadollah Zarei says Najafi's case is different from Rushdie's, according to a New York Times report.

"This fatwa does not represent the government of Iran,” Zarei is quoted as saying. “This is done by a religious group in our society.”

Nevertheless, Najafi told Qantara he has taken "precautionary measures."

"We do, after all, live in a country where there are rules and procedures for such predicaments. So there is nothing to worry about," he told Qantara.

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Filed under: Germany • Iran
soundoff (341 Responses)
  1. uhadit

    The Great Prophets includes Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) any one insulting them are liable to the punishment

    May 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • sid

      yes...maybe by God...who are you to punish/judge anyone...a muslim???

      May 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • don newell

      shut up.jesus said you can insult me all you want but do not insult the holy spirit.its unforgivable.mohammed is not a prophet of god.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jayh

      blah blah blah

      May 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • noodlez

      I don't think there is any punishment for speaking badly about Jesus, Moses or God the Almighty. The only penalties given are by weak people whose beliefs cannot stand up to question and debate.

      Because, here it comes, wait for it, the truth needs no defense.

      May 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave in Portland

      I am insulting them all right here, right now. They all smelled like camels. Do something about it you fanatic. Sheesh, get over yourself.

      May 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Very similar to a Human Centipede...

      May 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kafir

      Sounds like freedom of speech hasn't hit your neck of the woods yet.

      May 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mr Dalloway

    Religion has driven some people plain nuts. If your gods are so strong why would it feel the need to utilize a bunch of common hot headed thugs? What a bunch of freaks.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Dalloway

      To any prophets and Imam they are just human beings and nothing more, get over yourselves already.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SERIOUSLY

    ill second uhadit

    May 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SoldierofFortunes

    hey it's not like they had cell phones...yo we got a cat calling himself....lol...give me a break...who cares...be nice to baby Iran...you know my taste in music...lets see...Syria leader is a Cannibal – Static X...Iran is Five Finger Death Punch – Under and Over it...now get over it Iran...you got bigger fish to fry...Static X – Push It...you push it...YOU...I see it I see I need it Oh I see it oh I need it...that is a song for Zulu Tribes in Africa...war dance....whooooo....yeah lets play war boys...;)

    May 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SoldierofFortunes

    Rob Zombie – War Zone...sirens....drum beat....you can't see me you can't stop me you can't kill me.....hello world...;)

    May 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mr Dalloway

    Some "holy" people are decent and some are fornicators.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Local

    Extremist psychos should all die a bloody death, no matter what religion they say they represent.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Captin Tony

    I am glad we don't put a bounty on people in the USA for that reason. 90% of the people would be on the list.
    Iran has never been able to take a joke. What a bunch of hotheads.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • huh

      We just bomb women's clinics. Much more civilized

      May 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rajesh

    Millionth one reason to ban Islam.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Captin Tony

    Winston Churchill said that Islam in a man is as dangerous as hydrophobia (rabies) in a dog.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. EatYouAlive

    All religion is evil.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Shephard

      Religion is not evil – MAN IS EVIL

      May 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • PulTab

      So true.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. shahin2102

    I went to his concert last month in Dusseldorf. Great show featuring Shahrokh the great dancer.
    Had a splendid time, but obviously the guy is wanted, he practically p!ssed all over Islam and the Islamic Republic lol.
    Hope he makes it out ok.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dan Bednarik

    It doesn't matter, because in the end, there will be no Islam.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kenneth

    100,000 dollars ? whats the rappers name again ? anybody can be found for that kind of money.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Portland tony

    A few rappers need to have $100K bounty on their heads. Some are excellent musicians and lyricists .....Other just plain s*ck and only a bounty will silence them 🙂

    May 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
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