Iranian rapper faces death threats, bounty over song
The bounty for the killing of rapper Shahin Najafi appear on the website
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 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. Matt

    Know thy enemy.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. yeah yeah

    mmmmmmm boy time to for a trip to Germany and collect me a bounty....giddy-up!


    May 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack Wagon

    I know a deli in Brooklyn that has a platter named "Allah" has pulled pork, potato salad and cole slaw.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rotfogel

    Islam sucks. Bad.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Randy

    The true and living God cannot be mocked. Do you believe a tiny child can insult you with mockery? We are but small children to God.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Wake me when you're done with the bullsh**.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mohammed the pig

    Catchy song!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ouch

    The Iranian website should be targeted by hacktivists and the physical location or locations of the servers hosting it published so that drones may blow it up.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ayatollah Khomeini

    Imam Hadi has always been a bit sensitive. A 5 year old boy once told him not to touch his private place so Hadi had his private place cut off and took it home with him. I think he's still touching it today. Oh, that Hadi, he's a lot of fun at parties!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. D .Evil

    If it was me...which I am... I would track where the money is coming from,more than likely they are funding terroist activities. My friend lucifer said "whats wrong with these guys?" I said you would be mad too if you had to wipe you butt with sand.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. abbot

    Islams contibution to the world: Underwear bombs.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ali

    i don't call this action as a abuse because stealing 3 billion $ in a Islamic country is much worse and all of these fanfares are for Disturbing the public

    May 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mitch

    It's blasphemy to insult the imam? So the imam considers himself a god! F*** all of them. Like I have been saying. There is no god, just small minded people who think they are.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BHH

    Geeeeeeeeeeet ready, Iran! You're '2 Live Crew" has arrived 😉

    May 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Old Driller w/no TV

    @Mitch? Bush and Obama, Romney, etc all have "small minds" in your opinion? Your opinion must be wrong eh?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ray

    koran schmoran... no one should insult mohammad or any of his wives, including the 9 year old! Allah akhbar...BOOM!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
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