Iranian rapper draws Shi'ite fatwa

2012-05-14 20:55

Dubai - An Iranian rapper living in Germany has a $100 000 bounty on his head after an Islamist website offered a reward for anyone who kills him over a song that satirises the Islamic Republic and irreverently addresses a historic religious figure.

The Iranian news and religion website Shia-Online.ir said hip-hop star Shahin Najafi deserved to die for a song which it said "grossly insulted" Ali al-Hadi al-Naqi, one of the 12 imams, the religious figures highly revered by Shi'ite Muslims.

Najafi denied his song focused on the revered Sh'ite imam or was meant to criticise Islam.

The song takes the form of a prayer to the ninth century Naqi and expresses ironic reverence for many contemporary Iranian figures.

With references ranging from Iranians' love of nose jobs to economic sanctions and the contested 2009 presidential election, the song's Farsi language lyrics would mean little to a foreigner but have resonated with Iranians and have earned it more than 320 000 hits on YouTube.

Many rap songs by exiled Iranians would be politically and morally offensive to authorities in the Islamic Republic, where little home-grown pop music is allowed. But Najafi's constant refrain of "O Naqi" has drawn more ire than usual.

"A [website] founder who lives in one of the Gulf Arab states has promised to pay the [$100 000] bounty on behalf of Shia-Online.ir to the killer of this abusive singer," the site said in a posting.

In echoes of the 1989 fatwa - religious ruling - ordering the death of British author Salman Rushdie for his novel "The Satanic Verses", which was deemed blasphemous - a senior cleric in Iran said Najafi's rap might merit a death sentence.

Apostate

Asked by his followers about the song, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi said in a ruling: "Any outrage against the infallible imams... and obvious insult against them would make a Muslim an apostate," Iran's Fars news agency reported.

Apostasy carries a death sentence under Islamic laws which are applied in predominantly Shi'ite Iran.

Speaking to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Najafi said: "I thought there would be some ramifications. But I didn't think I would upset the regime that much. Now they are taking advantage of the situation and making it look like I was trying to criticise religion and put down believers.

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

Najafi, in his early 30s, was active in Iran's underground music scene before he left the country in 2005.

Iranian officials have not yet commented on Najafi's song and Iran's media have not widely reported the bounty put on his head by the Shi'ite website.

Najafi said he had taken some "precautionary measures" because "some of the supporters of the regime want to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation".

Read more on:    germany  |  iran  |  music
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
15 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 05:37 AM
    Road name: MetroRail
    Due to extensive vandalism on the Central Line a limited Bus Service will operate between Nyanga/ChrisHani and Nyanga/Kapteinsklip
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.