Cleric calls for death sentence against 'apostate' Iranian rapper

Published: May 10, 2012
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Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi's song Naqi has drawn sharp criticism from the majority Shia community there which finds his song 'Naqi" offensive.: PHOTO: SHAHINNAJAFIMUSIC.COM

Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi's song Naqi has drawn sharp criticism from the majority Shia community there which finds his song 'Naqi" offensive.: PHOTO: SHAHINNAJAFIMUSIC.COM

For Iranian rap singer and activist, Shahin Najafi, criticisms and bans are something that have defined his short, yet extremely popular musical career. However, even he would not have imagined that his music would ever win him a death sentence, let alone awards.

Persian-language Al Arabiya reported on Wednesday, that the latest single from the Germany based singer “Naqi,” has earned him a death sentence from Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, a Shia cleric in the Iranian city of Qom.

The song has drawn sharp anger from protesters who believe it is offensive towards Imam Naqi, the revered tenth Imam for Shias. Iran follows the Shia form of Islam as its mainstream religion.

News website Asr Iran, which is closely tied to the Shia regime in Tehran, even started campaign against Najafi, condemning him to apostasy. Apostasy carries a death sentence in Iran.

Al Arabiya dubbed Najafi as “Salman Rushdie of music”, with the apostasy charge also being associated with the controversial author.

Najafi, 31, was forced to move to Germany when his politically-motivated lyrics for an underground band he was associated in Iran, earned him a ban. His songs mostly deal with issues such as theocracy, poverty, sexism, censorship, child labour, execution and drug addiction. He strives to use poetic, literary, philosophical and political elements in his music.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Mir Agha
    May 10, 2012 - 9:04AM

    Best way to get popular.

    Recommend

  • Omar
    May 10, 2012 - 9:47AM

    The truth is the Saudi Royal family publicizes this because they think it makes them look better (LOL!). The behind-the-scenes story is funny. The Saudis have some sort of rivalry with Iran. Don’t take this too seriously.

    Recommend

  • Haider H
    May 10, 2012 - 2:56PM

    Yeah just a popularity stunt!!!!

    Recommend

  • noise
    May 10, 2012 - 10:55PM

    The guy used disgusting language in a song and thinks hes done a favor to the world.PatheticRecommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    May 11, 2012 - 1:00AM

    freedom of speech.>>> in iran???Recommend

  • Alice
    May 12, 2012 - 6:12PM

    Omar is 100% right on this. Hypocrisy is what you get when the Saudis are involved in something. As far as I know women could vote in Iran before they could in Switzerland, let alone driving. Domestic pets have brith certificates in Iran. Never seen a Saudi woman carrying a proper birth certificate. …. as long as you are willing to pay up, then hypocrisy is the thing for you….Recommend

  • chriss
    Jun 24, 2012 - 12:45AM

    I know Shahin Najafi, his poems are very very nice!I have an Iranian friend,I want him to sing some English tracks.

    we love you SHAHINRecommend

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