What do 31-year-old Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi and Brit/Indian writer Salman Rushdie have in common? They both have prices on their heads, and both death fatwas originated from Ayatollah's in Iran, that mecca of tolerance.
Shahin, whose music is socio/political in nature, luckily now lives in Germany where he emigrated to in 2005. A social activist, he writes about everything from sexism to theocracy to censorship, but his latest song "Naghi" is what got him into deep trouble with Shi'ite cleric Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani of Qom. The lyrics skewer the 10th Imam 'Naghi' (aka Naqui) and Shia Muslims take great umbrage with anyone who offends their precious dead Imams, even the lesser known ones. But Golpayegani isn't the only one calling for Najafi's death, shia-online.ir is actually offering a $100,000 reward. And those behind a campaign to have him hanged for apostasy (initiated by an Iranian news website Asr Emrous), want all Muslims (not just Shi'ites) to search for Najafi and "send him to hell."
Rushdie was forced into hiding for years, who knows if Najafi will be forced to do the same thing, or whether he will just thumb his nose at the mullah's- his songs certainly have done that.
The youtube video causing all the furor.
Another translation of the lyrics.