German Iranian Rapper Shehin Najahi Learns You Donâ€™t Invoke the 10th Imam Against the Islamic Republic
German Iranian Rapper Shehin Najahi
Source: Fox News
German Iranian-born rapper Shehin Najahi has more than 200,000 fans in the Islamic Republic. He regularly uses the internet to criticize the corrupt Islamic Republic regime. This time, he has gone too far. He’s reached out to Ali al Hadi al-Naqi, the 10th of the Twelver Imams murdered in 868 C.E. by poisoning on orders of the Abbasid Caliph, using scatological lyrics against the regime in Tehran. That earned him two death fatwas from Shiite clerics in the Islamic offering a bounty of more than $100,000 for Najahi’s killing. That has sent him into hiding in Germany, while his protectors have called foul in the Federal Republic whose constitution allegedly protects free speech. This has angered more than 100,000 ex-pat Iranians living in the Federal Republic.
The Iranian-born rapper marked for death for insulting a ninth-century imam and criticizing Tehran's regime as corrupt is determined to press his message to young fans, according to the German author who hid Shahin Najafi in his home.
Najafi, whose song "Ay Naghi" brought two fatwas, or calls for his death, within days of its release on Facebook, will not be intimidated, though he knows he cannot perform live, according to Gunter Wallraff, a non-fiction writer who hid Najafi until German police found him and placed him in a safe house.
“On the contrary, he feels responsible to himself and to his many young followers, especially in Iran, not to give in,” Wallraff said in an exclusive interview with FoxNews.com. “The death threats show that this regime needs the image of an enemy because it can no longer offer any values and is therefore looking for helpless victims.”
Najafi, 32, who is a German citizen and has lived in Cologne, is a star in his homeland, where he has 200,000 fans on his Facebook page. He fled to Germany in 2005 after being sentenced to a hundred lashes and three years in jail. But his new song brought the ultimate sentence because it is considered an insult to a ninth-century Shiite imam, Ali al Hadi al-Naqi, also known as Imam Naghi. Shiites venerate al-Naqi, a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. An Iranian website, Shia Online, has offered $100,000 to anyone who kills Najafi.
“We asked the foreign minister to make a statement of support for Shahin Najafi and for democratic Iranians who live here and to condemn the fatwa,” said Ulrike Becker, founder of Stop the Bomb, a European coalition that opposes Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. She referred to the fatwa as “a declaration of war against our values – our democracy.”
Najafi’s song calls on the revered Shia figure to come back and help the Iranians with problems like “hollow slogans” and “Chinese-made prayer rugs.”
The song, which is laced with profanity, includes the lyric: "I swear to you on bland and hollow slogans; Naghi, I swear on this shifting flocks of people; They say “Long Live” in the morning and “Death to” at night; On the heroes of fictional stories.”
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Najafi claims the regime wants to silence him because he deals with subjects that are taboo in puritanical Iran, such as sexuality, gays and drug addiction. He knows his career outlook is bleak.
“I can’t continue my work because a singer must appear in public," he told the paper. "I can’t do that anymore. I was advised to leave Cologne, but where should I go and how?”
Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, a senior fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy and one of Germany’s leading authorities on Iran, said fatwas can inhibit free speech far outside Iran's borders.
“This strategy is menacing the world,” said Wahdat-Hagh. “Fatwas are declaring war on the principles of free speech in the free world.”
This looks like another example of the long arm of Iranian Shiite Mahdist Blasphemy Codes threatening to silence what we consider protected speech under doctrine of the US Constitution. Shades of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomenei’s death threats against British Booker –prize winning author, Sir Salman Rushdie over his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses. We hope that German Iranian rapper Najafi has similar protections under the German constitution, as he has now entered 24/7 federal police protection.