by Charlie Crooijmans
The song Naghi by Persian rapper and poet Shahin Najafi has caused a lot of commotion. The satirical song is written in the form of a prayer to Ali An-Naqi, the tenth of the 12 Shia Muslim Imams, a religious figure highly respected by millions in Iran. In the song Ali An-Naqi should get Iran back on track, solving real problems like sanctions, the rising dollar to nose jobs, and prayer rugs made in China. Soon after the song’s release in May the fatwa is pronounced. Najafi is declared an apostate by religious leaders, a crime punishable by death in Iran. The site Shia-Online, which runs on the regime-controlled .ir domain, has offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who kills Najafi. (Guardian)
Najafi is now residing in Germany. He doesn’t regret releasing the song Naghi and will continue with his music. Here you can read a transcription of an interview with Shahin Najafi by Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Radio One, public radio international of the USA on the 6th of June.