May 14, 2012


Why Does This Iranian Rapper Have A $100,000 Bounty on His Head?

Photo Credit: Shahin Najafi
Photo Credit: Shahin Najafi

An Islamic website has put a $100,000 bounty on the head of an Iranian rapper now living in Germany, who released a song that satirizes Iran and references a historical religious figure without proper reverence. And this seems to be a-okay with the Iranian government, who may hire Dog the Bounty Hunter to haul the rapper in (kidding!). 

According to Reuters, rapper Shahin Najafi, who moved to Germany in 2005, has been accused of "grossly insulting" one of the 12 imams—highly important figures in Shi'ite Muslim culture—in his song "Naghi" (listen below), which is based on a ninth century prayer. While the rapper denies any intentional wrongdoing, the song does reference the Iranian people's apparent love of rhinoplasty, aka nose jobs, as well as the country's contested 2009 presidential election and the current economic sanctions facing Iran.

The anonymous founder of the Iranian news and religion website has offered $100,000 to the person to kill Najafi, and some of Iran's high-ranking religious figures support his execution: Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi said, "Any outrage against the infallible imams ... and obvious insult against them would make a Muslim an apostate," and apostasy is a crime punishable by death in Iran.

Listen to the track below, and then tell us what you think in the comments...