Islamist Website: Kill This Rapper, and We'll Pay $100K

But Shahin Najafi denies 'O Naqi' is insulting to Islam
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2012 11:47 AM CDT

Most rappers hope their songs will be a hit—not make them the target of one. That's the situation facing Shahin Najafi, an Iranian rapper living in Germany who's accused of having "grossly insulted" an important Shi'ite Muslim religious figure in one of his songs. He now has a $100,000 bounty hanging over his head, compliments of an Islamist website that says the rapper spoke of Ali al-Hadi al-Naqi, one of the 12 imams, irreverently in the song, Reuters reports, citing Iranian media.

The song is also accused of satirizing the Islamic republic; it includes references to the 2009 presidential election, economic sanctions, and Iranians' fondness for nose jobs, among other things. But Najafi denies all the allegations related to the song, which is fashioned as a prayer and has become very popular with Iranians. In addition to the reward offered to anyone who kills him, Najafi could also face a death sentence if the song is deemed blasphemous, according to a senior cleric in Iran. (More Shiite stories.)

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