Rushdie is perhaps the most celebrated person with an Islamic bounty on his head. He has been for decades. The man was condemned to death by Ayatollah Khomeini, without the least due process, for supposedly insulting Islam’s sanctities in his book The Satanic Verses. Rushdie has been living a dreadful life for decades, mostly in hiding, hoping to elude the daggers or bullets of far too many zany Islamists who would eagerly carry out the edict of the certifiably crazed Islamic ayatollah.
Shahin Najafi, a Persian musician and songwriter, is not famed like Rushdie, yet he has been sentenced to death by another ayatollah. Again with no due process, for the “sin” of composing a song deemed by the officious Islamic clergy — in this case, Ayatollah Golpaygani — as an affront to the Shi’ite imams.
The way these high priest Islamic parasites operate makes for nothing short of international religious terrorism. They consider it their prerogative to pronounce death sentences on anyone, of any nationality, anywhere in the world, who offends their sensibilities. With their tentacles reaching every corner of the globe, these Islamic Godfathers unleash their lieutenants and soldiers on anyone who dares to in any way challenge their code of murder and mayhem billed as Allah’s sole valid religion for all of humanity.
Shahin may not be famed like Rushdie, but he is still a human being under a fatwa of death. The man, who now lives in Germany, was an ordinary Persian musician and singer before Iran’s grand Ayatollah Golpayegani issued his fatwa. Now, Shahin faces death threats after releasing a controversial song containing references to one of the 12 Shi’ites.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have watched this controversial clip posted on YouTube. This issue has divided opinions in a nation where religious people find it offensive and insulting to their beliefs, but many others defend the song, praising it for breaking taboos, especially with respect to expressing views about religious personalities.
More ayatollahs are ganging up on the poor artist. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency reports that Ayatollah Naser Makareme Shirazi, a pro-Islamic regime cleric based in the holy city of Qom, with a great deal of influence among Shi’ites, has also issued a fatwa against Najafi by proclaiming, “Any outrage against the infallible imams … and obvious insult against them would make a Muslim an apostate.” Makarem Shirazi has in the past issued other harsh and absurd religious rulings, such as the one against women attending soccer matches. He has also issued out proscriptions against keeping pets and denied the Holocaust.
The apostasy ruling was issued after a song released by this Shahin titled “Naghi.” Islamist fanatics contend that the song desecrates the tenth Imam of Shi’ites, Imam Naghi.
It is beyond the pale that a self-glorified cleric finds in himself the audacity to issue a death warrant for a human he has never seen, and without even a pretense of trial.
Apostasy is capital offense in most Islamic countries, but execution of the apostate is not common. Yet it does take place from time to time by frequently buttressing the “crime” of apostasy with additional fabricated charges. The Islamic Republic of Iran, for instance, often adds the charge of mohareb (one who wars with Allah) to further legitimize its execution of apostates. A case in point pertains to the treatment of the religious minority Bahá’ís by the Islamic Republic. A number of Bahá’ís have been charged as apostates and mohareb and executed, with some secretly buried in unmarked graves.
It is noteworthy that Islam considers the world its ummah and does not bother with national boundaries. Hence, Islamic clerics feel free to issue fatwas and other adjudications regarding any person, group, or nation anywhere in the world. Fanatic Muslims anywhere in the world take it upon themselves to carry out fatwas issued by Islamic high divines. Other high-profile cases — the killing of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch film director, and the recent attack on the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westeraard — are instances of this barbaric, arbitrary practice, which runs counter to the civilized world’s due process and has serious intimidating impact on the freedom of expression.
Fatwas are religious rulings with wide-ranging and shocking implications. For one, not long ago, Salih bin Fawzan, “a prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council, issued a fatwa proclaiming that there is no minimum age for marriage, and that girls can be married even if they are in the cradle.” Why not? Didn’t Islam’s founder, Muhammad, marry six-year-old Ayesha?
Islam needs be fully exposed for what it is, with its Godfathers de-frocked and punished if they keep issuing fatwas as binding rules for Muslims to obey and implement.
Half-hearted, perfunctory attempts by the civilized world at staying the hands of these villains and preventing them from issuing rulings by fiat serve only to embolden these perpetrators of hatred and violence.
Free people and nations should not sacrifice their God-given liberty to please the Islamists by muzzling dissenters and even endangering their safety and their lives.
In the final analysis, there is no difference between a Mafia Godfather issuing a death sentence on people who do not toe his line and a turbaned Islamist who masquerades as the authorized agent of Allah to run and ruin peoples’ lives by fiat.
The civilized, free people of the world have paid the ultimate price far too many times in the past and are not likely to shirk their responsibility of fighting off the resurgence of the scourge of Islamism — a cult of intolerance and violence that has shed and continues to shed the blood of far too many people.
Let freedom ring. Let people sing their songs and lead their lives without death threats hanging over their heads.
No oppression of women, minorities, or freedom-lovers, and no death sentences by fiat. Imams and mullahs who engage in these criminal acts must be dragged to the court of law and, after due process, given their due punishments, in the same way that any criminal is processed by a just and civilized society.
Amil Imani is Voice of the Copts’ board member.