“The Salman Rushdie of Music”

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reports:

Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi … is now being dubbed the Salman Rushdie of music after two influential clerics in Iran issued fatwas — religious edicts — justifying his murder on grounds of blasphemy [based on a song in which Najafi calls on a Shiite saint, Ali an-Naqi, to save Iran] ….

Mr. Najafi … lives [in Germany] and, since last week, has been in hiding under the protection of German police….

The senior clerics empowered to issue fatwas act independently of the government — but anyone who carries out a death fatwa is granted impunity under Iranian law….

An Iranian website, Shia-Online, [has] put a $100,000 bounty on Mr. Najafi’s head ….

Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause) for the pointer.