You probably haven’t heard of Shahin Najafi, but the Iranian rapper and singer is one of that countries biggest stars. Or at least he was until three clerics deemed him an apostate and issued a fatwa against him earlier this year, forcing him to live in hiding in Germany. Now, he’s coming back out into the light to perform for the first time since a price was put on his head. Via Salon:
I text the person who arranged the meeting and she tells me to wait. Two minutes later, the door opens and a man edges out cautiously. He is wearing thick framed glasses, baggy Iranian-style pants, and a short-billed beanie. His name is Shahin Najafi. Last May, at least three ayatollahs called for his execution after he released a song they interpreted as insulting to Shia Islam’s 10th Imam. To sweeten the deal, a regime-controlled website offered $100,000 to whoever pulled the trigger. He invites me in and pours me tea.
All kinds of artists claim to be activists, but Najafi is taking things to a whole other level.