A singer-songwriter who has been referred to as the "Iranian Bob Dylan" has been sentenced in absentia by an Iranian court to five years in prison for recording music that "dishonours" the Qu'ran.
Mohsen Namjoo, who has been living in Vienna since 2007 after he was banned from performing and selling his music in Iran, was accused by a prominent Iranian scholar of Islam of recording "an insulting, sneering performance of Koranic verses with musical instruments."
Iran's quasi-official news source IQNA named the plaintiff as Abbas Salimi Namin and quoted him accusing Namjoo of “derisive rendering of Koran verses and disrespect toward” the holy book. The charge is believed to have been levied against a private recording entitled 'Gis,' recorded in 2005 and leaked online earlier this year.
Namjoo, a noted satirist of Persian poetry, apologised for the song earlier this year in an open letter addressed to his mother, clerics and the Iranian people (though, curiously, not Allah) for recording the song and declared himself the victim of an "unauthorised release". He has vowed to sue the offenders.
Namjoo's lawyer, his brother Hamid, dismissed the charges. An appeal is planned.
Hey Darkman, as long as we're thinking like that, why don't you tell black southerners it's their fault for being racially discriminated against, or tell Middle Eastern women it's their fault for being restricted by a male-dominated society.
Excuse me for being such an opponent of human rights
This is so pathetic
Think about it in retrospective first:
In Iran, you are taught from your childhood that certain thigs, while accepted in other places, are not acceptable in their own customs
Now to give you a better idea, think of it this way: In the US and western hemisphere as a whole, marrying into family is considered offensive, but drinking alcohol is deemed "normal"
like wise in Iran, there are specific things you can and cannot do, that includes making morally offensive music (and yes, you can have black metal/death metal/melodic metal etc there, as long as the lyrics do not insult people's belief) and drinking alcohol etc; things we know generally about muslim countries.
So to give you a simple, but gross comparison:
You want too marry your first cousin (dammmnn) but you live in Michigan. So instead of moving, you marry her/him in that state and just pointlessly get yourself in deep shit.
Similarly, in Iran, if you know that making certain music is offensive and illegal even, then why not just move out of the country (if you're so dedicated to your music) or just take the easy way and censor your lyrics enough to be considered 'borderline acceptable'.
There are many examples of lyrics leading to government involvment, such as Ice-T's Cop Killer, which was removed from Body Count's album and led to charges being laid on Ice-T himself. So please don't sit on your couch, eating your potato chips and deeming other nation's customs as "right or wrong"
dammmmm i wrote a long paragraph, but the kids underground these days just go crazy at strict laws and things we deem "inhumane". Get it right. Everyplace has a certain lifestyle, thats why we don't live under a One World Government.
Darkman I can deem whatever government I want to as "wrong," because I live in a nation where I can say that without fear of being persecuted for it; and believe me, I'm not an American stalwart and I don't agree with a lot of the shit they've done and I'm also lazy and ignorant and white and raised with a false sense of entitlement, but at least in this country if my government fucks up I can call them out on it.
The fact that you're able to so clearly see another nation's inhumanity towards its own people with fascist laws and inane religious discrimination and try to justify it astounds me. Just because a law deems it illegal doesn't mean that the action is in a morally corrupt stance; we had laws that promoted slavery for 400 years because a bunch of Christian zealots saw farmers cashing in off of forced labor and spent hundreds of years justifying it through Biblical scripture.
And the point isn't that he could do it somewhere else, it's that in this "enlightened" age where most governments try to encourage progression towards acceptance of all peoples Iran is still stuck in a oligarchy of religious leaders who make their subjects adhere to their beliefs without question, or face imprisonment or death for saying that the Qu'ran is wrong; that's the kind of thinking that started the Inquisition.
Darkman, your argument justifies the removal of human rights based upon location. Just because you don't base your argument upon that doesn't make it a lesser point.
If someone want to get married to their first cousin, they could move somewhere that it's legal, of course leaving everything they had before behind and failing to stand up for equal rights in different places. Likewise, this guy could have left his relatives and friends behind in order to make his music legal, but not only would that disadvantage him but mean that he was accepting the fact that the Iranian government is allowed to trample all over free speech.
If we want things to change, we can't just accept the bad in the world and tell everyone to move away from it.
"Unfortunately changing thousands of year old customs will not happen over night."
Fortunately for the people of Iran these arn't thousand year old customs. Iran was one of the first democracies in the middle east... that is until the CIA assassinated the elected leader because he tried to charge the British for moving oil through Iran. We put the Shaw of Iran in power, there was a revolution, and THEN this crazy religious bullshit started happening. And the fact is its basically our fault. I just hope this dude doesn't actually go to prison to such a dumb reason, and I hope Iran can change for the better.