Religious authoritarianism strikes again:
Mohsen Namjoo, a singer-songwriter who has been described as the “Iranian Bob Dylan”, has been sentenced to five years in prison for recording music that “dishonours” passages from the Qur’an. The sentencing was in absentia, as Namjoo lives in Vienna.
The musician was convicted for “his unconventional singing” of the Muslim holy book, according to the Etemad Melli newspaper. Namjoo “insulted sanctities” and “ridiculed [and] dishonoured” the Qur’an, scholar Abbas Salimi Namin told the paper. The claims refer to a private recording made by Namjoo four years ago.
Any one who would defend jailing people for singing songs should not be allowed the honorific of scholar since they disgrace the freedom and honesty of thought that is at the core of what schools should be.