Iran’s â€˜Bob Dylan’ sentenced to five years for dissing the ‘holy’ Koran
AN Iranian singer and composer who has been likened to Bob Dylan has received a five-year jail sentence in absentia for disrespecting Islam.
According to this report, an Iranian Koran “scholar” filed a complaint against Mohsen Namjoo, who also plays a traditional Persian lute, for the way he had performed using verses from Islam’s “holy” book.
TheÂ “scholar accused Namjoo of:
An insulting, sneering performance of Koranic verses with musical instruments.
The singer’s brother and lawyer dismissed the accusation, saying:
He did not mean any disrespect.
Press TV said Namjoo, who apologised a few months ago for the incident, was abroad but did not say in which country.
Iran’s Fars News Agency quoted a judge this week as confirming that Namjoo was found guilty “subsequent to an investigation of the complaint against him” but he did not give details on the sentence.
In a report posted on its website last week, the semi-official IQNA news agency (Iran’s Quran News Agency) named the plaintiff as Abbas Salimi and quoted him as saying Namjoo had given a derisive rendering of Koran verses and had shown disrespect toward the “holy” book.
In a 2007 profile, the New York Times said Namjoo’s “playful but subtly cutting lyrics about growing up in an Islamic state” had made him
The most controversial, and certainly the most daring, figure in Persian music today.
Some call him a genius, a sort of Bob Dylan of Iran, and say his satirical music accurately reflects the frustrations and disillusionment of young Iranians.
How strange â€¦