"The Salman Rushdie of Iraqi Kurdistan"
sentenced to jail for blasphemy
January 9, 2008
OSLO, Norway, -- The Kurdish author of "Sex,
Sharia and Women in the History of Islam," who lives
in Norway, was sentenced in absentia in Iraqi
Kurdistan to prison for blasphemy.
A court in Halabja sentenced Mariwan Halabjaee to
six months behind bars for claiming in his book the
prophet Mohammed had 19 wives, married a 9-year-old
when he was 54 and committed murder and rape,
Aftenposten said Tuesday.
The allegedly "blasphemous" book, Sex, Sharia and
Women in the History of Islam, is about how Islam is
allegedly used to oppress women. "I wanted to prove
how oppressed women are in Islam and that they have
no rights," said Halabjaee.www.ekurd.net
"My book is based on
Islamic sources such as the Holly Qur'an, Muslim and
Bukhari books and many more."
Halabjaee was forced to obtain political asylum in
Norway after the Islamic League of Kurdistan issued
a "conditional" fatwa to kill him if he did not
repent and apologize for writing his book.
Mariwan Halabjaee, the writer of Sex, Sharia and
Women in the History of Islam
nature of the fatal fatwa was uncertain. Halabjaee
reported that "the mullahs and scholars said if I go
to them and apologize they will give me 80 lashes
and then refer me to the fatwa committee to decide
if I am to be beheaded. They might forgive me, they
Halabjaee received telephone calls saying, "Now, in
10 years or 15 years, we will kill you." Another
time, Halabjaee reported, "the Islamists said once
from the radio, if they found out where I was,www.ekurd.net
they would blow
themselves up with me." The worse thing was
realizing that his wife and children were in danger.
"With that book I wanted to defend women but the
first thing I did was hurt my wife." As a result,
Halabjaye went into hiding with his pregnant wife
and three children.
Halabjaee has been hiding out in Norway, where he
has been granted asylum, for about 18 months.
The author of 14 books said he has received death
threats and been told there is a fatwa demanding he
be put to death unless he seeks forgiveness.
"Norway has protected me against the terrorists and
I hope to be able to play a role in this democratic
system. But I am alone and feel imprisoned. I have
little contact with people and have to move
carefully. Even if I have lived here a year and a
half, no cultural or other organizations have
contacted me," Halabjaee said.
UPI | Agencies
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