The call on Muslims to murder Rafiq Tagi, who writes for Azerbaijan's
Senet newspaper, echoes the Iranian fatwa against Indian writer Salman
It was issued by the conservative Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Fazel
The writings of Rafiq Tagi sparked recent demonstrations outside the
Azerbaijani embassy in the Iranian capital, Teheran.
The Iranian media is reporting that Grand Ayatollah Lankarani's
followers inside the republic of Azerbaijan wrote to him asking for
advice about what they called "the apostate writer".
They accuse the Azeri writer of portraying Christianity as superior
to Islam and Europe as superior to the Middle East.
They allege that he has ridiculed all the sanctities of Islam and
done it knowingly, fully aware of the consequences of his action.
In response, Grand Ayatollah Lankarani is said to have issued a fatwa
calling for the death of the writer and also the person responsible for
publishing his articles.
Earlier, an Iranian cleric had offered his house as a reward to
anyone who killed the Azeri writer.
But this latest fatwa comes from one of the dozen or so Grand
Ayatollahs in Iran, who has a large following.
An Azerbaijani court sentenced the writer Rafiq and his publisher to
two months in jail for an article which was illustrated by the same
cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad originally published in Denmark that
caused outcry in the Muslim world.