In early December, Mina Ahadi, Nick Cohen, Richard Dawkins, Taslima Nasrin, Salman Rushdie, Joan Smith and I wrote a letter to the European parliament calling on them to condemn and investigate the assassination of Islam critic Rafiq Tagi. Mina Ahadi delivered our letter during her meeting with the office of the European Parliament President.

Mina has just informed me that Members of the European Parliament have this week condemned Rafiq Tagi’s assassination and expressed concern over the safety of his colleague, Samir Sadagatoglu, the editor of Sanat newspaper. They have also called on the Azerbaijani government to ensure a thorough investigation into his murder and for the prosecution of the perpetrators.

If you recall, in 2006 Ayatollah Lankarani issued a death fatwa against him. Ayatollah Lankarani’s son (whose father has since died) saluted Tagi’s murder; the Islamic regime of Iran’s paper gleefully wrote ‘Azerbaijan’s Salman Rushdie is dead.’

MEPs have also stated that threats and incitement to violence against individuals expressing views deemed ‘offensive’ by some adherents of religions and beliefs systems are ‘totally unacceptable’, that those responsible for such threats and incitement must be prosecuted, and that the freedom of expression and safety of the threatened individuals must be fully guaranteed.

Yes, now if only they would comply…



  1. Using assassinatios as a method to silence dissent is a holy islamic tradition going back to the prophet himself, piss be upon him.
    I am really pessimistic that Azerbaijan will do anything. They don’t want this to affect their relations with iran. But at least I am glad this is getting some attention.

    1. Did you also get sick of hearing “peace be upon him” in that debate recently. I never thought of mentally changing that to “piss be upon him”. Thanks for the inspiration.

      And let’s hope we are not victims of a fatwa ourselves.
      (I think I am safe – I once had somenone spend about two months trying unsuccessfully to identify me)

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