Another consequence of Sharia law and its strictures on freedom of speech and expression is a climate of fear that makes creative thought too risky. And its chilling effect reaches far beyond the performing arts, retarding the development of the sciences and other areas of life.
Tehran, 13 July (AKI) - An Iranian artist has been sentenced to five years in prison for having put the Koran to music. According to 'Fardanews', the Iranian authorities considered the move "offensive to Islamic morality".
Mohsen Namju is accused of having ridiculed the Koran, "reciting it in a western and anti-Islamic style".
One of the major experts on recitation of the the Koran in Iran, Abbas Salimi, reported the musician to the Islamic court in Tehran.
The court found the artist guilty for having breached "Islamic morality".
After the sentence, Abbas Salimi was reportedly "very satisfied" and underlined the importance of "defending the sacredness of god's book".
"No-one should be able to ridicule it," he said.
Under Islamic law, music is allowed if it does not result in provoking the faithful.
Combining the recitation of the Koran and popular songs, like the Iranian artist, is not tolerated under Islamic Sharia law.
Originally appeared in the Adnkronos International.