Iran executes a poet

Iran executes a poet


norman lebrecht

February 08, 2014

We understand that Hashem Shaabani was hanged on January 27 for ‘waging war on God.’ His sentence was approved by the supposedly moderate, liberal and enlightened President, Hassan Rouhani.

Human Rights Voices reports: ‘To those who knew him, Hashem Shaabani was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system…’

More here.



  • Religion is the scourge of humanity.

    • PrewarTreasure says:

      I know where you’re coming from (Derek) to use modern parlance, but your statement is a mite ‘strong’, in my opinion.

      I prefer to go along with the late Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) who once said that churches have doors for good reason, which should be kept closed to keep the believers in and out of harm’s way. (Like Freemasonry, I suppose, kept secret.)

  • Martin says:

    The article doesn’t say much. What did he do? What is the wording of the law based on which he was sentenced to death?

    Of course we can all bash Iran and call for human rights, but articles should at least answer those basic questions.

  • Cambridge says:

    Please note the two greatest mass murderers of the last century were atheists. However, nothing can detract from the tragedy of this man’s judicial murder.

    • PrewarTreasure says:

      I assume, Cambridge, you are referring to Adolf Hitler in your brace of ‘greatest mass murderers’ of the last century.

      If so, with respect, you are repeating a common misconception. A.H. was raised as a Catholic, and is widely reported to have believed in an omnipotent, and who regularly referred to the Christian bible.

    • Hank Drake says:

      It is important to remember, however, that neither Stalin nor Mao killed in the name of atheism. They killed out of their own lust for power.

      That can’t be said for many religious militants, Islamic and otherwise.

      • Cambridge says:

        This is simply not true. Thousands of believers perished during their regimes not because they were any threat to the state but because they were just believers. Many churches were demolished because the credo of the state was atheism. Please don’t bring out these tired old arguments used by the neo atheists.

        • Michael Schaffer says:

          ambridge says:

          February 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm

          “This is simply not true. Thousands of believers perished during their regimes not because they were any threat to the state but because they were just believers.”

          Unfortunately historically completely incorrect. Believers in those regimes were persecuted precisely because they were seen as a threat to the state, to the new system, the new type of society those regimes wanted to create. And that new type of society was not one in which people were supposed to be just freed from the chains of religion, those regimes simply wanted to replace religion with a new absolute world order. As such, they were just as repressive as the old world order in which religion was used as a tool to justify absolute power held by church and state, not any better, but not any worse either.

          The correct lesson to learn from all this is that people need to be free from religious influence and absolute power systems, but if they freely decide to be religious, that is their good right, too. Just keep religion completely out of politics and out of the lives of those who don’t want to worship imaginary supernatural beings in the sky.

      • Greg Hlatky says:

        Having denied the old God, atheists just find new ones to worship: the State, their lunatic ( usually European) political philosophies, the environment, themselves (see also: cult of personality). And, once in power, history has shown that they are far more ruthless in exterminating their heretics than the Inquisition ever was.

        • Michael Schaffer says:

          Greg – if they replace the worship of this or that god with another cult, be it a new ideological or a leader cult (or both), then they aren’t real atheists. Atheists are simply people who don’t believe in supernatural beings. It doesn’t follow from that that one must worship a new ideology or personalities. Just like vegetarians are simply people who don’t eat meat. Like Hitler, was a vegetarian, too. But it doesn’t follow from that that all vegetarians are potential mass murderers.

          Your comment about people now “worshiping” the environment is rather strange though. Don’t you care about the environment in which and from which we live, too?

  • Ajax Lessome says:

    During all these efforts by the US to cut a deal at almost any price, it amazes me that there has never been a mention of including concessions on Iran’s human rights abuses. If you are going to negotiate with a nation under the belief that their word is their bond, behavior is a pretty important component of any deal. Simply taking a regime’s leaders at their word without any demonstrable proof is naive at best and stupid at worse. If the US were to hold Iran accountable for example in halting public executions, releasing political prisoners and loosening restrictions on a free press and internet and satellite TV access to outside news sources, then you might be persuaded to believe that Iran is indeed wanting to change. But absent any of those moves, there is little to show that Iran’s leadership — at its core — has really changed at all and thus can’t be trusted to hold up its end of any nuclear bargain.