A Kurdish author with asylum in Norway was sentenced in absentia in Iraq last month to six months imprisonment for blasphemy.
Two years ago author Mariwan Halabjaee wrote "Sex, sharia and women in the history of Islam". Here he wrote that the prophet Mohammed had 19 wives, married a nine-year-old when he was aged 54 and that he took part in murder and rape. Last month a court in Halabja convicted him of blasphemy in absentia.
Halabjaee has lived in hiding in Norway for one and a half years. The sentence states that he should be arrested upon his return to north Iraq but he has now been granted asylum in Norway, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports on its web site.
The writer has had 14 books published. Halabjaee says that he has received a series of death threats and that there is a fatwa saying he should be punished by death unless he asks forgiveness.
Halabjaee also believes Norway is naive about radical Islamist groups that he says authorities allow to develop without control on Norwegian soil.
"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 says.
Source: Aftenposten (English)
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