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Monday, 15 March 1999

Arab pop star: Foes barking up wrong tree

USA TODAY, Mar 15, 1999

Matthew Kalman

JERUSALEM -- A Lebanese pop star is struggling to save her life and career after Muslim fundamentalists decreed she should be put to death for reportedly naming her pet dog after the prophet Mohammed (Jamal).

Najwa Karam, 32, a Christian from the town of Zahlée in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, is one of the most popular singers in the Arab world. Her CDs, tapes and videos sell by the million and Arabic satellite TV has made hers a household name.

In Jordan, a leader of the country's Islamic Party called for the singer to be killed. Sheikh Abdel Munem Abu Zanet, a former member of the Jordanian parliament and a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, says she has defamed Islam and, if the story is true, she should be put to death.

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