Muslim Pop Star Deeyah Releases Provocative Music Video, Receives Death Threats

February 27, 2006

Source: National Post

On February 27, 2006 the National Post reported, "A Muslim pop star has hired bodyguards for her upcoming tour in Britain after receiving death threats over her newest video, which features her stripping off a burka to reveal her bikini-clad body. Deeyah, who has been dubbed the 'Muslim Madonna,' has been forced to hire security guards to protect her in London next month while she promotes a new single and video, according to the British newspaper The Independent. The 27-year-old Norwegian-born star has become the target of threats from religious extremists who are angry about the video for her song What Will It Be, which she argues is about Muslim women's rights and empowerment. The video features Irshad Manji, the Toronto-based feminist Muslim writer, ripping off a strip of tape that covers her mouth... After years of being called a "whore," "devil" and "bringer of shame" by people who use Islam as their shield, I have decided to let this video speak for me,' [Deeyah said.] 'I am tired of the people who clamour at the slightest hint of skin on a Muslim woman but who will not speak up when a woman is beaten and even murdered in the name of Islam.' Hoda Fahmy, who works with a group that provides education to Muslim women in Canada, says Deeyah's message is lost along with the singer's clothing. 'A lot of us are working for women's rights, particularly in the Muslim world. I think we have more self-respect than to dance around naked to make our point,' she said."