Tuesday, February 28, 2006


DeeyahNorwegian pop singer Deeyah has elected to add a couple of bodyguards for her UK tour following a series of death threats from extremists unhappy with her What Will It Be video. That track - and the related imagery - took a strong line against so-called honour killings, which has made her something of a target:

"My core message in this video is the right of a woman to choose her own path and express herself without the fear of violence or cultural excommunication," she says.

"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 ... 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."

Interestingly, she's not being given total support by all Muslim women's rights groups, some of whom disapprove of her clothing:

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. "It's unfortunate that she has to use those means, because it's true -- women are not able to speak up in a lot of these countries."

It's not like she's saying she deserves to be killed for her clothes, of course, but its disappointing that people like Fahmy put more energy into condemning halter tops than death threats.