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Deeyah: She did not collapse under the pressure of violence

Imagine if white racists in Norway or Britain had targeted Deepika Thathaal, the former pop singer who has recently made her first feminist documentary, Banaz: An Honour Killing, which was shown on ITV1 at the end of October. As a brilliant and beautiful 17-year-old she had mixed the influences of the Asian music her immigrant parents knew with the sounds of Massive Attack and Portishead to become one of Norway's first Asian stars.

Her opponents dialled her parents' home and bellowed out poisonous threats. They burst into her classroom and screamed that she was "a slut, a whore, a prostitute". They attacked her on the street and stormed the stage during a concert in Oslo. She moved to London and relaunched herself as Deeyah, "the Muslim Madonna". With a touching naivety, she thought that Britain would be a safer country to work in than Norway. (She had visited as a child and been impressed to see Asian women outdoors in Western dresses without men attacking them.)

One thought disturbed her reverie: "Why do I have this market all to myself? Why am I the only Muslim woman on the scene?"

She soon found out. She was forced to hire bodyguards. She was spat at in the street and warned that she would be cut into pieces. Deeyah could not take it. She and her liberal parents were living in fear. She announced that she was giving up on her dream of being a star, and fleeing the horrors of Europe in 2007 to find sanctuary in America.

I am not being fanciful if I imagine that had her tormentors been Norwegian neo-Nazis or the BNP, Deeyah would have become an anti-racist hero: a Muslim Stephen Lawrence. Artists would make her struggle against prejudice their struggle. Politicians would invite her to Westminster and the European Parliament. The BBC would see to it that she was never off air. Liberal society would embrace her and define itself by its response to prejudice and violence.

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Zachary Mullin
January 27th, 2013
5:01 PM
I consider myself a liberal, support Lib-Dems in UK and Liberal party in Canada, and I agree with this article completely. A serious drop of the ball and a serious failing of those entrusted to educate us on the world events. Hopefully she finds an educated man and a profession in which she isnt harassed by bronze aged fools.

Asma Bint Marwan
December 27th, 2012
1:12 AM
Anonymous is a jihad enabler; will shortly explain how the Bamiyan Buddhas brought it upon themselves, also how the Masonic-Zionist Press did not adequately cover the formers' demolition, or perhaps covered it for the wrong reasons,or was hoodwinked by the attention hungry Buddhas; who in their turn were set up by the Mossad...I hear there is an opening for resident parrot-in-chief at the HASAN AL BANNA SAYID QUTB MAUDUDI Outreach Centre, all expenses borne by the kuffar tax-payer.

December 13th, 2012
3:12 AM
It seems "Deeyah" is at it again. This woman will do just about anything for press and attention. Last time, it was attaching Madonna's name to her own. The reason these so called 'Muslim reformers' keep falling flat on their faces is because they start perpetuating others' agendas (in return for compensation) instead of really and truly trying to usher in change. They will never get air time (except when being others' props) because they are too afraid to point out the racism of the same western media that refuses to give them airtime because of their heritage. After all, you cannot bite the hand that feeds you.

December 9th, 2012
6:12 AM
The Telegraph and the Daily Mail did not come to her aid even. Not even the English Defense league tabloids and the British National Party. I don't know why this is being turned into your wank about "liberal" media, when in fact it's the fault of ALL media for not picking up the story.

Emmet Sweeney
December 7th, 2012
4:12 PM
Thanks Nick for the expose of the loathsome cowardice and hypocrisy of the British media. What a shower of worms! Can these people really be of the same nation (or even species) as Winston Churchill and George Orwell?

December 3rd, 2012
12:12 PM
You don't say whether there were any articles about her in the conservative press. Presumably there weren't any there either? Or was the Telegraph standing up for her when the Guardian was silent? Thought not.

November 29th, 2012
7:11 PM
Er.... scuse me but the 'Liberal Press' are as gutless today as they were twenty years ago or thirty years ago. LAST year they knew of plenty rape cases where Jimmy Saville was concerned but didn't want to upset anybody. Ask the Telegraph if you don't believe me. Europe is no better than anywhere else in the world, only the sugar coating is thicker.

November 29th, 2012
6:11 PM
Life can be terribly lonely if you stand up for what you believe and deliver a way of communicating how you feel publicly. This is a very brave person who I admire. Thank you.

Vera Lynn
November 29th, 2012
2:11 PM
It's not just liberals — David Steel? — no-one is helping.

November 29th, 2012
2:11 PM
I couldn't find any articles on this site relating to either woman. Did YOU publish anything about either woman before this article?

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