A mixtape is released to help create unity...
jason gregory
11:29 10th July 2008

Deeyah, a Muslim rapper, has spoken about the intimidation and threats she has faced trying to establish a successful music career.

The rapper, dubbed the Muslim Madonna, said there was “no support” in many Muslim communities “for young women who want to express themselves as creative artists.”

The role of women and men vary widely in the Muslim religion, with many majority-Muslim countries enforcing conservative guidelines on women in order to maintain their modesty.

Speaking about the constraints, Deeyah said: “Many are actively discouraged from expressing their thoughts and dreams through music. A big part of the problem is the cultural expec tations placed upon women.

“There is the association of music with sexuality and a westernised form of expression.”

'Sisterhood' Mixtape

In a bid to break the traditional view, Deeyah has launched an online mixtape entitled 'Sisterhood', which features unreleased songs from Muslim artists.

The album is designed to show young Muslim artists that a music career can be established.

In an interview with the New Statesmen, Deeyah, who was born in Norway, said she had experienced animosity from Muslim communities in her own country, as well as further afield.

She also revealed that she had received death threats and been harassed over her career choice.

"People have said to me, 'If you wore more modest attire, toned your act down a little, you'd be OK'," she said.

"Well, you know something? I've tried wearing traditional costumes onstage and I'm still the whore. I'm still the person who's wrong."

The Mixtape is available now.

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