20th Feb 2006
Re: 'Fanatics Tell Muslim Singer: We'll Kill You' (Independent on Sunday, 19 Feb 2006)
The above article written by your correspondent, Wersha Bharadwa, contained a number of serious allegations which we believe were unsubstantiated and will unfortunately only serve to contribute to the current anti-Muslim atmosphere.
Bharadwa claimed that the singer Deeyah's new single 'has already outraged hardline Islamists here as it promotes women's rights.' However, no evidence whatsoever was adduced in the article to support this claim. Which Muslim groups have stated that they are 'outraged' by Deeyah's single? I wonder how many of them have even heard of her.
Bharadwa then claimed that Deeyah has 'received a string of death threats from religious extremists.' Did Mr Bharadwa check whether these 'death threats' had in fact been reported to the police by Deeyah? It is interesting to note that at this time last year - when coincidentally Deeyah was also promoting a new single - she made the very same allegations. When I asked her on live television on GMTV about why she had not reported these 'death threats' to the police she was unable to give a coherent response.
It is quite regrettable that a paper like the Independent on Sunday appears to have fallen for an apparent publicity stunt by a wannabe pop star at the expense of stirring up hostility towards ordinary British Muslims.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,
The Muslim Council of Britain