Deeyah Khan: Build a sustainable alternative to the contorted worldview of extremists


Deeyah Khan is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director and producer, whose work highlights human rights, women’s voices and freedom of expression. On 1 June 2015, she published a blog post on Huffington Post’s UK website under the title ‘We Must Tackle Extremism Without Compromising Freedom of Speech’

In the piece, Deeyah Khan states that censorship and restrictions of freedom of speech is a restriction upon democracy:

“We must defend democracy using its own mechanisms, through explaining and exemplifying its merits rather than through the heavy-handed and arbitrary silencing of its critics. This is how we will build a sustainable alternative to the contorted worldview of extremists. As a woman who has myself faced the devastating effects of Islamic extremism and attempted censorship in my own life, and having worked for several years to highlight and support the voices of secular activists against religious extremism, who often work under threats of extremist violence, I know how precious our shared human values and freedoms are. This is precisely why we must resist the impulse to react in a paranoid, authoritarian way that will play into the hands of extremists. Censorship in all its forms must be challenged. We need more dialogue, not less. Freedom of expression cannot be sacrificed this cheaply; not when so much blood has been spilled for it.”

» Read Deeyah Khan’s blog post:



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