Deeyah Khan is an award-winning Norwegian film maker and activist for women’s rights, freedom of expression and peace, of Punjabi-Pashtun origin, who recently made a documentary about why young Muslims go to war as jihadists.
Born in Oslo on 7 August 1977 she’s a serious though attention-seeking Sun Saturn in Leo; with her Sun on the focal point of a courageous, ultra-determined Mars in communicative Gemini trine Pluto. Her Sun is also in a rebellious square to Uranus and a creative trine to Neptune. So plenty of vision and power there.
Her Mars opposes Neptune squaring onto Mercury in Virgo so she’s well-suited to showbiz and publicity though always wanting to communicate a message.
She started out as a singer, encouraged by her father, but stopped after receiving death threats from Muslims outraged at her performing in public and decided to turn her talents to helping others constrained by their community. Her first documentary on honour killings won her an Emmy and is used worldwide as a training guide for police and social services.
Publicising her recent documentary on jihadists she talked of the “goofiness and stupidity” of it. One former extremist calls a gun a “penis extension” and describes radicalism as a form of machismo, a way to get women. “It’s the kind of men who feel emasculated — small, pathetic, weak. It allows them a hyper-masculinity because masculinity and violence are so closely linked in our societies. They can put on this persona: ‘I’m a holy warrior. You don’t respect me but you’re afraid of me.’”