Norway: Rap duo threatened with violence



Rap duo threatened with violence

The rap duo Prayaz from Holmlia in the Norwegian capital Oslo sing about violence against women, and they are themselves threatened with violence because of that, reported the Norwegian public service broadcaster NRK.

“What really struck us was the message that we should remember what happened to Benjamin,” the two rappers, Shazeb Iqbal and Zain Ebad, told NRK. The threat referred to the murder of 15-year-old Benjamin Hermansen in Holmlia in 2001.

Record companies which NRK has contacted say they are aware of the problem that life as an artist can be especially tough for artists from minority communities, but they refused to comment on the matter.

Caught between the bark and the wood
In the same article, NRK also interviewed Adil Khan who – in a period when he danced at Oslo New Theatre – received death threats and was told that his sister would be raped.

“I got so many threats that I became completely paranoid,” he explained: “A guard had to escort me from the theatre to the car. And my sister was threatened out of Norway.” Adil Khan’s sister is the singer Deeyah who moved into exile in the US.

Adil Khan told that many minority artists are getting caught between the bark and the wood:“Some people think we are too Norwegian, while others think we are not Pakistani enough. And it is from my own community the criticism is strongst now. (…) I think children with a minority background must also be allowed to develop freely and get to use their talents. If this involves that I must learn to live with receiving threats, then that is what I’m prepared to learn.”

A serious crime
Both Khan and Prayaz have spoken with the police, but so far have not reported the threats.

“This is a serious crime that must be reported and investigated,” stated Associate Professor Inger Marie Sunde at the Police Academy in Oslo who has a Ph.D. in cyber crime. She said that the tracks in such cases disappear quickly, and it is therefore important to have a quick review.


NRK – 14 November 2011:
‘Minoritetsartister trues og sjikaneres’






Click to read more about Norway on

Go to top
Related reading on

Go to top
Related reading