April 29, 2007


Taqwacore.jpgIn 2002, Michael Muhammad Knight, an American Muslim convert who had grown disillusioned with orthodox Islam, wrote a book called The Taqwacores about at fictitious share flat of Muslim punks in Buffalo, New York. The book’s characters included a straight-edge Sunni with Qur’anic tattoos, a mohawked Sufi stoner, a radical feminist in a burqa with band patches, and a Sudanese Shi'ite rude boy; and together they became a cause celebre among disaffected Muslim youth. So much so that they have spawned a subculture of young American Muslim musicians who proudly identify themselves as Taqwacore. Included in this movement are groups who embrace a wide variety of styles, from the punk-lite of The Kominas to the growling Islamic-language hardcore of Al-Hawra, but all of them share a subversive take on what it means to be young and Muslim. (Other groups in the scene are Diacritical, 8-Bit, Vote Hezbollah, and Secret Trial Five.)

(Also worth checking out is this Flash-animated photoessay about Taqwacore from Pangea Magazine. Here's an mp3 of the soundtrack of that photoessay, Mohammed Was A Punk Rocker by Kourosh Poursalchi from Vote Hezbollah.)

Posted by Warren at April 29, 2007 05:30 AM | Punk