and their webzine:
Taqwacore on Wordpress
You guys should all check this out! I fully support their movement. Some of you may be wondering why, which is understandable. Considering that I'm very, very intensely anti-Islam, and I don't consider Punk to be a valid form of music, hypothetically, you'd think I'd completely dismiss these guys and everything they stand for, and I haven't even heard them, but I love them already! Just from the description of the book, taken from the website:
A Muslim punk house in Buffalo, New York, inhabited by burqa-wearing riot girls, mohawked Sufis, straightedge Sunnis, Shi’a skinheads, Indonesian skaters, Sudanese rude boys, gay Muslims, drunk Muslims, and feminists. Their living room hosts parties and prayers, with a hole smashed in the wall to indicate the direction of Mecca. Their life together mixes sex, dope, and religion in roughly equal amounts, expressed in devotion to an Islamo-punk subculture, “taqwacore,” named for taqwa, an Arabic term for consciousness of the divine.
Originally self-published on photocopiers and spiral-bound by hand, The Taqwacores has since been published in foreign translations, become the basis for two films, and is taught in various colleges and universities as a “Catcher in the Rye for young Muslims.”
and the author:
Michael Muhammad Knight’s work has been censored, boycotted, confiscated, and threatened with legal action. He is also the author of Blue-Eyed Devil, The Five Percenters: Islam, Hip-Hop, and the Gods of New York, and the forthcoming Impossible Man, a memoir, Journey to the End of Islam, an account of international pilgrimage, and Osama Van Halen.
I love it already! As much as I hate islam for how unapologetically bullshit it is and, exactly like christianity, latter day saints, and many other religions, how aggressively it works to control and enslave people's minds, there are a small handful of things I like about it, most of all being that, in islam, god is said to be neither male nor female, but a light that permeates all things, and I like that. I can't think of much else I like, but anyway, my point is that Punk has always been about challenging supposed "authority", and doing so entirely on its own terms, and I definitely like that. Plus, as bullshit as Islam is, I still believe that every religion should be heard out, listened to, and considered, since I believe that wisdom can be found and nurtured everywhere, and developed under the right consideration.
My point is that this is that proof positive to me that people are beginning to wake up on a mass scale and realize that, among other things, religion doesn't automatically need to equate to identity. I am not my beliefs. I am not my name. I am not my DNA. I am not my job. I am not my car. I am not my experiences I've had on my journey. If anything, I am the journey itself. I am divine, as well as being my relationship with the divine. Very simply, I am. And this is why I'm so excited about the emergence of the Taqwacore scene: it embodies all of it. The subversive thinking, the journey, self-declaration on one's own terms, and a sense of spiritualism. Really, the only thing I could ask for more is if it were jazz or metal, but unfortunately, they wouldn't get as much notice.
Moral of my little writ is that I love this scene and the people who are pushing for it. I'm wanting to know what I can do to get involved. I study audio engineering, and, headed into my 4th semester, I more or less know how to run the more basic elements of a Studio. Suggestions, comments, words of wisdom, leads, or just venting, I'm ready and willing to listen.