Punk IslamIt is a cult, a new culture, or just a new and bizarre tendency to capture the attention of young Muslims?
Islam Punk isn't just the title of an old song by C.C.C.P. , one of the most important and influential uk punk rock bands of the 1980s, but is also the title of an Italian book, written in 2003 by Michael Muhammad Knight (that's right, just like the star of Knight Rider). Defined in the rye for young Muslims also became a movie, was adopted as a textbook in some University and was banned in Malaysia. The music scene was born around the book has become in turn the subject of a documentary film presented at the Sundance Film Festival, bringing the phenomenon to the attention of the general public.
Michael Muhammad Knight
Michael Muhammad Knight, African-American who converted to Islam at the age of 16 years after reading the biography of Malcolm X, began to deepen their knowledge of Islamic religion going so far as to study the Koran in madrassas in Pakistan and subsequently left the country to join the Jihad, the holy war in Chechnya, fighting in the ranks of the independence movement against the Russian army.
In 2003 after returning to America decides to write his own criticism of Islam and comes out The book The Taqwacores (Islampunk in Italy, published by Newton Compton), a novel that tells the story of a group of punk Muslims in the city of Buffalo, NY.
Taqwacore-the origin of the word
The book becomes a turning point in the musical world Muslims: when Knight wrote the story, the term "taqwacore" (the word is a contraction of the words Taqwacore hardcore and Taqwa, an Islamic word which defines the divine mercy) did not exist at all, and it is thanks to the reading of the novel that the first band they started popping up, giving rise to what, rather than cultural phenomenon , is pure youthful rebellion towards a certain vision of Islam. For having to record you have to report however that the Islamic Punk music sources date back to the late ' 70, thanks to bands like the English Alien Kulture, or Americans Fearless Iranians from Hell.
Islam punk is a novel that mixes irreverence and comedy through stylized characters and unusual. There is Umar, "Muslim punk devoted to alcohol withdrawal, promiscuous sex, tobacco and drugs"; Rabeya, "radical feminist with burka"; Jehangir, "sufi mystic who smokes pot and plays the electric guitar"; Muzammil, "fighting homophobia of Orthodox islam". Through these characters comes a story outside the usual cultural clichés told through the eyes of the Narrator, a student of engineering of Pakistani heritage named Yusef.
The great merit of this book, Punk, Islam was to be able to create a bridge between the old culture of Islam and the punk subculture, thus defining the Union between two philosophies that until now had never been United and it succeeds without creating accidents by introducing a new youth culture of Muslim Punk, populated by characters who rebel against all forms of organized religion and authority. They create their Islam emptied by religious dogmas and rules.
The word Taqwacore is then choose to be a bad Muslim while continuing to love with all my soul to God.
Of course, like every movement, even the Taqwacore has its flaws: it is a Western movement and often anti-American (just think of the Kominas Wild Nights in Guantanamo Bay with their album), but in any case raises questions of identity that – today's tools – are perceived by young Muslims around the world. A culture in which young people are rebelling in power, with all the arrogance of youth. It's not about exalting or less a belief system. This is try to get out of the binary logic of the friend-enemy, realizing that the reality is complex and not traceable to banal cliches. This novel also opens for Westerners the mind to certain questions: what it means to be Muslim (or in General, being faithful to a religion) today? Users are entitled to judge a person's value system only because its behavior does not conform to what is considered normal by us? And finally: we can us Westerners to get an idea less trivial and obvious to what does a young Islamic?
Islam Punk On Youtube
On YouTube you can listen to songs like the Kominas taqwacore punk Islam groups (whose site is called "Sinsanctuary"). The names of the other smaller groups are just as significant: they range from Vote hezbollah at Infibulates, by Dead Kennedys Dead Bhuttos, from Guantanamo bay to Osama Bin Laden's tunnel diggers, from Propagandhi to White SS.