Thursday, June 07, 2007

Muslim Punk Rock

An item of interest...

Excerpt from this article in the June 11, 2007 edition Newsweek:
Muslim punk rock certainly sounds like an oxymoron, especially since fundamentalist Muslims condemn all music as haram (forbidden). But Diacritical is one of about a dozen Islamic punk-rock bands throughout the country, bands with names like Vote Hezbollah, the Kominas ("bastards" in Punjabi) and Al-Thawra (Arabic for "the revolution")....

Muslim punkers call their brand of music taqwacore—a blend of the Arabic word for piety, taqwa, and "hard-core," the English word for musicians who want to be taken very seriously. "The Prophet Muhammad was all about smashing idols," says Michael Muhammad Knight, a Muslim convert whose 2003 novel "The Taqwacores" is a manifesto for the Muslim punk movement. "And what's more punk rock than that?"

...Muslim punk rockers are fighting a two-sided establishment: one side West, the other Middle East. To them, the war on terror is unequivocally a war on Islam, but they're equally infuriated by Islamic fundamentalists and the bloodshed they foment against Westerners as well as other Muslims. "It's not like I'm choosing sides," says Kourosh Poursalehi, 18, who wears a denim vest with a print of Ayatollah Khomeini on the back—for the shock value....


Admittedly, these Muslim punks aren't especially devout, at least in the traditional sense. None goes to Friday prayers regularly, but they all say they're deeply spiritual. To them, Islam begins and ends with one's personal relationship with God. After a recent show at a Manhattan bar, Waqar felt the urge to pray. "I went into the men's room, got down on the nasty floor and started praying," he recalls. Nothing says Muslim punk rock more than searching for Allah on the floor of a nightclub bathroom.
One of the bands, the Kominas, is scheduled to perform at ISNA's 2007 Labor Day conference in Chicage.

Audio clip of the Kominas here.

A little information about ISNA:

1. According to this article by Stephen Schwartz, ISNA is
part of the "Wahhabi lobby" that imposes Saudi theology on the majority of American Sunni Muslims.
2. In addition, this recent article (June 7007) mentions ISNA:
Federal prosecutors have named three prominent Islamic organizations in America as participants in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas.

Prosecutors applied the label of "unindicted co-conspirator" to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust in connection with a trial planned in Texas next month for five officials of a defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development....
Let's see....One of the above-mentioned bands is named Vote Hezbollah. Maybe there's one called Vote Hamas?


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posted by Always On Watch @ 6/07/2007 07:10:00 AM