Posts Tagged ‘Taqwacore’

Taqwacore is a “Muslim punk” movement that sprouted from Michael Muhammad Knight’s book The Taqwacores. There is now in addition to the book, a documentary and a movie based on the book, along with now many young Muslims accepting this as part of their identity. And there things such as sex, drinking and crossing out parts of the Qur’an that can be found shocking to say the least, I’m not going to sugarcoat that at all. However, aside from all that, I found that there is a really beautiful message. In the film (which follows the book well), there are many Muslim “outcasts” who all live in one house: The tattooed, the burqa-wearing feminist, the drinker, the gay man, the pot smoker, etc. Long story short: they aren’t your normal MSA crowd. There is something really beautiful to their faith because they are still proud Muslims, even when some other Muslims tell them that they don’t belong in the folds of Islam.

“The jamaat was an almost silly mish-mash of people: Rude Dawud’s pork-pie hat poking up here, a jalab-and-turban there, Jehangir’s big Mohawk rising from a sea of kufis, Amazing Ayyub still with no shirt, girls scattered throughout – some in hejab, some not and Rabeya in punk-patched burqa doing her thing. But in its randomness it was gorgeous, reflecting an Islam I felt could not happen anywhere else…. every Friday hearing khutbahs and standing alongside brothers and sisters together yelling AAAAAMEEEEEENNNN after Fatiha with enough force to knock you down….” (37)

Jehangir has some of the most moving moments, at one point in the film, when everyone is calling a more conservative Taqwacore band, “bigots,” he says,

“…we’re the ones who have always been f-in excluded, ostracized, afraid to be ourselves around our f-in brothers. They don’t build masjids for us….But let’s not play that bulls- game where once we get our own scene we can push people to the sidelines, to the f-in fringe like they did to us. Do you only want a community so you can make someone else feel like the Outsider?” (216)

Though some people might say Astaghfirullah, the message of this film is something people need to know. There is a problem in the Ummah when college students are chasing gay Muslim students who want to pray out of a prayer room with their shoes. Sad story but true. So before you start condemning this film, stop for a sec and look and see when you have ostracized your own sister or brother. Not that I want to sound like I’m pointing fingers because I know I’ve done it plenty of times. I’ve  thought, “They takes themselves too seriously.”  I’m now embarrassed. Who am I to question another’s faith? They might be right, and I might be wrong. I’m not God so what right do I have to judge their din?

In conclusion, Taqwacore might not be my lifestyle. But I’m now okay with the fact that Spanish rolls off my tongue more easily than Arabic (I’m trying, I promise! lol), that my family has dogs who I love dearly (they’re not allowed in the room where I pray) and I’m okay with the way I dress. And I am also okay with the brother who won’t shake my hand or who won’t pet a dog. That’s his practice and I have mine.  The Taqwacores have made me appreciate and respect the diversity of Islam.

And also read Caffeinated Muslim’s review of Taqwacores on her blog. She makes some same (yay for acceptance!) and some different commentary. And on Sepia Mutiny there is also a review of  The Taqwacores and Taqwacore band the Kominas (Sharia Law in the USA . LOVE this song.) that is worth the read: Halal Punkers.


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