Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Islam calling

I so cannot wait to get my hands on some of this stuff.
The Taqwacores - a novel about a fictitious Muslim punk scene in the US - has spawned an actual movement that is being driven forward by young Muslims worldwide. Some bands - such as the Kominas - have a cult following. Others, such as Sabina, are virtually unknown. In a brief email exchange, she lays out some harsh truths.

You're a playwright. What do you write about?

"I write plays about fucked up people in fucked up situations, because we're all fucked up human beings that live in a fucked up society. People need to quit whining and shut up and realise that we're all freaks, whether we admit it or not."

...How her words would fare with Michael Muhammad Knight, author of The Taqwacores and an unwitting idol to the young and restless, is anyone's guess. Knight, who is 29 and lives in New York with his dog Sunny - "not as in Sunni Muslim" - downplays his achievement of single-handedly inspiring this subculture that has produced artists such as the Kominas, Secret Trial Five, Vote Hezbollah, Al-Thawra, 8-Bit and Diacritical.

"There was a scene already," says Knight modestly, whose next novel will be titled Osama Van Halen. "I just gave it a name. There were kids out there, doing their thing. I don't think of it as a movement, though, just a group of friends supporting each other."

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