The Taqwacores

The Taqwacores[Download] ➼ The Taqwacores By Michael Muhammad Knight – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk 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 Muslim 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 divineoriginally self published on photocopiers and spiralbound by hand, The Taqwacores has now come to be read as a manifesto for Muslim punk rockers and a Catcher in the Rye for young Muslims There are three different cover colors red, white, and blue. Holy shit, Muslim punk house This book rules I mean, I can t really speak to the central message of Islam must evolve, maybe, because I m not in charge of Islam at all I CAN speak to the folks who blurbed it The Catcher In the Rye for Muslims, to whom I say oh, fuck off You lose a hundred points every time you call a book the catcher in the rye of or for anything The Catcher in the Rye is about a privileged kid with no tools for dealing with the fact that most of the world isn t as privi Holy shit, Muslim punk house This book rules I mean, I can t really speak to the central message of Islam must evolve, maybe, because I m not in charge of Islam at all I CAN speak to the folks who blurbed it The Catcher In the Rye for Muslims, to whom I say oh, fuck off You lose a hundred points every time you call a book the catcher in the rye of or for anything The Catcher in the Rye is about a privileged kid with no tools for dealing with the fact that most of the world isn t as privileged as he is, and that sucks, but he has no tools to do anything about it so he whines all the time The Taqwacores is about a kid who doesn t really know which way is up, what to do about it, what he thinks or wants except that his character development is 1 doesn t masturbate 2 does , but sees all these folks around him who seem like they do Only he s not sure about how right they are, but thinks probably mostly Maybe And doesn t have anything to say about it except this is going on and doesn t end up breaking down and going to a mental hospital he ends up moving back home, which is hardly the same kind of situation So I guess it s kind of like the Catcher in the Rye Except if the narrator werestarry eyes, hadoptions, and came from aprecarious position EG NOTHING LIKE THE CATCHER IN THE RYE.The Taqwacores is rad because y know how Michelle Tea or Mattilda Syca Bernstein s novels never really have a plot or anything, and then nothing ever gets resolved but you don t really care because you just wanted to read them talking about stuff that happened This book isn t really like that there s a plot, about putting on a show, and a subplot, wherein young Yusef Ali learns to masturbate but you kind of want it to be Street poet grody punkers talking about their culture, talking shit, singing along to old punk stuff, and praying four or five times a day, then feeling bad sometimes that it s only four or five times Gimme someSo I didn t really care about the plot, I cared about the writing, which I think is the secret to making me like a book a lot Somebody else was complaining about all the Islamic in language and how that made them feel like they weren t allowed in, but it didn t feel that way to me It felt natural and, like, sure, this is a lot of language I don t know, but it s a story that I do know, and it s a good one So I didn t feel stressed about it Dude Plus Muslim Punk House This is a really fascinating story of a super small social niche Muslim punks who it never even occurred to me to think existed The story itself was a little clumsy, the writing structure a bit amateur ish, but on the whole very readable and, like I said, fascinating There s a ton of Arabic Farsi sprinkled through, which jars harshly as was of course the intention with punk lyrics and plenty of profanity Basically there s this punk house, like any punk house anywhere walls coated with This is a really fascinating story of a super small social niche Muslim punks who it never even occurred to me to think existed The story itself was a little clumsy, the writing structure a bit amateur ish, but on the whole very readable and, like I said, fascinating There s a ton of Arabic Farsi sprinkled through, which jars harshly as was of course the intention with punk lyrics and plenty of profanity Basically there s this punk house, like any punk house anywhere walls coated with posters fliers, floor roiling with beer bottles and vomit and passed out people but everyone who lives there is a semi devout Muslim So the opening scene has people stirring on beer soaked couches and getting up to set up prayer rugs and have a ceremony Cool, right Other than the obvious strangeness of the setting, this is definitely a character driven novel And while the characters are a bit caricature y, they re clearly set up that way so they can have really interesting conversations about Islam, punk, how to pray, whether women should have rights, how literally to take holy texts, etc There s a straightedge guy with dozens of Koran tattoos There s a girl who wears a full burka which is covered with punk band patches There s stoners and mohawks and skaters and nerds and all the rest There re even excerpts from a Muslim sci fi series, where people are trying to figure out how to convert the Martians to Islam Anyway, here is my favorite passage from the book I think you can replace punk in the below with lots of big concept movement type words, which is pretty neat I stopped trying to define punk around the same time I stopped trying to define Islam They aren t so far removed as you d think Both began in tremendous bursts of truth and vitality but seem to have lost something along the way the energy, perhaps, that comes with knowing the world has never seen such positive force and fury and never would again Both have suffered from sell outs and hypocrites, but also from true believers whose devotion had crippled their creative drive Both are viewed by outsiders as unified, cohesive communities, when nothing can be further from the truth.I could go on, but the most important similarity is that like punk as mentioned above, Islam is an open symbol representing not things but ideasYou cannot hold punk or Islam in your hands So what could they mean besides what you want them to Oh And this edition which is I think only eight bucks was put out by the super fabulous all volunteer run Brooklyn collective, Autonomedia Support them March 2012 A Muslim punk house in Buffalo, New York, inhabited by burqa wearing riot grrrls, 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, March 2012 A Muslim punk house in Buffalo, New York, inhabited by burqa wearing riot grrrls, 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 Godless country bumpkin from Wisconsin reads about Muslim punks in New York Goodreads really doesn t get any better than this.If you were expectingthan that, sorry, I don t have the words I know very little about Islam and even less about punk culture, so anything I have to say will either be hopelessly ignorant, incredibly stupid, possibly offensive, or a combination of the three Check out Imogen Binnie s review instead Then read this book Because honestly, after reading that cover summary above, how could you not Michael Muhammad Knight s The Taqwacores invents a world at the intersection of Islam and youthful America, of religious observance and college with all its energy and wonder and lust , of prayer and, hardest of all to believe, a Muslim punk movement And yet somehow Knight makes it work The locus is a house in the college section of Buffalo, where a collection of young people, not all of them necessarily students, gather to live, pray and party The house is a place for Muslims to live toge Michael Muhammad Knight s The Taqwacores invents a world at the intersection of Islam and youthful America, of religious observance and college with all its energy and wonder and lust , of prayer and, hardest of all to believe, a Muslim punk movement And yet somehow Knight makes it work The locus is a house in the college section of Buffalo, where a collection of young people, not all of them necessarily students, gather to live, pray and party The house is a place for Muslims to live together away from the dorms, although not free from the temptations that dorms represent There are no fewer than two Mohawk haircuts, and both the Indonesian and the Sudanese who adopts the patois of the Caribbean are serious consumers of marihuana There is a woman in full burka who nevertheless leads prayer and has a very sharp tongue for what she identifies as the misogyny of her religion They are largely Sunni, with one token, wild Iranian Shia One of the residents is a tattooed, hulking conservative, bewildered by all the anarchy The narrator is a Pakistani engineering student who cannot decide whether he truly sides with these young Muslims who see themselves as punk or with atraditional take on his religion But the guiding genius of the movement is the eloquent, tragic Jenhangir, owner of a Mohawk, devotee of punk, and passionately convinced the American Islam can create a modern, pluralistic religion free of what he views as local cultural prejudices These are Muslims who wonder endlessly about what is prohibited and what is not including drugs , who puzzle over sutras about the goes to Heaven or the virgins who await there as a reward, who listen to punk bands with names like Osama Bin Laden s Tunnel Diggers What they are not is any kind of Muslim who shows up in mass media, where along with Latin American cartels and European gangsters, they perform the role that witches and ogres played in fairy tales All of the Muslims in the novel, including the conservative, are wildly original and human Jehangir s dream is a victim of its own pluralism But Knight triumphs in writing this tale, he creates characters who are fresh, human and, despite the wildness of his conception, credible, and he performs one of the most important tasks of modern literature he opens our eyes I wanted to like this book, but couldn t I guess I had higher expectations these characters were just typical college students who just wanted to party and behave irresponsibly, just give in to their desires, and didn t want to follow any rules Islamic or otherwise.There were plenty of complaints about the Qu ran, the Prophet s , hadiths, hell and heaven, ICNA conferences, imam and mosques and MSAs, Islam s treatment of women, etc While I was sympathetic towards a good number of their c I wanted to like this book, but couldn t I guess I had higher expectations these characters were just typical college students who just wanted to party and behave irresponsibly, just give in to their desires, and didn t want to follow any rules Islamic or otherwise.There were plenty of complaints about the Qu ran, the Prophet s , hadiths, hell and heaven, ICNA conferences, imam and mosques and MSAs, Islam s treatment of women, etc While I was sympathetic towards a good number of their complaints, reading the same angry rants over and over got very repetitive and tiresome especially since I didn t find any of the characters appealing, or the plot interesting Now, maybe that s because I don t like punk music I was expecting muchof a political slant how about throwing rotten sandwiches at the gleaming car of that corporate executive How about spitting in the face of that slimy politician, or harassing that military recruiter Where were the complaints about the unfairness of the global economy Where was the concern for human rights And the anger against lies and hypocrisy we are fed on a daily basis by the media Na, these kids were totally focused very much on themselves, which is why they won t cause any real changes within Islam or without Most likely, they ll grow out of their punk state and become responsible citizens horror of horrors If not, they will just waste away in irrelevance So tedious I really couldn t wait for this book to end, but I am giving it 3 stars because it exposed me to ideas I hadn t run into before punk Muslims and I imagine that 14 year old me would have loved it However, most of the characters feellike ideas or sides of an argument than actual people About 80% of the book is a conversation where someone says to the narrator Have you ever heard of The narrator says no and then there is pages of one character going on and on punctuated So tedious I really couldn t wait for this book to end, but I am giving it 3 stars because it exposed me to ideas I hadn t run into before punk Muslims and I imagine that 14 year old me would have loved it However, most of the characters feellike ideas or sides of an argument than actual people About 80% of the book is a conversation where someone says to the narrator Have you ever heard of The narrator says no and then there is pages of one character going on and on punctuated by the narrator saying awesome or uh huh or wow Knight lets us know how great and likable the hero of the book is because we are constantly told how great and likable he is and the burka wearing feminist s act of ultimate punkrockedness was pretty ridiculous what i learned from the book 1 people practise Islam are varying levels, know Islam at different depths.2 no one can claim to be better than another everyone is a work in progress being judgemental or critical just breed resentment 3 the author paints the stark reality of the underbelly of the underbelly of Muslims many moral issues raised.4 but what disturbs me about the characters was that everyone thought that they were dead right in they way they lived as Muslims.It reminds me what i learned from the book 1 people practise Islam are varying levels, know Islam at different depths.2 no one can claim to be better than another everyone is a work in progress being judgemental or critical just breed resentment 3 the author paints the stark reality of the underbelly of the underbelly of Muslims many moral issues raised.4 but what disturbs me about the characters was that everyone thought that they were dead right in they way they lived as Muslims.It reminds me to seek God s guidance and help in everything We never know when we may drop the ball as Muslims So, this is one of my fave books I read it twice in June of 05, and then I lent it to a good friend who was teaching anarchist alternative politics at the time, and he lent it to one of his dumpster diving, freight hopping, tree planting, vegan, amazing students no really, I loved those kids they were fucking awesome and I didn t end up getting it back But, I recently picked up a new copy with a better cover, and I plan on reading it again soon.My take is well, have an open mind It s So, this is one of my fave books I read it twice in June of 05, and then I lent it to a good friend who was teaching anarchist alternative politics at the time, and he lent it to one of his dumpster diving, freight hopping, tree planting, vegan, amazing students no really, I loved those kids they were fucking awesome and I didn t end up getting it back But, I recently picked up a new copy with a better cover, and I plan on reading it again soon.My take is well, have an open mind It s a great book The documentary floating around called The Taqwacores is worth a look too Congratulations You have just come across the most vital work of fiction of the new millennium.But first, you are going to have to check your anti Muslim biases, your western centric points of view, your right wing or pro Christian rhetoric, your music snobbery, your squeamishness and your deeply rooted beliefs of American Exceptionalism at the door Because according to Michael Muhammad Knight, it isn t the best of us that will bring the world together, it is the worst of us The fringes of tw Congratulations You have just come across the most vital work of fiction of the new millennium.But first, you are going to have to check your anti Muslim biases, your western centric points of view, your right wing or pro Christian rhetoric, your music snobbery, your squeamishness and your deeply rooted beliefs of American Exceptionalism at the door Because according to Michael Muhammad Knight, it isn t the best of us that will bring the world together, it is the worst of us The fringes of two cultures coming together to form something completely new, punk rock and wayward Islam clashing to form Taqwacore And this is where Western meets Middle Eastern and Southern Asian to form the basis of something similar to a working society, even if it is based on very loose rules.You will have to stop what you re reading several times to look stuff up You will have to try to put certain points of view and phrases into the proper context and that isn t easy to do as you are trying to absorb the story But you have to do this to grasp the scope of what the author is doing here He is telling you an epic parable through two seemingly incompatible lenses and the results are amazing.Knight first demonstrates how to the outsider that s you, dear reader both movements seem independent and completely incongruent But then, he explains how the exact opposite is actually true, how Islam and Punk Rock appear on the surface to be completely fractured and factioned, but they do in fact come together under broad headings at the end of the day And in doing so, Knight is able to bring you out of your Western biases and give you entry to these seemingly exclusive worlds But, what makes these social forces reconcile in the end Knight shows you that as well by helping you understand that the values which the adherents ascribe to their respective movements are really all that truly matter in the end And that all that differentiates one group of Punks from the other or one sect of Islam from another is how they intend to practice within that loose framework of values that end up being all encompassing and remarkably similar.Then Knight introduces you to his visionaries that get the message, a household full of dreamers, wastoids, hard assed social dysfunctional straight edgers, feminist burka wearing punk chicks, wannabe Rastas, skaters, and one person to chronicle the entire carnival, Yusef the straight man One point though that I would like to make is that the comparisons with The Catcher In The Rye are completely ridiculous Catcher in the Rye is about an outsider railing against the class structure of society The Taqwacores is a story about an insider to a group of outsiders, being the ultimate inside man allows the main character to bear witness to the birth of something unique and possibly earth shatteringly dangerous in its implications, because one wonders which will absorb the other, Punk Rock or Islam The question is never really answered even as Jengahir Tabari brings the crowd to a frothy boil over in the book s final scenes The narrative from Yusuf Ali is not one to tear down an existing society like Holden Caufield s, but rather to build up something that has never been seen before and may never be seen again but that is amazing and honest and filled with the possibility of inclusion, because if Islam is great enough to accept punk, then there is hope And if there is room in punk rock for this cast and crew then anyone can find a home If you have the wits to take this on and the courage to leave behind the things that you think you know, you will meet a group of individuals too fantastic to have been made up You will wish that you had a true friend like Yusef, that you could know an Amazing Ayyub and count him among your friends, you will sympathize with an Umar and wish that you could show him that tolerance and fairness tempers the most faithful soul, you will wish you had someone as smart and outspoken and committed to their beliefs as Rabeya no matter how edgy they may be, or how grounded And you will definitely wish that you knew someone like Jengahir Tabari.Because it is the optimists who are the true believers and people like Jengahir are the ones who change the world The ones who aren t afraid to say, I m going to take things that should not be together and force them into something new, the ones who aren t afraid to take a skateboard and ride it down a 100 foot long stair rail because they have no fear of falling, the ones who know deep down that they have flaws but accept them and still go on to do amazing things in spite of them.I m fairly certain that there is not a Jengahir Tabari in your life as I know there is not one in mine.And meeting him makes reading this book worthwhile I quite like the idea of straightedge providing a way to be both punk and fairly orthodox Muslim, but on the whole found this quite frustrating My major gripe is that there is little space for empathy with any of the characters Knight adopts a gonzo pose where the writing style is pretty flat, and despite some appealing characteristics, they all remain fairly distant people about whom we are not expected to care More annoying is that despite the smatterings of Arabic the stuff that isn t I quite like the idea of straightedge providing a way to be both punk and fairly orthodox Muslim, but on the whole found this quite frustrating My major gripe is that there is little space for empathy with any of the characters Knight adopts a gonzo pose where the writing style is pretty flat, and despite some appealing characteristics, they all remain fairly distant people about whom we are not expected to care More annoying is that despite the smatterings of Arabic the stuff that isn t explained translated is for the most part fairly ordinary conversational elements, mainly greetings and parts of ritual Knight assumes we know nothing about Islam If we don t understand the ritual exchanges, for the most part it doesn t matter Knight never really distances himself as author or his central character Yusef Ali from being outside the Islamo punk subculture being explored, with the effect that he never steps away from or takes us away from the reading position of anthropologist ethnographer This problem is enhanced by his tendency to have characters explain issues and debates to each other this is where Yusef s outsiderness becomes its most obvious plot device the use of Arabic is then a red herring, it doesn t assume insiderness but obscures the assumption that the audience does not know much about Islam the two significant, non ritual parts of Arabic text are translated.So, it is a good book, not a great book, and pretty frustrating but with some cultural assumptions and characters that unsettle outsider s views of Islam as a monolithic singularity all in all, worth a go

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  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • The Taqwacores
  • Michael Muhammad Knight
  • English
  • 23 June 2019
  • 1593762291