Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam
When Michael Muhammad Knight wrote a novel, The Taqwacores, about a fictitious Muslim punk scene in the US, he didn’t realise it would start a revolution, but today the Taqwacore movement has devotees around the world.
Michael Muhammad Knight didn’t mean to start a revolution. After converting to Islam at the age of 16, he gradually grew weary of the demands of Islam’s scripture and turned increasingly to punk rock. Soon he had written a novel about a fictitious Muslim punk scene in the US. The Taqwacores struck a chord amongst disaffected Muslim American teenagers, dubbed by one commentator “The Catcher in the Rye for young Muslims”. And soon it had done something even more remarkable: it spawned an actual Taqwacore movement. Made over three years, Omar Majeed’s film follows a Taqwacore band, Knight and other disciples on a US road trip and on to Pakistan for some spiritual and musical exploration. It’s an energetic reminder of the diversity of the adherents to both Islam and punk rock, and succeeds in getting beyond typical media coverage of Taqwacore, described by one devotee as “ohmy gosh there’s a brown guy with a Mohawk” .
- Canadian premiere (festival TBD) 2009
- Executive Producer:
- Daniel Cross, Mila Aung-Thwin
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- 2005, Stare With Your Ears: Ken Nordine and Word Jazz
- 1999, Meet Me and Me