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Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam

Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam

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(Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam) Director: Omar Majeed , CDN-, 2009, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 87 min

A group of young male and female Muslim punks have formed a number of rock bands. For them, punk music offers autonomy and a forum for self-expression. Most of the young musicians have taken their lead from Michael Muhammad Knight's punk manifesto The Taqwacores. Knight was raised a Roman Catholic, but converted to Islam at the age of 17 as a form of protest against his despotic father. As a "white Muslim" he attracts attention from both Western and Islamic societies. He and his friends from the band The Kominas organise a tour of the US accompanied by other musicians, before setting off six months later for Pakistan, where they attempt to relate both punk rock and their interpretation of the Koran to local Muslims. However, whichever world they perform in, they are regarded as controversial. In this film, director Omar Maajed works with the concept of a "minority within a minority" and illustrates how hard it is to reconcile tradition with the battle to express non-conformity.


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