Punk Islam

Ever heard of the book (or zine, originally) called The Taqwacores? Written by Michael Muhammad Knight (a guy who left Rochester to study Islam), in it he imagines a Muslim punk scene.

His fictional manifesto gave rise in the last few years to a movement of real Taqwacore bands, and, most recently, a documentary about those bands.

I need to ear some new music. So I scoped all the bands in the movie.

The Kominas bounce over to the lighter side, but it’s not pop-punk in the stupid way. Sing-along friendly, especially if you speak Urdu.

The Secret Trial Five fronted by drag king Sena Hussain, is pretty rough around the edges. And I mean that as a high compliment.

Al-Thawra rolls a great deal more metal than punk to my ear. “Doom-crust punk” is the site’s description. Once in a while, a traditional string instrument seeps in. Not my thing, but it could be yours.

Sarmust is Omar Waqar with an acoustic guitar. Up-tempo, a little dark. I don’t usually go for a singer-songwriter unless there’s surprise in something—the chords? the voice? In this case, the lyrics are strong enough to pull.