8 votes

Taqwacore: the paradoxes of the punk Islam scene

Hi folks, I was recently introduced (at a relatively superficial level) to the existence of the "Taqwacore" sub-culture of Western punk music. The duality inherent or apparent in this type of self-expression is absolutely fascinating to me, and I would love to learn more about it.

I personally find it a little hard to understand exactly how these musicians reconcile the anti-establishment and maybe progressiveness of punk with many tenets of Islam; the concept of organized religion seems inherently establishment (and dated) to me, and yet these groups somehow embrace both ends of the spectrum. I'm very curious if any Tildesians have opinions on Taqwacore bands or thoughts on the sub-genre as a whole!

3 comments

  1. [2]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    I want to be very very VERY CLEAR here. I am not drawing connections between nazism and Islam (off to a great start....) the anti-establishment / anti-authoritarian ideas of punk are dropped by...

    I want to be very very VERY CLEAR here. I am not drawing connections between nazism and Islam (off to a great start....)

    the anti-establishment / anti-authoritarian ideas of punk are dropped by sub-genres of punk all the time. Nazi punk aka hatecore is an existing sub-genre of punk and there is a non-trivial amount of fascism in the punk genre (not really very popular, but to say it doesn't exist would be disingenuous). I am not too too familiar with Taqwacore, but a sub-genre that mostly takes the sounds and aesthetic of punk without the strict anti-establishment messages isn't unheard of.

    Expanding a bit: the source you posted noted that

    "... many of whom openly reject traditionalist interpretations of Islam, and thus live their own lifestyle within the religion or without."

    Traditionalist religion isn't considered a requirement for the subgenre. It is mostly young muslim's growing up in the US making music about their lives and their beliefs. A more insightful mind than mine could also make an argument that music about the life, experiences, and beliefs of Muslims in the US IS very counter culture given how pervasive anti-Islam and anti-brown-people is across individuals, society, and governmental laws/regulations (I know that brown skin =/= Muslim and that there are white and Asian Muslims, but again, to many American's anyone who looks like they might be from the middle east = Muslim. It's bad and I hate it but that's what people think).

    3 votes
    1. wexx
      Link Parent
      Yeah, they're definitely more progressive, more leaning into the "punk" side of it and trying to promote acceptance/different people in the scene and giving them a voice than trying to push...

      Yeah, they're definitely more progressive, more leaning into the "punk" side of it and trying to promote acceptance/different people in the scene and giving them a voice than trying to push fascist ideals (at least, what I can figure out from the wikipedia).

      Seems like a neat suggenre to look into more

      4 votes
  2. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    This is the first time I have ever heard of this genre, so I don't have any insight into what you brought up in your second paragraph. However, I just wanted to chime in an say this was neat to...

    This is the first time I have ever heard of this genre, so I don't have any insight into what you brought up in your second paragraph. However, I just wanted to chime in an say this was neat to learn of, and mention that there appears to be a fictional movie centered around the Taqwacore scene in NY called The Taqwacores that you might find interesting... though I haven't seen it myself yet so don't know how good it is, or if it's an accurate representation at all.

    1 vote