Rage Against the Hijab: Taqwacore! The Birth of Punk Islam


“The Prophet Muhammad was all about smashing idols, and what’s more punk rock than that?” Muhammad Knight became the inadvertent father of Islamic punk pock when his 2003 novel, The Taqwacores, a fictional account of an Islamic Punk movement, inspired a real life movement. Though mowhawked, guitar-smashing Muslims were already in existence, these punk bands had not yet realized the commonality of their situation: first-generation American-Muslims, caught in limbo between two conflicting identities. Taqwacore! , a documentary on this music rebellion, is in the works. Enter a world where Muslim women wear hijabs, fist-pump, and scream, “Stop the hate!”

The documentary chronicles the Taqwacore bands, The Kominas and Basim, on their first North American tour. Hinting at an epic “stick it to the man” experience, the teaser trailer below begins with the two bands crashing a Muslim Youth sponsored open mic night. The preceding act was spoken word poetry.

The documentary sees the band expand upon this premise, ultimately crashing “the largest Muslim event in North America run by top mullahs and imams among the conservative ilk.” Hey ho, let’s go!

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