The Taqwacores

Produced by Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders

Original Broadcast: May 21, 2009.


Click on the player above to listen or download it here.

The Taqwacores is a book by Michael Muhammad Knight and the name adopted by a movement led by Muslim-American punks. These youth have decided to build a community that fits with their own experiences, values, and taste in music. They live a punk lifestyle and follow their own rules whether or not they are considered halal, or permissible, in Islam. For the most part, these punks are angry with the shortcomings of their parents’ values and mainstream American culture. The music is part of a larger struggle to make sense of the inner conflict and discrimination young adults face as both Muslim and American since 9/11 attacks.


Michael Muhammad Knight is a novelist, writer, and journalist. He is the author of The Taqwacores.

Imran Malik is a musician, doctor, and freelance photographer. Currently, he is a drummer with The Kominas.

Related Posts on Inside Islam

Last Update: May 21, 2009.

2 thoughts on “The Taqwacores

  1. A line like “Suicide bomb The Gap” is so reminiscent of the non-Islamic punk bands out there. For me, it conjures the imagery and social commentary of Chuck Palahniuk in Fight Club, yet I’m sure there are critics who may confuse the anti-establishment message with anti-Americanism simply due to the religious associations.

    It’s clear to me that The Kominas’ music is speaking out against entrenched tradition as well as throwing the Muslim stereotypes back into the face of bigotry, but not everyone is as familiar with Islamic culture as I try to be. Punk strikes me as such a fitting expression of Islamic youth in Western society, and Punk Islam could do so much to show young music fans how much young American Muslims have in common with them. What tactics should bands like The Kominas adopt to get the message across to music fans in general?

  2. Pingback: The Taqwacores Movement – Inside Islam