Hip hop and diplomacy are just as unlikely a pair as heavy metal and Islam to the Western mind. Nevertheless, hip hop and heavy metal are popular forms of music among youth in the Middle East. As in every society, the younger generation struggles to find alternatives to tradition through travel, study, and rebellion. The next generation in the Middle East faces the pressure of rebuilding a region after years of war. They are playing metal and hip hop to rebel against the surrounding culture of violence and war. Popular music suggests that a lot of Muslim youth are choosing an alternative to political activism, living their daily lives apart from ethnic and religious conflict with politics in the West.
We only had an hour on yesterday’s Here on Earth show on heavy metal and Islam. That’s not enough time to cover a wide range of innovative music from around the world, some of which we just couldn’t fit all into the program. Dan, a producer for the show and part of the Inside Islam team, collected a series of videos to share with readers today.