Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam



“They’re young. They’re punk. And they’re rocking both their Muslim and American worlds with their music, lyrics and style.”
– CNN

The word Taqwacore is a combination of hardcore, a genre of punk music, and taqwa, an Arabic word that translates as “piety” or “god-fearing.” The first to use the term was writer, journalist, and Muslim convert Michael Muhammad Knight. His novel The Taqwacores, about a group of young Islamic punk rockers, received a storm of recognition among young American Muslims and prompted the formation of various Muslim punk bands.

Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam follows Michael and his real-life kindred spirits on their first U.S. tour, where they incite a riot of young hijabi girls at the largest Muslim gathering in North America after Sena takes the stage. The film then travels with them to Pakistan, where members of the first Taqwacore band, The Kominas, bring punk to the streets of Lahore and Michael begins to reconcile his fundamentalist past with the rebel he has now become.

“Disaffected young Muslims in the United States (inspired) to form real Muslim punk bands and build their own subculture.”
– The New York Times

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