The Taqwacores

  • by Michael Muhammad Knight
  • Narrated by Shahjehan Khan
  • 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A Muslim punk house in Buffalo, New York, inhabited by burqa-wearing riot girls, mohawked Sufis, straight-edge Sunnis, Shi'a skinheads, Indonesian skaters, Sudanese rude boys, gay Muslims, drunk Muslims, and feminists. Their living room hosts parties and prayers, with a hole smashed in the wall to indicate the direction of Mecca. Their life together mixes sex, dope, and religion in roughly equal amounts, expressed in devotion to an Islamo-punk subculture "taqwacore", named for taqwa, an Arabic term for consciousness of the divine.Originally self-published on photocopiers and spiralbound by hand, The Taqwacores has now come to be read and listened to as a manifesto for Muslim punk rockers and a Catcher in the Rye for young Muslims.

More

What the Critics Say

"The Hunter S. Thompson of Islamic literature." (Guardian U.K.)
"A manifesto for the Muslim punk movement." (Newsweek)

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Quick, fun, interesting listen

I thoroughly loved the book. Finished it in two days. I was a white Mormon kid (still white), and it's amazing how similar my high school and college experiences were: from doing stupid stuff like throwing things at people from moving cars and yelling nonsense to weird-out passers-by to the music and political debates with housemates.

The big climax at the punk show is a little too rushed and Knight gets some of the song titles wrong (some were wrong in a good way because the real titles wouldn't have conveyed the right vibe and some were just wrong), but these things are so minor that if anything, they help keep the book from feeling too polished. This is a messy book, and that's the right fit for the characters.

I suspect the audio version will improve the book for some. It helped me because the occasional recitations of prayers and Arabic/Islamic words and references might've tripped me up but the narrator handled them so smoothly that they added to the vibe, even if I didn't understand the exact meaning (there was nothing you couldn't figure out in context).

I'd like a whole book just on the female character of Ravia (sp?). She was fascinating in her riot grrrl take on Islam. The debates on Islam were interesting with multiple takes on teachings about not having dogs, beating women, violence, drinking alcohol, etc.

And I made a playlist on my iPod of all the songs mentioned in the book. Some good music -- how did I not notice the genius of the Descendents' "Suburban Home" before?

If you want an endorsement, I can think of nothing higher than that some real kids started a band named after one of the fictional groups in the book and then wrote a song based on the fictional lyrics that open the book. The group: Vote Hezbollah. The song: "Muhammad Was a Punk Rocker."
Read full review

- Mark

good conversations. not so good story.

I wish the author didn't for a cop out ending for a novel with such amazing conversations.
Read full review

- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-20-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios