- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Autonomedia (June 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1570271674
- ISBN-13: 978-1570271670
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,441,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Taqwacores: A Novel
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"A manifesto for the Muslim punk movement."
"An absolutely fascinating book . . . Michael Muhammad Knight has bravely written what could well become an essential text." --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Michael Muhammed Knight converted to Islam at sixteen after reading Malcolm X's biography, and spent two months at Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan. He later left orthodox Islam. His writing regularly appears in progressive Islamic venues. He lives in Western New York State.
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Yes, Knight's writings probably appear to be blasphemous to believers, as main characters discuss their dismissal of Hell and engage in haraam and self-proclaimed bid'a activities. But these people are as realistic as the evangelical "Leave it to Beaver"-types. Yes, young Muslims engage in premarital sex, and like many other normal teens, may have mixed or confused feelings about it. Yes, young Muslims imbibe alcohol and other psychoactive substances, like other teens. And young Muslims, like many other people in the world, question the faith of their parents and grandparents. It is actually refreshing compared to the hyper-devotion of Islamists and the seething hatred of Americans towards Islam today.
The characters show noticeable development. Jehangir Tabari is your typical male punk, and tries to wax philosophic about having sex with multiple women. Unlike most male punks, he has an epiphany about the direction of his misogyny. Yusuf Ali transitions also, from not caring, to condemning the hypocrisy and infidelity of the punks in the house, to cautious acceptance. Of course, it comes crashing down at the end--just like anarchist collectives or the unified umma before the death of Muhammad.
A great book to read, although if you're not familiar with the punk culture or Islamic terminology and exegesis, you might want to pass on this. I just had the strange fortune of being a former anarchist with lots of Muslim friends.
As you begin is should be noted that there is a lot of references in Arabic so it is compelling to look up what they mean after reading them. Most of the characters are well developed as you come to genuinely like them. One character Rabeya is very likeable but could stand to be further developed as I was left wondering more about her and never finding out more as the book ended.
Readers should come prepared for a heavy dose of Arabic sayings; the Arabic is more integral to the text than a casual reader might expect. A base familiarity with Islam would also be handy.