A Muslim punk house in Buffalo, New York, inhabited by burqa-wearing riot girls, mohawked Sufis, straightedge 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 spiral-bound by hand, The Taqwacores has since been published in foreign translations, become the basis for two films, and is taught in various colleges and universities as a “Catcher in the Rye for young Muslims.”
Michael Muhammad Knight’s work has been censored, boycotted, confiscated, and threatened with legal action. He is also the author of Blue-Eyed Devil, The Five Percenters: Islam, Hip-Hop, and the Gods of New York, and the forthcoming Impossible Man, a memoir, Journey to the End of Islam, an account of international pilgrimage, and Osama Van Halen.