Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Thing Muslims Fear the Most

The beginning of the end has begun. The thing Muslims fear more than Christianity, Westernization, is growing in the garden of Islam.

See today's - "Young Muslims Build a Subculture on an Underground Book." The book is The Taqwacores, by Michael Muhammed Knight. I pre-ordered it today.

"The novel’s title combines “taqwa,” the Arabic word for “piety,” with “hardcore,” used to describe many genres of angry Western music." It's a novel about imaginary punk rock Muslims in Buffalo.

"The novel is “The Catcher in the Rye” for young Muslims, said Carl W. Ernst, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Springing from the imagination of Michael Muhammad Knight, it inspired disaffected young Muslims in the United States to form real Muslim punk bands and build their own subculture."

Young disaffected Muslims have been reading this for five years. Now, it's going to be a movie. For a lot of young American Muslims the book has become "a blueprint for their lives."

But one cannot be both Muslim and punk. One cannot be Muslim and criticize the Koran. One can't be Muslim and listen to Western music, drink, smoke pot, and lead prayers if you're a woman. The Taqwacores violates all these and more.

Muhammed Knight sounds like he's ona quest for the original Muhammed. Knight "said he wrote “The Taqwacores” to mend the rift between his being an observant Muslim and an angry American youth. He found validation in the life of Muhammad, who instructed people to ignore their leaders, destroy their petty deities and follow only Allah." Here's where I can see the whole thing breaking down, since Muhammed is definitely not Jesus, historically.

I'm looking forward to reading The Taqwacores as a way of following this attempt to reconstruct Islam according to Western values.