Land of chessed, land of blasphemy. What a free society will do to your children…
If you will it, it is no dream. How a young American writer penned a scandalous, riveting underground novel that single-handedly inspired the invention of Muslim punk rock.
The New York Times writes about “The Taqwacores” by Michael Muhammad Knight, and kids like Hanan Arzay:
Hanan Arzay, 15, is a daughter of Muslim immigrants from Morocco who lives in East Islip, N.Y. In the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, pedestrians threw eggs and coffee cups at the van that transported her to a Muslim school, she said, and one person threw a wine bottle, shattering the van’s window.
At school, her Koran teacher threw chalk at her for requesting literal translations of the holy book, Ms. Arzay said. After she was expelled from two Muslim schools, her uncle gave her “The Taqwacores.”
“This book is my lifeline,” Ms. Arzay said. “It saved my faith.”
Something about this story makes me think “Lower East Side yiddish culture, circa 1920″, and while I’m not into the idea of a band called “Vote Hezbollah”, it’s interesting to see similar processes of culture, immigration, religion, and rebellion across time.