Political Punk Documentary Review # 1


Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam(2009)

Director:Omar Majeed

Lead Actors :Riz Ahmed, Arieb Azhur and Ammar Aziz

Genre: Documentary

So I’ve been watching tons of punk documentaries lately. There was one that my dad had been telling me to watch for a while that was really interesting. It was called Taqwacore and it discusses the Islamic punk movement in  America. So the show starts off with this black screen with white grunge letters that defines Taqwacore in two pieces.pieces. Taqwa, an  Islamic concept of God consciousness and, core; it is  symbolic for hardcore punks. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this movie was one of the main characters who wrote the book that inspired the whole movement. His name was Michael Muhammad Knight and his story was intriguing. This guy came from an Irish-Catholic background. His father, a white supremacist and a abusive husband. In the documentary Knight explains that he visited Pakistan to study at an Islamic temple as a teen. So, that’s a little back ground for you. Basically him and this group younger of Islamic bands get together and try to make the movement real. In the film they discussed that proceeding their meeting, the movement was internet based.After starting the movement they toured America , and later on even attempted to tour Pakistan. While in America they were often harassed by the police and falsely accused of housing explosives on their eccentric green bus.They often received weird looks from people on the road and even other Islamist at the national convention in Chicago.This scene was one of my favorite scenes. It featured an all female Muslim punk band. They attempted to play at this convention and were kicked off the stage.Female singers were not allowed. At the point where Knight and one of the young bands go back to Pakistan, they attempt to start a movement there. This is where Knight begins to  question whether the ideals in his book are the right ideals. The main reason why I liked this movie was because it takes you on this journey where you almost see a screen over the real purpose of the movie. In my opinion the moral was finding your way. Everybody has their different paths, realizations, times of quiet where they think and reflect. For me it showed the process of change and stages of life. It showed the consequences and benefits of the decisions made. It showed the different people you are going to encounter throughout life. For me this documentary was a story of exploring what life has to offer. It also showed a different side of a religion ,often misinterpreted in a terrorist-obsessed America.It is a life lesson and a story of culture.


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