Traditionally, Western Culture uproots non-Western culture. Be it in a pop song or a stage drama, Western culture will penetrate any culture throughout the globe. Before long, the non-Western culture is soon replicating or adapting the latest Hollywood movie or Hip Hop beat. But what about when a non-Western culture shapes Western music or drama? And what is the result when an artist deliberately seeks out a non-Western culture to create a new cultural hybrid for his art? That is what Michael Muhammad Knight attempts in his coming of age novel, The Taqwacores, where he tries to adapt Islamic teachings with his own sub-culture, Punk Rock. Knight, a convert to Islam, chose to continue with his interest in one of Rock and Roll’s more outlaw genres. From the outset, Islam and a band like The Sex Pistols may only seem to have mutual antagonism in common. But as Knight shows us in his novel, cultural antagonism is easier to overcome in a creative work; more, two previously antagonistic cultures may create a new cultural hybridization in a work of art.
|Keywords:||Islam, Punk Rock, Michael Muhammad Knight, The Taqwacores|
Associate Professor, Humanities, Capital Community College, Hartford, CT, USA
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