Salaam Sid Vicious: How the Fusion of Islam and Punk Rock Creates a New Hybrid of Western Pop Culture in Michael Muhammad Knight’s Novel, The Taqwacores

By Kenneth DiMaggio.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.29-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 688.750KB).

Kenneth DiMaggio

Associate Professor, Humanities, Capital Community College, Hartford, CT, USA

I am an Associate Professor of Humanities at Capital Community College in Hartford Connecticut. CCC is an urban community college where students are often reading at a level below traditional college course work, thus making literacy a prime issue that constantly needs to be addressed. As a teacher of Literature and Writing, I am constantly looking for texts to help address the above issue. Besides finding new ways to address literacy issues, I am also looking at how to create non-traditional models of writing instruction for the classroom.

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