There was a time when the words "Muslim radical" painted a clear enough
picture – a young man strapped with explosives, perhaps, or a bearded
cleric calling for Sharia law from Land's End to John O'Groats. But
things have changed. The protestors of the Arab Spring are both Muslim
and radical, as are the bungling jihadis of Chris Morris's movie Four Lions. And now a new film, The Taqwacores, attempts to further stretch the definition.
The film's set up sounds familiar enough – a meek Muslim student named
Yusef joins a hardcore Islamic commune in upstate New York and becomes
radicalised. But this time, "hardcore" refers to punk
rock. This is a commune where one Muslim, Jahangir, sports a red mohawk
and announces morning prayers with an electric guitar. Another member
is gay and wears a skirt and makeup. The bands that congregate there
have names such as Osama's Tunnel Diggers and Boxcutter Surprise. They
drink beer and smoke pot, and among them is a spitfire feminist in a
burqa – complete with a Dead Kennedys patch – who freely redacts chunks
of the Qur'an with a marker pen. "That ayah advises men to beat their wives," she says, about a contested verse in the holy book. "So what do I need that for?"
Read the complete story(Some news sites require registration)