The controversial, feature-length documentary “Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam” will be presented exclusively on Documentary Channel® (DOC) on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, chronicling the provocative Muslim punk movement and its followers as they seek a way to express their Islamic faith outside of conservative norms.
Three years in the making from Montreal-based director Omar Majeed, “Taqwacore” follows the progression of the Muslim Punk scene: from its imaginary inception in a novel written by American Muslim convert Michael Muhammad Knight, to a full-blown, real-life scene of Muslim punk bands and their fans.
When Knight was 17, he left his mother’s home in Rochester to study Islam at a Pakistani madrassa. It was his first act of rebellion against his abusive, schizophrenic, white-supremacist father. Years later, burned out on the demands of religious dogma, Knight rebelled once more by penning a Muslim Punk manifesto called The Taqwacores. Melding the Arabic word for god-consciousness with the edge of hardcore punk, Knight imagined a community of Muslim radicals. His work of fictional characters struck a chord with young Muslims around the world and before long real-life Taqwacore bands were creating a scene.
This documentary follows Knight and his real-life kindred spirits on their first U.S. tour, where they incite a riot of young hijabi girls at the largest Muslim gathering in North America after Sena takes the stage. The film then travels with them to Pakistan, where members of the first Taqwacore band, The Kominas, bring punk to the streets of Lahore and Knight begins to reconcile his fundamentalist past with the rebel he has now become.
“Taqwacore captures the spirit of disaffected Muslim youth today, caught between traditional religion and the culture of their new home,” explains filmmaker Majeed. “By stoking the revolution, against traditionalists in their own communities and against the clichés forced upon them from the outside, we’re giving the finger to both sides.”
Documentary Channel is primarily available through satellite television services DISH Network (Channel 197) and DIRECTV (Channel 267).
About Documentary Channel®: Documentary Channel (DOC) is the USA’s first 24-hour television network exclusively devoted to documentary films and the independent documentary filmmaker, providing viewers with round-the-clock opportunities to see fascinating, eclectic and award-winning documentary films of all lengths and genres. For more information on DOC, visit www.documentarychannel.com.