2- Punk Alliance Making: Resisting Islamophobia and "Good Muslim" Rhetoric - Gale Franklin, Memorial University of Newfoundland
“Like punk, Islam is itself a flag, an open symbol representing not things, but ideas. You cannot hold Punk or Islam in your hands. So what could they mean besides what you want them to?” (Knight, 2003 10). This iconic quote, from Michael Muhammed Knight’s 2004 fictional novel The Taqwacores, opened up a world of opportunity for Muslim youths living in the United States. Through inspiration from his book about “the negotiation/reconciliation of punk music and Islam” young musicians in American diasporas were inspired to create distinct punk music with both a do–it-yourself and Muslim ethos (Murthy, 2010). By exploring and employing Beverley Diamond’s alliance studies as a framework, I focus on one of the most popular Taqwacore bands from 2005-2010, the Kominas. By examining the song, “Sharia Law in the USA” and these musicians’ musical alliances, this paper will demonstrate the utility of alliance studies and how the Taqwacore movement has fostered new opportunities for belonging and resistance for Muslim youths living in post-9/11 U.S. diasporas. I ask: How does punk music create space simultaneously for the resistance of stereotypes and piety? How do the Kominas navigate between Diamond’s notions of mainstreamness and distinctiveness in their music (Diamond, 2007)? How does the internet emerge as a space for online alliance making? Finally, how has the Taqwacore scene empowered Muslim youth to mosh for what they believe in?