17 January 2010
I’ve been playing music on my show, from a band called ‘The Komina’s’ for about three years now & have always found them hilariously funny as well as musically obsessive. I’ve followed them through their genesis as a Desi Punk band in Boston USA, with tracks like “Shariah Law in the USA” & “Suicide Bomb The Gap”, to 2 years ago when some of the members moved to Pakistan for a while and formed ‘The Dead Bhuttos’ as well as ‘Noble Drew’. They are now back in the US…and back in the studio.
When I first played them on the BBC Asian Network the response was three parts predictable, and one part depressing. On one side you had brain dead haters who heard the song titles and assumed the band were ‘Islamist’ in nature, even though the band quite literally exist to give heart attacks & nightmares to the Mullahs. On the other side you had brain dead young Brit-Islamists who thought the band were Pro-Islam & Anti-Western and saw them through the prism of Jihadi Hip Hop and the Koran. I just loved them as they were Desi’s with guitars, and were satirical…something which many Desi’s have a real hard time understanding. I also was kind of living out my failed rock-star dreams through them as I was in a band called ‘The Ferocious Ludoo’s’ in Hounslow, London, fifteen years ago, and we had exactly the same attitude towards subversion, comedy and our musical heritage as The Komina’s do.
The reason I bring this all up now is becuase paralell to me playing them as a new strand of Desi music, the worlds media have been laying seige to ALL of the so called ‘Islamic Punk’ bands in the US and have been reporting on them as the ‘Taqwacore’ movement. Named after Michael Muhammad Knight’s novel ‘The Taqwacores’, many of the bands including The Komina’s have been influenced by his book about Muslim Punks in the US, and over time its become a fanzine/novel/bible for many of the kids who align themselves to the movement. You just know the US news media would have lapped up bands who write songs about letting off suicide bombs in the local GAP store, and as its America you know there’s no way something like this could have stayed underground for long before the money men got their hands on it…& turned it into a commercial proposition! Well that’s whats happened, check the above trailer for ‘Taqwacore – The Birth Of Punk Islam’ The Movie!
I’m not sure about the movie and will have to see it before passing judgement, but it has The Komina’s on the soundtrack which is a very good thing, and Michael Muhammad Knight is an absolute frikkin nutter who regularly pisses off community elders, religious conservatives, islamists and the American political elite which in my book makes him more friend than foe! (His last novel was called ‘Osama Van Halen’ which any young unnamed band need to snap up as their moniker right now.)