Contemporary Islam

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 255–281 | Cite as

From Muslim punks to taqwacore: an incomplete history of punk Islam

  • Anthony T. Fiscella


This article is an attempt to provide a very rough outline of the historical interaction between punk rock and the Muslim world. For the most part, the antinomian youth culture of punk rock was relatively slow to reach Muslims outside of Europe and North America. When it did reach Muslim youth (from Europe to Asia to the Middle East), it tended to initially manifest in secular and antireligious terms. Yet by the 1990s, some examples of punk arose that claimed a Muslim identity, and by the year 2005, a scene called “taqwacore” developed. This new scene embraced both religious and nonreligious Muslim punks and others who did not self-identify as Muslim in any way. It’s been called “punk Islam” and has made a place for itself on the fringes of the punk scene and the Muslim world. Finally, this article briefly addresses some ways in which taqwacore can be seen as a theological development within Islam.


Muslim Punk Islam Hardcore Subculture Taqwacore 



Dedicated to the memories of Poly Styrene, Adam Yauch, and Hadi al-Alawi. The author would like to greatly thank Luk Haas, Martin Lund, Erik Hannerz, Jonas Otterbeck, Anders Ackfeldt, Bart Barendregt, the reviewers, the other contributors to this volume for their most helpful feedback, and the interviewees, artists in the scene, Carla Lucero and the copy editors, as well as many, many others.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Theology and Religious StudiesLund UniversityLundSweden

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