The Texas Observer traces the rise of taqwacore, a San Antonio-born movement of Muslim punk rock:
During the trip, the Muslim punks encountered the same issues they have struggled with separately. The Islamic Society of North America invited them to perform at its conference in Toledo, Ohio. For the first 10 minutes, the concert was a success–young Muslims packed the conference, cheering the taqwacore bands from their respective male and female sections. But when a female group, Secret Trial Five, took the stage, conference leaders called the police and had the taqwacore bands kicked out–Muslim women are forbidden to sing in public. The taqwacore groups also had to deal with discrimination. On the road, other drivers flipped them off. One driver held a "Fuck Allah" sign up to his window.
This time, however, rather than bottling up their anger, the Muslim punks responded with humor, mostly dark. The Kominas performed songs with provocative lyrics such as "suicide bomb the Gap" and "Rumi was a homo" (a stab at an anti-gay imam in Brooklyn). The musicians started a joke band named Box Cutter Surprise, after the knives used to hijack planes on September 11th. Marwan Kamel, from a band on tour called Al-Thawra, Arabic for "revolution," said members created the group to shock audiences.
"The sole purpose was to light a fire under people's asses," Kamel said. "We were totally exploiting Americans' fear of terrorism, but maybe that's what everyone needs right now."
I scream out "ISNA ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!" and start up with Middle Eastern Zombies. People get scared and start streaming out when they hear my scratchy punk vocals. There is an off-stage argument between the head dude of the something or other and Mike Knight. Omar from Diacritical goes on with Kominas backing him up, sings "Ignorance" and has people in the audience screaming "STOP THE HATE". I see two hijabis give the devil horn hand gestures. Handful of people left are rocking the fuck out. It's brilliant. Kominas come on for their set, say they are going to sing Aisha, which is a song about a hijabi girl being harassed, crowd waits in anticipation, then the police storm the stage. They demand that we stop playing to the protest of the rest of us and the audience. Mike Knight grabs the mic and screams "PIGS ARE HARAM" and storms off.