Muslims, Hindus Make Beautiful Punk Music Together
'Taqwacore' bands seize their moment in the spotlight
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2010 1:45 PM CST
Members of the Muslim Hindu punk band the Kominas--guitarist Arjun Ray, drummer Imran Malik, guitarist Shahjehan Khan--take a cigarette break before rehearsing in Wayland, Mass., Dec. 15, 2009.   (Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – From the basement of a middle-class home west of Boston, the Kominas have helped launch an unlikely trend. A son of Indian immigrants, trained in classical violin and raised on traditional Punjab music, the 25-year-old electric guitarist Arjun Ray is getting his three Pakistani-American bandmates in sync, with the goal of recording a punk rock version of the classic Bollywood song "Choli Ke Peeche" ("Behind the Blouse"). The AP checks it out.

The small but growing South Asian and Middle Eastern punk rock movement is attracting children of Muslim and Hindu immigrants and drawing scorn from some traditional Muslims who say their political, hard-edged music is "haraam," or forbidden. The movement, an anti-establishment subculture borne of religiously conservative communities, is the subject of two new films and a hot topic on social-networking sites. The artists say they are just trying to express themselves. "This is one way to deal with my identity as an Arab-American," says a Chicago-based guitarist. "With this music, I can express this confusion."

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