The Taqwacores Review

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Rebelling against his safe student lifestyle, American-Pakistani Yusef (Naderi) throws himself into the Muslim punk rock scene - the 'Taqwacore' - but finds his new mates have more than music on their minds.


Muslim punks are alive well and in America and they’re “all about pissing people off!” Hurrah! US-born director Eyad Zahra’s screwball tribute to the “Muslim punk scene” does get up your nose a bit, his infatuation with a gang of Allah-worshipping misfits and their crass rebellion via Mohawk and safety pin deriving from a novel of the same name in which Islam is about prayer as much as adorning your burka with band patches such as Osama’s Tunnel Diggers (guess Bad Religion was taken...). Ugly, violent and insufferably subversive, it fails to provoke, the only tangible anarchy taking the form of a chaotic plot, while all the philosophising on what it means to be a Muslim post-9/11 is lost on a minority bunch of bad influences.

Stroppy rather than strident and as coherent as a Johnny Rotten rant, it fails to deliver a thoughtful statement on modern Muslim identity.