Conversations with a Muslim friend
So, if you don’t believe in full it means you don’t
believe. Words tumble onto the rock. A book
Okay then tell me about heaven’s beautiful
food and women. Who are these women?
My friend says, “This life is like a twenty-minute train ride.”
He says, “I live inside my
faith more fully every day.”
I am standing on soaked pavement outside
that majestic hotel in the center of town. Just before
dark, the birds come in a furious swoop like
hornets, stinging the sky to let in
what is on the other side.
Then the next life is equally
about the body, denied in the first?
“Do you know the Prophet knew the exact number of bones in the human
body? And why do you ask so many questions? You ask
more questions than you take in breaths of air.”
The birds beat. They crumple in
rivers of sky. At the same time every day. Kierkegaard said that
every instant a man in despair is contracting it. My friend is not
in despair; I am not in despair.
Kierkegaard says there are three kinds of despair: despair
at not being conscious of having a self, despair at not being
willing to be oneself, and despair at willingness to be
oneself. Listen, the train. Why complain about
the seat, the air conditioner? Just do
your best until you arrive.
During Ramadan, I fasted a week. I went to the mosque.
My friend’s uncle said:
“So you are becoming Muslim?” I said: “No.” He said: “Shame
In the cold November current, there is a whirring of wings. Sometimes
they cloud into petals, sometimes they don’t.
When the forehead presses to the earth, the blood moves
down. In the joining, the self lightens. You must count the three perfect
joints of each finger to keep time. Make no mistake, you leave the body only
through the body. The train ride. This quiet voice that is borrowed or my own.
I don’t usually post about the same person twice in a row, but Anida Yoeu Ali is kind-of my hero.
I had tears in my eyes by the end of this video - so beautifully made and Anida is Yoeu Ali is powerful.
Mosquito mistaken for Muslim… Sikh mistaken for Muslim… Spanish mistaken for Muslim… America mistaken for white people…
Sundance Film Festival Description:Oh, to be young, beautiful, Muslim—and punk rockers! Heres one story of disaffected American youth we havent seen before.
Yusef, a straitlaced Pakistani American college student, moves into a house with an unlikely group of Muslim misfits—skaters, skinheads, queers, and a riot grrrl in a burqa—all of whom embrace Taqwacore, the hardcore Muslim punk-rock scene. They may read the Koran and attend the mosque, but they also welcome an anarchic blend of sex, booze, and partying. As Yusef becomes more involved in Taqwacore, he finds his faith and ideology challenged by both this new subculture and his charismatic new friends, who represent different ideas of the Islamic tradition.
Adapted from the influential novel by Michael Muhammad Knight (cowriter of the film), The Taqwacores marks the energetic directorial debut of Eyad Zahra, who creates a wholly original spin on the identity narrative and invests the filth and fury of Islamic punk with humor and humanity.
Really hope I get the chance to see this. I’ve been interested in the taqwacore scene for a while now, so I’m glad this is getting released.
I also recommend listening to Issue Oriented podcast Episode 48 (iTunes link) with Taqwacore band The Kominas. Thanks to vivzilla for telling me to listen to it. The Kominas are really inspiring and through their interview I reaffirmed my faith in punk rock.