CNN has been reporting a lot about Muslim punk rock bands springing up around North America. The whole idea is that they have a voice and are breaking stereotypes. I think that's great, but the amazing part of the story is that these bands didn't just spring up on their own. They were inspired by a 2003 novel called "Taqwacore."
Does it matter that this movement didn't come organically from the musicians? That seems odd. There's nothing new about musicians being influenced by authors, but these were musicians molded entirely by the author Michael Muhammad Knight, who is a Muslim-American. This guy pushed the bands into existence! CNN is burying the lede here! It's not about breaking stereotypes, it's about an author being able to make his dream occur by merely writing about it! Like a magic typewriter!
What if I wrote a novel about Asian kids getting involved in an underground Swing music scene and that inspired some Asians to get involved in lounge singing in order to break stereotypes? Would that really break stereotypes? Or would it be seen as phony? I'm not sure, but probably the latter. It's just that Muslim culture is so poignant, the fact that these bands exist is good enough to shock people into thinking twice about what a Muslim-American is. All this is kind of insulting to me, like I'm supposed to be shocked to see a Muslim-Ameican singing rock music... Pardon me if I don't shit my pants in ethnocentric awe. The guy wrote about something that didn't exist, then it happened! That is INSANE!