The Taqwacores

The Taqwacores

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Michael Muhammad Knight

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  • Publisher: Telegram Books
  • Format: Paperback | 254 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 200mm x 21mm | 274g
  • Publication date: 5 March 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846590175
  • ISBN 13: 9781846590177
  • Sales rank: 393,364

Product description

Yusef is living in Buffalo, New York with a group of Muslim punks. A pot-smoking mohawked Sufi called Jehangir plays the rooftop call to prayer on his electric guitar, while debates rage downstairs about the Quranic sources for Iggy Pop songs. With a living-room serving as mosque by day and hosting punk parties by night, and a hole in the wall marking the direction of Mecca, Yusef's friends are all dealing with what it means to be young and Muslim in modern-day America. Amidst all this, Yusef embarks on a fascinating, clumsy journey towards faith and love in this surprising and unsettling read.

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Author information

Michael Muhammad Knight grew up Irish Catholic and converted to Islam aged 16 after reading Malcolm X's biography. He travelled to Pakistan to study Islam, hang out with Afghan refugees and play cricket in the Northwest Frontier Province. He turned to strict Wahhabism before 'flipping out' and abandoning Islam. He has now returned to the faith 'on his own terms'. He lives in America.

Customer reviews

By Courtney Barnes 06 Jun 2011 4

This is quite an extraordinary book. Can be a little slow going for the uninitiated, due to the Arabic language and Islamic reference throughout the text, but is so very, very worth the effort.

I saw the film first, which could help with getting through the book, but it certainly doesn't take anything away from the read. The characters are fully-developed and unrelentingly interesting.

NOTE, however, that this 2007 UK edition is CENSORED. In fact, it cuts out some of the best and most challenging speeches, particularly by Rabeya and Jehangir. If you buy this edition, go to to fill in the gaps.

Review quote

"'Sooner or later Punk and Islam were fated to meet and produce strange offspring. This excellent novel represents the first blast of the trumpet - loud and utterly unique.' Hakim Bey 'Infinitely readable.' Maximum Rocknroll"