Sunday, 19 April 2009
Heavy Metal Islam
Marc LeVine wrote his book on "Heavy Metal Islam", music converging arabic, east, west and a mish mash of style.
As quoted on his web site "Cutting through the governmental censors and religious restrictions, LeVine reveals a youth culture hungry for change and willing to risk freedom and even life for it (...). Through interviews with musicians and fans, LeVine reveals young Muslims struggling to reconcile their religion with a passion for music and a desire for change. These are the risk-takers and revolutionaries, as much on the front lines of the culture war as the suicide bombers and Al-Qaeda martyrs.
The internet is considered the driving force of the emerging Muslim public sphere, but it is the real communities created by young musicians, fans and activists that are most fiercely pushing the boundaries of free expression and association across the Muslim world, despite the risks of arrest, imprisonment, and worse..."
The Moroccan band (on YouTube) uncovers creativity in the animated characters and the music is good. The schizophernia depicted can be widely understood.
Although it is commendable to see anyone in the west interested in the real life of Muslims, beside al Quaeda and extremism, it has to be presented in a binary mode of good and bad. It is not surprising for arabs to see risk takers, revolutionaries, passionate for their own way of expression. Could it be that the forms of hip hop, heavy metal, rap are closer to Western understanding, in a way to be looked at with a fresh eye?
The essence of change is in diversity and the region is full of potential, so heavy metal has something to say, let's hear some more.