Heavy Metal Islam

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Heavy Metal Islam

Rock, resistance, and the struggle for the soul of Islam

included for Category:Research

Author: Mark LeVine

Publication date: 2008

Publishing house: Three Rivers Press


Review

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. With a jolting arrangement of images and voices, LeVine powerfully upends received notions about the Middle East by exploring one of the area's least-known subcultures. Interviewing and jamming with musicians from Morocco to Pakistan—including rappers and trip-hop artists as well as metalheads—LeVine (Why They Don't Hate Us) presents Muslims, Christians and Jews who, in the face of corruption, repression and violence, use their music to speak truth to power and carve out a space for individual expression and a new form of community. The degree of independence the musicians enjoy varies widely—from Israeli band Orphaned Land who are free of restrictions (and widely admired in the Arab metal world) to Egyptian metalheads who fear arrest and possible torture for sporting long hair. Each artist in this book struggles, on some level, for cultural and political reform, and LeVine argues that if these musicians could find a way to cooperate with progressive religious activists and the working class, they could trigger a revolution. This is a tall order, but the author's warm and intelligent examination of a reality few in the West have experienced suggests it may yet be possible. (July 15)

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