Friday, July 27, 2007

A Rocker, A Blogger, a Comic Book Maker; Muslims One and All

I can't help saying it this way, so please forgive the pretentiousness:

What are Muslims like? some folks wonder. Well, remember that nursery rhyme that listed some common folk, as "a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker"? Well, the "cover" story on WireTap. "a national online magazine by and for young people", in the current edition, profiles three of a different kind of Muslim--a Punk Rocker, a Blogger, a Comic Book Maker:
The only thing I'd have changed might be:
"In fact, Ashraf's politics differed greatly from his father's, but, he explains..."
to say
"Ashraf's politics has moved to the Left over the years, away from his father's, but, he explains, ..."
Otherwise, Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed and the editors seem to have done a pretty good job. Besides the personal recognition, for which I am grateful and humbled by (despite the tone above ;)), giving air time to Muslims who are going about being who they are in an alternative, confident unapologetic, way is cool. Who'd think that in this day and age, when a magazine sets out to find Muslims who are just like anybody else in society--and isn't that what everybody that wants to humanize Muslims does?--they'd end up profiling a punk rock band called "The Kominas".

Let me respell that for South Asian audiences, the word is one you will be very familiar with; only, you'd most probably just say "Kaminay"--yes, the word we use when we want to say either "scoundrel" or, more literally, "bastards". They have quite a following in punk circle and claim, along with the book that is their inspiration, "The Taqwacores", to be only the first budding in a Muslim Punk spring...

And a couple of things before I stop:

And I have to say, I loved the description of Wire Tap Magazine: "a national online magazine by and for young people". It resonated. I started my writing career as the editor of The Teenager, Pakistan at the age of 17 and at that point, it was one of very, very few outlets for Pakistani Youth (and about the only one in English).

And a shout-out to Eteraz, who pointed Ms. Ahmed to the MPV and me when she reached to him looking for a Progressive Muslim blogger to profile.

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