WriterMichael Muhammad Knightcoined the term “taqwacore” for his novel about a Muslim punk house in Buffalo, NY, which Knight initially distributed from the back of his car as a DIY photocopied zine. In time, the book found widespread publication through Autonomedia and garnered supporters, even inspiring the first woman-led prayer of a mixed-gender Muslim congregation in the United States in 2005. But something far grander was in the works; unbeknownst to Knight, a real Muslim punk scene was starting to emerge, based on the one he had imagined for the book.
PhotographerKim Badawifirst met Knight around this time, and bore witness as thetaqwacorephenomenon began to take hold. Beginning in 2006, Badawi traveled across the U.S., chronicling the burgeoning subculture and the musicians who had been spurred to action by Knight’s creative vision. In 2007 he was invited to accompany theTaqwaTour,traveling to major cities across North America alongside bands includingThe KominasandSecret Trial Five.As the genre continues to take shape and influence a rising generation of artists and intellectuals, Badawi’sThe Taqwacoresstands as a photographic companion to the original text and an indispensable document of the making of a movement.