Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Muslim punk rockers Shahjehan Khan, right, and Basim Usmani, of the Taqwacore band, "The Kominas," play a set at the Star Bar to celebrate premiere of the Eyad Zahra film, "The Taqwacores," which is in competition at the festival. The birth of the Muslim punk scene is often credited to the novel "The Taqwacores," by Michael Muhammad Knight, a Rochester, N.Y.-raised writer who converted to Islam in his teens. Knight coined the book's title from the Arabic word "Taqwa," which means piety or God-fearing, and the word hardcore. The 2003 book portrayed an imagined world of living-on-the-edge Muslim punk rockers and inspired many real-life South Asian musicians, photographers, writers and filmmakers to forge their own artistic community.
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