Heavy Metal Islam by Mark Levine
Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam

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Synopsis

“We play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal.”
—Reda Zine, one of the founders of the Moroccan heavy-metal scene

“Music is the weapon of the future.”
—Fela Kuti

An eighteen-year-old Moroccan who loves Black Sabbath. A twenty-two-year-old rapper from the Gaza Strip. A young Lebanese singer who quotes Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” They are as representative of the world of Islam today as the conservatives and extremists we see every night on the news. Heavy metal, punk, hip-hop, and reggae are each the music of protest, and in many cases considered immoral in the Muslim world. This music may also turn out to be the soundtrack of a revolution unfolding across that world.

Why, despite governmental attempts to control and censor them, do these musicians and fans keep playing and listening? Partly, of course, for the joy of self-expression, but also because, in this region, everything is political. In Heavy Metal Islam, Mark LeVine explores the influence of Western music on the Middle East through interviews with musicians and fans, introducing us young Muslims struggling to reconcile their religion with a passion for music and a desire for change. The result is a revealing tour of contemporary Islamic culture through the evolving music scene in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Heavy Metal Islam is a surprising, wildly entertaining foray into a historically authoritarian region where music just might be the true democratizing force.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Mark Levine

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Mark LeVine is Assistant Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, Culture, and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of the forthcoming book "Why They Don't Hate Us: Islam and the World in the Age of Globalizaiton" (2004), and co-editor of "Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation" (2003) and "Religion, Social Practice and Contested Hegemonies: Reconstructing the Public Sphere in Muslim Majority Societies".
 
Published July 8, 2008 by Crown. 312 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Heavy Metal Islam

Kirkus Reviews

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Heavy metal embodies the rage of young people in rigidly controlled Muslim societies, offering a surprising message of hope and solidarity that contrasts sharply with its reputation.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resi...

The New York Times

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Going to meet the seven-string guitarist Marz of Hate Suffocation, a Cairo band, LeVine confesses sheepishly, “I still couldn’t tell the difference between death, doom, black, melodic, symphonic, grind-core, hard-core, thrash and half a dozen other styles.” (Marz explains that his group plays a c...

Jul 20 2008 | Read Full Review of Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resi...

Bookmarks Magazine

In Heavy Metal Islam, Mark LeVine explores the influence of Western music on the Middle East through interviews with musicians and fans, introducing us young Muslims struggling to reconcile their religion with a passion for music and a desire for change.

Jul 20 2008 | Read Full Review of Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resi...

Reason Magazine

- The Algernonization of the Right .

Jul 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resi...

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