The Taqwacores

Exploring the Symbolism of the Star of David in Michael Muhammad Knight’s The Taqwacores College

Since the rise of the subculture, punk rockers have been re-appropriating a variety symbols and everyday items. The primary intention of this bricolage is to shock on-lookers and make some sort of statement. An interesting example of this appears in Michael Muhammad Knight’s novel The Taqwacores. During the passage on pages 211-12 of the text, Jehangir touches on the history of punk bricolage, distinguishing between symbolic re-appropriation in punk subculture as a whole and Muslim punk: taqwacore. Prior to his analysis, the Star of David physically appears in the novel, generating a number of effects on readers. These effects extend to a large readership including the Muslim community, the Jewish community, and the equally less religious community, simply reacting to the physicality of a symbol in a text. The use of the Star of David in Michael Muhammad Knight’s The Taqwacores is successful in marveling a wide readership due to religious and cultural predispositions, shock value produced by the physicality of the symbol and a sense of connectivity to Yusef’s character.

It is significant to look at this passage from a Historicist perspective to understand why the punk usage of the Star of David in The Taqwacores causes a...

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