Muslim punk band Kaminas shreds stereotypes


Basim Usmani and Shahjehan Khan had already decided they weren’t going to play a song whose title includes the name of a 13th-century Muslim poet (Rumi) and a slur for homosexual. If taken out of context, they worried, the song might be misconstrued as a bad joke and the musicians as a pair of gay-bashing Pakistani-American Muslims.

In fact, the song is a farcical jab at Siraj Wahhaj, a tough-talking Brooklyn imam who is admired for his fiery sermons and anticrime programs but who in 1992 allegedly said he would burn down a proposed gay-friendly mosque in Toronto. But although the song’s point has been made to Muslims, the mostly white audience at a Brooklyn bar called Galapagos last month probably wouldn’t have gotten it. ”What are we proving by playing it to a bunch of just punk-rock kids who’ve got no idea?” said Usmani, 22, who lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

So singer/bassist Usmani, guitarist Khan, and their drummer Adam Brierley kept Rumi under wraps. Instead, kids in mohawks and goth gear danced to ”Sharia Law in the USA” and ”Wild Nights in Guantanamo Bay.” Meet the Kominas(Kaminas), a musical threesome from the Boston area ready to take on conservative clergy and Homeland Security.

More here. (Attention: Naheed and Hassan)