Heavy Metal Islam
HOME     |      BOOK    |   ALBUM  |   DOCUMENTARY   |    TOUR  |  STORIES    |    RESOURCES

the book
heavy Metal Islam--The Book
HMI Tour Dates

Tour Dates





The story of Heavy Metal, punk and hiphop's emergence and rapid rise to popularity around the Muslim world is utlimately the story of globalization. In my last book, Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2005), I offer the most detailed analysis of globalization, aprticularly its impact across the Muslim world, ever written. The book also contains discussions about “rock and resistance across the Middle East” that sparked the research for Heavy Metal Islam.

Listen to Mark's interview about Heavy Metal Islam with KPBS San Diego's Tom Fudge.
Listen to Mark's interview with KPFK/Pacifica Radio host Jon Wiener ("Beneath the Surface") about HMI and the current situation in the Middle East.

For some of the best discussions of culture and music in the Arab/Muslim world, you can visit the following online resources:
Daily Star
The Musik
MTV Pakistan
MTV Arabia

For information about most every heavy metal band that has ever existed in the Muslim world, and the world as a whole, visit the Encyclopedia Metallum at Metal Archives and search by country.

For a wonderful documentary about the metal scene in Baghdad, please visit Heavy Metal in Baghdad.

For a wonderful documentary about the hiphop scene in Morocco, visit I Love Hip Hop in Morocco.

There is no single portal or information compendium for rap around the Muslim world. Some of the best sites on particular countries include:

Raptiviste (Morocco)
Sling Shot Hip Hop (Palestine)
Pars Hip Hop (Iran)

For information about the Muslim punk and Taqwacore scenes, check out the various novels, monographs, and rants of all-around genius and sometimes professional wrestler Michael Muhammad Knight.

Because of the political and social conditions across the Muslim world, so-called extreme music (metal, rap, punk, etc.) is often censored in various ways. The most important organization in the world dealing with music censorship, which features regular news and analyses about music in the Arab and larger Muslim worlds, is the Copenhagen-based NGO Free Muse. For the latest information and reports, visit Freemuse.org. Please support their important activities by becoming a member or friend.

For a complete list of websites for bands I discuss in the book, and other sources for the research for it, please consult the Bibliography at the end of Heavy Metal Islam, available in pdf format here [I'LL PUT A LINK].

For examples of the various forms of metal, rock, hiphop and punk discussed in the book, visit the “media” [PUT LINK] section of the site, where there are links to videos, mp3s, and other examples of the music covered in each chapter.


For the best contemporary analysis of politics and religion around the Muslim world today, visit the following web portals:

The Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World.

Middle East Report: In particular, see its primers on various conflicts around the Midle East, from Palestine to Iraq.

My own various writings on the Middle East and religion are available at Culture Jamming.

For more detailed and historical analyses of Islam, Middle Eastern history, and US foreign policy in the Middle East, visit:

The International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies

The Journal of Palestine Studies

The Middle East Journal

Israel Studies Journal


The best source of online news in English from around the Middle East and North Africa include:

Haaretz, The New York Times of Israel, and the most widely read English language news source in the Middle East.

al-Jazeera, the web portal for al-Jazeera International.

Asia Times the premier news source for groundbreaking reporting and analysis of Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Daily Star, a well known and fairly objective paper covering politics in Lebanon and the surrounding Levant.

al-Haya, the English Lanuguage site of the Arab world's most respected newspaper.

The Guardian, simply the best international coverage and commentary of any newspaper in the world.