The Muslims are QADR, FaraH BaHbaH, and Abu Shea, and they perform a blistering (and funny) takedown of our America – you know, the one that just elected our new president and is steeped in sexism, bigotry, and white supremacy. This is the hardcore music that all of the not-white-dudes wish we’d heard in the 1980s and 90s.
Thankfully, the Muslims agreed to tell us more about their music, their hopes for “pissing off white liberals, fragile dudes, and racist fucks,” and playing a queer-centered music fest.
The Muslims play The Cave on Friday at 12:15am and keep an eye out for a new video release earlier that day.
Where are you from? Where are you now?
⅓ Brooklyn, New York via slave trade from Nigeria (on lead vocals/guitar: QADR)
⅓ Charlotte, NC via israeli apartheid from Palestine (on drums: FaraH BaHbaH)
⅓ Raleigh Raleigh (on bass: Abu Shea)
The Muslims = 100% Bull City. 🙂
Tell me about the music you make.
The Muslims came about after the inauguration of 45 as a form of resistance and resilience in this new era of white supremacy & islamophobia. I hit up FaraH to help make this band and was musically inspired by classic afro/punk and queercore shit. We mix a lot of hardcore, rock-rap fusion with political satire and rage. The lyrics and themes range from classic punk mixes of the Adhan to a funny and dark anthem called Jihadageddon. It’s really fun & bold shit. Also the shared experiences as multi-racial Muslims, who are haram as fuck, really helps turn up the fun.
How did you hear about Manifest?
Erika Libero hit us up a few months ago. We hadn’t heard of the fest before that and was super stoked to know a queer-centered punk fest happens right here in the triangle.
Why is this festival important?
Music scenes, across so many genres, are so dominated by dudes, esp white dudes. Having space that is truly inclusive is so important. I’m not talking “all lives matter/I don’t see color” inclusive- but actively fighting for those that are often in the shadows and bringing them to the stage. There needs to be more appreciation, acknowledgement, and celebration for what folks of shared marginalized identities have contributed to every damn genre. I’m talkin Black folx, brown, queer, femme, trans, women– basically all non-cis [white] dudes. The punk scene ain’t shit without all of us. And Manifest creates a platform for something like that to bloom locally. That’s fuckin huge.
What are your hopes for your music?
To be a mirror for every black, brown, muslim, queer or outcast punk that’s ever needed to see themselves and their story ragefully yelled from a stage.
To piss off as many white liberals, fragile dudes & racist fucks as possible.
To create a fucking powerful cult of badass radicals that will have the same TM tattoo and one day burn down all of wall street and paint the White House black as shit. #goalz
***We’re releasing a music video for Jihadageddon pt.2 same day of the Manifest show. It’s a 2min short of a larger narrative video following Muslimah in a Burqa. It’ll be part of The Third Muslim exhibit in LA this February, which is a dope thing to look forward to, musically.
Who inspires you? Why?
Nina Simone for being fiercely black and unapologetically expressive about white supremacy and her feelings.
Dawud Wharnsby Ali for having such a cute ass lil voice and sweet peaceful songs. Still hoping he turns out to be hella faggety so we can finally be BFFs.
Blink 182 for being cheesy typical white bros that we love to hate (and love).
Any Southern women or non-binary artists we should already be listening to?
Sister, Brother — durham based badass duo. Hella cool band who is playing manifest I think.
Laila Nur — durham, Black queer Muslim musician & Community Organizer
Bootz Durango — GNC hip-hop artist
Cool Party – Chapel Hill based grunge rock.
Bad Friends — Durham punk/heavy queer band
Shirlette Ammons — Durham based queer rapper
Bitter — ATL based band, latinx punk homos