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Desi solidarity

Posted on June 17, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, Pakistanis Abroad, People
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Adil Najam
The Kominas–a ‘Muslim Punk’ band led by two Pakistani-Americans (Basim Usmani and Shahjehan Khan)–will be playing in Brooklyn, New York today (June 17, 2006).

The reason for this plug, however, is not just because they are Pakistani-American kids making socially facinating and provocative music (see Boston Globe writeup on them here). It is, even more so, becasue this particular concert is being held to benefit the Maple Grove Hindu Temple in Minnesota, which was vandalized in early May:

Two 19-year-olds were arrested May 10 and charged with vandalising a partially completed Hindu temple in Maple Grove, MN, on April 5. Maple Grove Police arrested local resident Paul Gus Spakousky and Tyler William Tuomie of Andover, MN, and charged them with first-degree criminal damage to property and third-degree burglary, both felonies. The two spent a few days in Hennepin County Jail after their arrest and were later released on a bond of $20,000 each, according to a spokesperson for the police department. Several of the deities were damaged in the attack, forcing the organisers to postpone the scheduled June 4 inauguration of the 43,000 square feet temple built at a cost of $9 million.

In an inspiring show of ‘Desi’ solidarity against religious intolerance of all kinds, Basim and Shahjehan concieved the idea of this fundraiser; a gesture that we shoudl all apprecaite as well as learn from.

2 comments posted

  1. Franz says:
    June 24th, 2006 9:15 pm

    This happened twenty minutes north from where I’m living at the moment.. I was en route to a conference in chicago with two NRIs from St Paul who are involved in building this temple when I heard about this.

  2. January 13th, 2007 1:03 am

    [...] Indeed, post 9/11 there is a real thrust of young Muslims in general, including young Pakistanis in the performing arts trying to build inroads into their host communities that earlier generations of Muslim, and Pakistanis, had so neglected to build (see ATP write-ups on Pakistanis abroad doing so in the theatre, in music (also here), in documentary film-making). [...]



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