Tuesday, January 03, 2006

in bleak projects, emerging culture.

A September article from the LA Times In Bleak Projects, Emerging Culture gives a glimpse of how African Muslims in France are defining a religious identity for themselves through hip-hop.

"I realized that my Islam of the ghetto was just a ghetto of Islam," Malik said. "There's a disconnect, a kind of phantasmagoria of Islam. The so-called reformers are trying to invent something in reaction to the West…. We have to put things in another context. Otherwise, we would be in the Middle Ages."

Last year, Malik published an autobiography titled "Allah Bless France!" It resembles to some extent "The Autobiography of Malcom X," a figure whose journey from crime to extremism to tolerance had a profound effect on Malik. The title offers an unabashedly patriotic response to a notorious extremist pamphlet titled "Allah Curse France."

"I'm black, I'm from the neighborhood, but I am French," Malik said. "And this is the country I love."

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