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The Muslim Metal Scene: From Iron Maiden to Iran's Arthimoth

Black Sabbath fans in Morocco? Lebanese teens swaying to Bob Marley? We'll look at the heavy metal, punk, hip-hop and reggae scenes in the Muslim world with Mark LeVine, author of the new book Heavy

The Muslim Metal Scene: From Iron Maiden to Iran's Arthimoth

Tom Fudge:  Heavy metal music has gotten quite big in the Arab Middle East. Should that surprise us? Well, it certainly runs contrary to our stereotypes of life in the Muslim world, the fundamental religious prudishness, the dictatorship, the anti-Western conformity.
    
But remember that there are an awful lot of young people in the Middle East. Youth make up a much greater percent of the population there than they do here... and certainly much greater than they do in Europe or East Asia. And the headbanging, rebellious spirit of heavy metal are tailor-made to appeal to the sensibilities of youth. Rap, by the way, has also made real inroads all the way from Morocco to Pakistan.
    
The exquisite cultural tension that's created by metal in the Muslim world has become the subject of a book written by Mark LeVine. He's a professor of Middle East History at University of California at Irvine. But he's also a rock musician himself. He's performed and recorded with Dr. John, Mick Jagger and Hassan Hakmoon, among others. He joins me now to tell us what's up with Muslim kids listening to rap and metal.

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