Book by Mark LeVine: ‘Heavy Metal Islam’

12 May 2013
Mark LeVine (USA):

‘Heavy Metal Islam – Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam’

304 pages.
Published by Three Rivers Press on 8 July 2008.
Language: English

American author and historian Mark LeVine has published a book about the special role of Heavy Metal music in the Middle East and its relationship with Islam
  Click to read more about the book

In the book ‘Heavy Metal Islam’, Mark LeVine introduces his readers to a number of young people from the Middle East who are struggling to reconcile their religion with a passion for music and a desire for change. He explains why the harsh melodies of Heavy Metal appeal to the young Muslims as a way in which they can express themselves as ‘cultural rebels, and how self-expression becomes politicised in censored societies.

One of the founders of the Moroccan metal scene, Reda Zine, explained to Mark LeVine that he believes young people in the Middle East turn to heavy metal music as an act of rebellion against oppression, censorship and authoritarianism.

An album, ‘Flowers in the Desert’, is being released in September 2008 on EMI featuring bands discussed from the group, profits from which are being donated to Freemuse.

Mark LeVine is a professor of history at University of California Irvine

Mark LeVine
Official website of the book:
‘Heavy Metal Islam’

  Click to go to the official book website


Video interviews with Mark LeVine

Click to see video interview with Mark LeVine‘Heavy Metal and Islam’

Click to see video interview with Mark LeVine‘Globalisation in the Middle East’


Interviews with Mark LeVine

NPR, Talk of the Nation (radio interview, 17 minutes) – 10 July 2008:

‘How Heavy Metal Is Working Its Way Into Islam’

Islam Online – 22 April 2008:

‘Heavy Metal Islam’

Commentary by Mark LeVine

In response to an Americans-only ‘Make Rock History’ contest which was organised by the heavy metal band Motley Crue from Los Angeles, author Mark LeVine suggests to the band:

‘Motley Crue, open your ears to bands from the Middle East’


Other sources

Chronicle of Higher Education, article by Mark LeVine – 4 July 2008:

‘Muslim Metal – Bands crank up multiculturalism in the Islamic world’

Google News – continously updated:

Search: ‘heavy metal islam’

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