Creeping Sharia: an extreme response to Islamophobia

Can Yalcinkaya, Safdar Ahmed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the theoretical foundations of Hazeen, a Muslim blackened death metal band formed in 2015 by the authors - Safdar Ahmed on guitar and vocals, and Can Yalcinkaya on the drums and darbuka. It provides insights into the musical and performative practices of our band that are informed by traditions of black and death metal, but which also re-interpret them through an engagement with anti-fascist, anti-Islamophobic politics as well as Sufi/batini elements. Hazeen responds to a rising tide of Islamophobia in Australia, using our lyrics and performances to attack racist stereotyping and the dehumanisation of Muslims. In our performances, we dress in black, Islamic attire and apply ‘corpse paint’ to become the much feared ‘other’ of the post-9/11 world - the monstrous, rabid, zombie-like Muslim that has haunted the right wing/conservative imagination in the West. Our lyrics address such issues as the inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, halal food conspiracies, orientalism and the so-called ‘clash of civilisations’. This chapter presents a critical exegesis of Hazeen’s output in the form of live gigs, art performances and studio recordings. It seeks to identify Hazeen’s place within the broader Australian metal scene, posing questions of authenticity and how metal enables us to question hegemonic notions of identity. Hazeen’s use of art spaces as venues of performance and involvement in the indie/zine community highlights an unconventional position within the local metal scene.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian metal music
Subtitle of host publicationidentities, scenes and cultures
EditorsCatherine Hoad
Place of PublicationBingley, UK
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781787691674, 9781787691698
ISBN (Print)9781787691681
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameEmerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture
PublisherEmeral Publishing


  • Australia
  • Islamophobia
  • death metal
  • anti-fascism
  • Racism
  • Orientalism


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