"We Play Heavy Metal Because Our Lives Are Heavy Metal."

The Washington Post's "PostGlobal" has an interesting article on the rise of heavy metal music in the Muslim world.

Heavy metal has had a more powerful and controversial appeal than perhaps any other element of Western culture that has taken hold in the Muslim world. It might seem strange that a genre of music long associated with sex, drugs and even Satan worship should be popular in Muslim countries. But heavy metal can't be reduced to the "hair" or "glam" metal epitomized by one-time MTV staple bands such as Motley Crue or Quiet Riot. Instead, the much harsher sound of death, doom and other forms of extreme metal are winning a growing following across the Muslim world.

This is partly because the subjects these and other extreme metal bands deal with - death without meaning, the futility of violence, the corruption of power - correspond well to the issues confronting hundreds of millions of young Muslims today, the majority of whom live under authoritarian governments in societies torn by inequality, underdevelopment and various types of violent conflict.

As one of the founders of the Moroccan metal scene, the Sorbonne-educated Reda Zine, explained to me when I first met him: "We play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal."