Fully Desi rock quartet The Kominas‘The brown color and outspoken lyrics, which frequently criticize Islamophobia, put at least one member on a federal watch list and put them in many awkward conversations with TSA and border security officers. The band members share the situations they endure in the music video for “Freedom”, released yesterday (April 6).
The video features clips of the members in separate interrogations, where invisible figures ask loaded questions about their personal lives and their political, religious and musical affiliations. Here are some of the exchanges, which are cut with footage of the band playing the punk and reggae-accented song live:
- “So when you say you’re in a group, you mean a jihadist group, don’t you? “I mean a musical group.”
- “Why did you come to America? ” “I was born here.”
- “Do you prefer spicy food to non-spicy food? ” “Yes…”
- “Why do you sing songs in Pakistani if you have nothing to hide?” “Uh… that’s a good point. “
As bassist and singer Basim Usmani explained to Microphone, the questions used in this video correspond to those that the group meets frequently during their tours. “Most of the questions they would ask me were ‘good cop, bad cop’ stuff, where they were [sic] throw a few, “Oh, do you play in a punk band? What do you think [long-standing New York City punk rock venue] CBGBstop, man? ‘ He said, after which an officer followed with something like, “‘On a scale of 1 to 10, how Muslim are you?’ “
Omar Majeed, who also highlighted The Kominas in his 2009 documentary, “Taqwacore: the birth of punk Islam“Freedom” video directed. The song is from the band’s 2015 album, “Stereotype“, and guitarist and singer Hassan” Sunny Ali “Malik told Mic that the band had just finished recording a new, yet unnamed album.
Watch the video above and let us know what you think in the comments.