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Rocking the Kazbah

A Turkish Imam has come under fire from local religious authorities for performing Islam-inspired Rock songs.

A Rock n Roll Imam has given two fingers to religious authorities hoping to perform his Islamic Rock until the final curtain, vowing to keep on rocking the Kasbah. Turkish preacher Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer currently has followers dropping to their knees daily with his Islamic brand of Heavy Metal. But his double life has received less than favourable reviews from the country's religious authorities.

Turkey's Diyanet (the religious authority there, similar to Egypt’s Al-Azhar in terms of mandate) has launched a probe into whether the Imam's on-stage antics are compatible with his day job at a mosque near Kas. But the shimmying Sheikh as given authorities a two fingered salute and vowed to carry on even claiming to have garnished heavenly support.

He said: “I’m waiting for the results of the investigation but whatever happens I’m going to continue making music. If they tell me to stop my career, I will challenge them in the courts,” he vowed. “I will continue the mission God has entrusted to me.”

And the popular prayerman has gained a massive following online and  is active on Facebook and Twitter and a single released by his three-member band Firock, Mevlaya Gel (Come to God), has had over 32,000 hits on YouTube.

Tuzer first made the headlines in August when he and his band  took to the stage at a local music festival watched by hundreds of devout Rock fans.However, religious zealots are determined to put an end to the party and have already begun interviewing members of Tuzer's 40-strong congregation.

The radical cleric is no stranger to controversy after he sent religious hardliners foaming at the mouth by marrying a foreign tourist in 1997. Despite the controversy, the 42-year-old claims his music can share a stage with Islam in the modern world. “I want to show that you can be a Muslim, listen to Rock music and be modern at the same time,” he said.