Allah Save the Queen

Iconic punk t-shirts redone in Arabic, by 26-year-old graphic artist Brendan Donnelly. Remixed logos from Black Flag, Joy Division (shown here), Velvet Underground, the Ramones, and others, all translated into Arabic. Link to article (Thanks, Susannah Breslin).


  1. I can only imagine that one wearing this at an airport would bring a “random search” upon them.

  2. The joy division shirt is fun, but the Velvet Underground shirt is very funny (you can see it on Flickr. I had to blog about it under the heading “not a terrorist” since it’s such a cool photo. For all the Arabic-speakers out there, I hope the even more hilarious ambiguities of pronunciation are as fun for you as they were for me. Thanx Xeni!

  3. Sorry for the lack of context in my last comment … the linguistic reason I find the t-shirts funny and surreal is that to an Arabic speaker they can parse rather “oddly” … e.g., “Gooey Defeegin” or “Zee Fell-feet Andar-gerawoond”

  4. The funniest thing about this shirt is that under Sharia law this music wouldn’t even be allowed to exist, let alone the culture surrounding it! Now THAT’s ironic.

  5. “Mohammed would demand that the Queen submit and convert to Islam, or be beheaded.”

    Shh! Mr. Rushdie, you’re about to blow your cover!

  6. In the spirit of (brash?) experimentation, I wore a shirt with Arabic text through the Dulles airport in Virginia. The shirt was one of Cat and Girl‘s discontinued versions, and it translates to Arabic is not my native language. For more context: this was the summer of 2007, and I am a twenty-something white female.

    I was surprised at the complete lack of trouble I received, and even more surprised when I realized (later) that I’d carried a half-full water bottle in my backpack unchallenged. I don’t know whether to attribute it to the shirt or an independent-thinking security guard. Anyway, it might be a breath of hope or a statistical outlier, however you choose to look at it.

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