Global Queer Research Group: Sexual Politics in the Era of Transnationalism, Diasporas and Postcoloniality

Subalterns among the Subalterns: LGBTQ Muslims in the U.S. and Canada

June 3rd, 2012 · No Comments

June 12, 2012 5-7pm
Liu Institute for Global Issues 

Presented by Dr. Mahruq Khan, Department of Women’s, Gender, and
Sexuality Studies, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

The rise of Islamophobia throughout North America has been duly noted, especially after September 11, 2001. What is often overlooked, however, is the nearly uniform response to such vilification of Islam — the showcasing of religious/community solidarity by U.S. and Canadian Muslims. Despite being political targets, mainstream Muslims continue to police one another by erecting rigorous boundaries around who is or is not an authentic Muslim — often resulting in the reinforcement of traditional gender roles.

This talk explores some of the experiences of people who identify as queer, as Muslim, and how they are reconciling their identities as LGBTQ Muslims. Dr. Khan’s research uncovers the religious and cultural homophobic rhetoric that gay Muslims encounter within their families, mosques and community organizations and how Islam, although often interpreted as anti-queer and heteronormative, can at times provide insights into how to confront and change the religious structures and practices.

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