Towards a Dialogue Between Muslims and Lgbti People: Pathways and Pitfalls

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 656A (University of Glasgow)
Momin Rahman , Sociology, Trent University
The dominant political understanding of LGBTI and religion is one of absolute dichotomy. Islam is often seen as an extreme example of this opposition, with Muslim states at the forefront of resistance to international human rights concerning sexual orientation and gender identity and enforcers of some of the most oppressive laws against LGBTI people; religious leaders reiterating extremely negative views on sexual and gender diversity; and both minority and majority Muslim populations expressing some of the most negative attitudes on homosexuality in national and global comparison. My aim in this paper is to begin to map out a pathway that disrupts this dichotomy and points to potential routes onto a terrain of dialogue rather than fundamental opposition. I begin with my characterisation of the contemporary politics of Islam versus sexual diversity as a triangulation of homocolonialism, illustrating primarily how LGBTI politics is caught up in the promotion of the civilizational politics of western modernity, and often consequently opposed as a form of postcolonial resistance. The remainder of the paper is focused on how we might challenge this political framing and throughout I emphasize the power of an intersectional analytical framework in achieving this end. I begin with the need to highlight LGBTI Muslims as an identity that fundamentally disrupts the oppositional locations of LGBTI and Muslims. I then move on to discussing how other strategies focused on LGBTI groups and Muslim communities are also important in disrupting both the triangulated process of oppositions, and the dichotomous positioning within the triangulation model.
  • LGBTI and Muslims Rahman.docx (311.2 kB)