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This book explores representations of queer migrant Muslims in international literature and film from the 1980s to the present. It brings together a variety of contemporary writers and filmmakers of Muslim heritage engaged in vindicating same-sex desire from several Western locations. The book approaches queer Muslims as figures forced to negotiate their identities according to the expectations of the West and of their migrant Muslim communities. It coins the concept of queer micropolitical disorientation via the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Sara Ahmed and Gayatri Gopinath. The author argues that depictions of queer Muslims in the West disorganise the social categories that make up contemporary Western societies. The study covers three main themes: queer desire across racial and national borders; Islamic femininities and masculinities; and the queer Muslim self in time and place. These thematic clusters examine the nuances of artistic depictions of queer Muslims’ mundane challenges to Western Islamophobia and Islamicate heteronormativity. Written in a scholarly but accessible style, this is a timely contribution to the controversial topic of Islam and homosexuality, forging understanding about the dissident position of Muslims who contravene heteronormative values and their equivocal political position in the West.

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Thinking across
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

heritage; an American Muslim and a former Muslim of Palestinian and mixed Palestinian heritage; a Moroccan Muslim settled in France; and a secular Lebanese Muslim of Druze heritage living in America. The wide range of cultural reference, the plethora of ethnic configurations of Islam, and a number of unusual minorities within Islam – such as Ismailism and Druzism – all help us reflect on how the lived experiences of Muslims and their assembled identities easily outgrow the narrow dictates set by modern iterations of Islam, such as Salafism or Wahhabism. According to

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
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Queering Islam and micropolitical disorientation
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

To say that male homosexuality flourished in Islamic societies would be an overstatement typical of orientalist discourse, but it would be no exaggeration to say that, before the twentieth century, the region of the world with the most visible and diverse homosexualities was not northwestern Europe but northern Africa and southwestern Asia. Indeed, the contrast between ‘Western’ and ‘Islamic’ homosexualities is not so much one of visibility versus invisibility or modern freedom

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
Matrilinearity, Sufism, and l’errance in the autofictional works of Abdellah Taïa
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

’s postcolonial queer melancholia, and to the theme of l’errance – errancy or wandering – in An Arab Melancholia , which performs a queer assemblage of cultures and temporalities validating his position as a gay, Moroccan, Muslim, Arab man. Moroccan society’s negation of the homosexual citizen, I suggest, triggers religious doubt in Taïa’s autobiographical self and a desperate embrace of matrilineal and Sufi versions of Islam posited at a remove from mainstream Islamicate normativity. Despite his repeated gestures towards interethnic homoeroticism, which chimes with the work

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
Guy Austin

population of 35 million, with their most long-standing communities concentrated in particular regions including in the east Kabylia and the Aurès mountains, and to the south the Mzab and the nomadic Tuaregs of the Sahara Desert (see Change 2009 : 19). Modern Algeria is however officially an Islamic state and its national language is Arabic: both legacies of the Arab invasion that began in 647. Sunni Islam is the official religion

in Algerian national cinema
Queering ethnicity and British Muslim masculinities in Sally El Hosaini’s My Brother the Devil (2012)
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

female homoerotic archive, Sarif’s work creates a form of queer countermemory through intimate personal bonding which qualifies the erasure of female homosexuality in normative Islamic discourses, while partly challenging dominant Western views on Arab and Muslim men’s conservatism and homophobia. The work of film director and screenwriter Sally El Hosaini offers both a departure from and a continuation of Sarif’s efforts to bring queer disorientation to the forefront of intersecting debates on Britishness, gender, and sexuality in

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
Sous les pieds des femmes and Vivre au paradis
Carrie Tarr

perceived from a Maghrebi immigrant point of view (whereas Mémoires d’immigrés , for example, carefully minimises references to contentious wartime experiences), but also because their wartime settings destabilise traditional Islamic gender hierarchies. Directors Rachida Krim and Bourlem Guerdjou, 5 both of whom owe the inspiration for their screenplays to their parents, have made clear in interview that they intend their films to function as vectors of memory

in Reframing difference
Exploring gender, anti-racism, and homonormativity in Shamim Sarif ’s The World Unseen (2001) and I Can’t Think Straight (2008)
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

Q UEER DIASPORIC writers and filmmakers of Muslim heritage, as well as the scholars examining their work, regularly have to contend with sturdy Western ideologies when approaching the topic of gender in Islam. Like homosexuality , perceptions of how ‘Islam’ reputedly ‘does’ gender has become a touchstone of contemporary identity politics and it has been mobilised as the ideological undergirding of Euro-American geopolitical imperialism. As Jasmin Zine lucidly points out: In the

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
Queering time, place, and faith in the diasporic novels of Rabih Alameddine
Alberto Fernández Carbajal

. Rushdie is arguably Alameddine’s most prominent literary forerunner, with his comparable investment in Muslim family sagas, father-and-son relationships, and playfully hybrid textualities. Nonetheless, while admitting to being ‘not a religious person at all’ (Shannahan, 2011 , p. 131), Alameddine remains, in terms of his ethnic filiation, a queer sort of Muslim: he is a Druze, member of a Middle Eastern religious minority initially spread out across Israel, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon, whose faith is an esoteric offshoot of Ismaili Shia Islam (Halabi Abbas, 2015

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
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Tradition and taboo
Guy Austin

and periods. The three chosen here represent an awareness of the loss caused by the segregation of the sexes and the patriarchal nature of Algerian familial and social relations. The context for these films is to a large extent derived from not just Islamic traditions and taboos but also state policies in both colonial and postcolonial Algeria. Each film approaches the question of gender from a distinct perspective: in the

in Algerian national cinema