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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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Queering Islam and micropolitical disorientation

rather as agents of micropolitical disorientation in societies where different forms of macropolitical segmentalisation constantly intersect. As will become apparent in dialogue with Sara Ahmed, it is often too easy to romanticise queer diasporic subjects as inhabiting alternative semiotic spaces, when in fact their routine lines of flight from normativity, which I formulate via Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, reveal their mundane micropolitical disorientation of normative social categories. As such, I present queer diasporic Muslims neither as exceptional figures

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
Queer phenomenology, and cultural and religious commodifi cation in Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and The Buddha of Suburbia (1990)

. 51). I concur with the idea that Kureishi’s craft transcends the pedagogic role of the minority artist, as it refuses to create any images of British Muslims – or of white Britishers – that are solely vilifying or victimising. As Jago Morrison suggests, Kureishi’s texts ‘are far too playful, irreverent and counter-cultural to fit into any orthodox political agenda’ ( 2003 , p. 179). Instead, Kureishi concentrates more keenly on disorientating his audience by challenging essentialist identitarian constructions of race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality. Kureishi

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

, reflects: ‘Bodies that experience disorientation can be defensive […]. So, too, the form of politics that proceed from disorientation can be conservative, depending on the “aims” of their gestures, depending on how they seek to (re)ground themselves’ (Ahmed, 2006 , p. 158). Ramzi’s diasporic disorientation results in becoming the ‘carbon copy’ of his American boyfriend Peter’s stylised but emotionally detached version of the homosexual. To his half-sister Sarah, he is not queer, but homonormative, failing to challenge American sexual taxonomies

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

at the same time completely fascinated). Although, at first, Abdellah is both afraid and fascinated by his mother’s religious homage to these saints, he will later in life embrace this popular aspect of religion and women’s comforting spirituality. In a moment of wandering described in ‘An Afternoon with Sidi Fatah’, translated into English in Another Morocco , during which Abdellah experiences spiritual disorientation, he visits the mausoleum of the titular saint. The narrator recounts: All around me

in Queer Muslim diasporas in contemporary literature and film
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Scoring Statham

are accompanied by the sound of heavy, laboured breathing. The effect is disorientating and it is a stylistic feature that returns on several occasions throughout the narrative. On-screen, time is variously slowed down and speeded up as electronic synthesised sounds begin to intrude and we are introduced to this stumbling figure. It is Chev Chelios. Palmer neatly sums up the image of Jason

in Crank it up
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provocative relation … exploring its problems and possibilities, testing its norms and conventions, and in turn being tested by it,’ the representational strategies deployed by these genre texts can thus be seen to differ from ‘stereotypical conceptions of mimesis,’ enabling in their thematic machinery and visual lexicon, as well as their narrative drive, ‘an often disconcerting exploration of disorientation, its symptomatic dimensions, and possible ways of responding to them.’8 And in so doing, they can be seen to proffer a critique of ideologies of liberty American

in The wounds of nations
Queering ethnicity and British Muslim masculinities in Sally El Hosaini’s My Brother the Devil (2012)

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
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the fact that they are amplified excessively results in a real so exessive that it becomes abnormal and infernal. What was important to French Nouvelle Vague critics of Cahiers du cinéma in the late 1950s and early 1960s about Fuller’s work is its stylistic extravagance combined with its obscurity, even the absence of any obvious thematic other than one related to that extravagance (disorientation, lack of identity

in Montage

fetish, and their meanings expand. Most of all, the Goodis signature is the sudden and disorientating image that creeps up on you, and tatoos itself into the narrative. (Goodis 1983 : ix) Beineix’s version of Goodis’s world depends to a large extent on striking images, some of which are changes to the novel. For example, Gérard gives

in Jean-Jacques Beineix