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.
Alberto Fernández Carbajal
Europeans, Muslim Immigrants and the onus of European–Jewish Histories
Relations between Europe and its Muslim minorities constitute an extensive focus for discussion both within and beyond the Continent. This book reports on the years mainly between 2005 and 2015 and focuses on the exploitation of recent European history when describing relations and the prospects for the nominally 'Christian' majority and Muslim minority. The discourse often references the Jews of Europe as a guiding precedent. The manifold references to the annals of the Jews during the 1930s, the Second World War and the Holocaust, used by both the Muslim minorities and the European 'white' (sic) majority presents an astonishing and instructive perspective. When researching Europe and its Muslim minorities, one is astonished by the alleged discrimination that the topic produces, in particular the expressions embodied in Islamophobia, Europhobia and anti-Semitism. The book focuses on the exemplary European realities surrounding the 'triangular' interactions and relations between the Europeans, Muslims and Jews. Pork soup, also known as 'identity soup', has been used as a protest in France and Belgium against multicultural life in Europe and against the Muslim migrants who allegedly enjoyed government benefits. If the majority on all sides of the triangle were to unite and marginalize the extreme points of the triangle, not by force but by goodwill, reason and patience, then in time the triangle would slowly but surely resolve itself into a circle. The Jews, Christians, Muslims and non-believers of Europe have before them a challenge.
Passion and politics in the English Defence League
‘Loud and proud’: Politics and passion in the English Defence League is a study of grassroots activism in what is widely considered to be a violent Islamophobic and racist organisation.
The book uses interviews, informal conversations and extended observation at EDL events to critically reflect on the gap between the movement’s public image and activists’ own understandings of it. It details how activists construct the EDL, and themselves, as ‘not racist, not violent, just no longer silent’ inter alia through the exclusion of Muslims as a possible object of racism on the grounds that they are a religiously not racially defined group. In contrast activists perceive themselves to be ‘second-class citizens’, disadvantaged and discriminated by a ‘two-tier’ justice system that privileges the rights of ‘others’. This failure to recognise themselves as a privileged white majority explains why ostensibly intimidating EDL street demonstrations marked by racist chanting and nationalistic flag waving are understood by activists as standing ‘loud and proud’; the only way of ‘being heard’ in a political system governed by a politics of silencing.
Unlike most studies of ‘far right’ movements, this book focuses not on the EDL as an organisation – its origins, ideology, strategic repertoire and effectiveness – but on the individuals who constitute the movement. Its ethnographic approach challenges stereotypes and allows insight into the emotional as well as political dimension of activism. At the same time, the book recognises and discusses the complex political and ethical issues of conducting close-up social research with ‘distasteful’ groups.
Anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments
of multicultural society. This has led to the conclusion that ‘the EDL is clearly Islamophobic’ (Allen, 2011: 293) and, although having successfully accommodated aspects of the diversity of contemporary multicultural Britain and not espousing a traditionally racist ideology, promotes a form of ‘new racism’ or ‘cultural racism’ (2011: 293). This chapter starts by critically outlining debates about how we define and measure ‘Islamophobia’, focusing on the question of whether Islamophobia is a new, and distinct, phenomenon or consists primarily in anti
-trafficking campaigns already targeting this node in the ‘migration–security nexus’ in the late 1990s, the convergence of migration policy and understandings of security had already begun before 9/11, when the meanings of Islam in the Yugoslav region would intersect with transnational racialised Islamophobia. Racialised Islamophobia and the Yugoslav region before and after 9/11 The expansion of the ‘migration–security nexus’ through governments and international institutions, after 9/11, made ‘Muslims’ and people ascribed a Muslim appearance
Transgressing the cordon sanitaire: understanding the English Defence League as a social movement
relation to empirical evidence of rising ‘Islamophobia’ among the wider UK population. The chapter describes the ethnographic approach adopted in the book, which is distinguished by a focus not on organisational structure and ideology but individual activists. The analytic emphasis on the meanings individuals attach to activism, it is argued, not only brings insight into how politics 2 Loud and proud: passion and politics in the EDL and passion are intertwined in the movement but, in so doing, may open avenues for challenging prejudices and stereotypes that constrain
protect the purity of the ethnic nation, Islamophobia is marshalled to safeguard the future of European civilisation’.26 There is, he argues, ‘no European party of any significance, and this includes the continent’s various extreme right-wing movements, that currently champions a specifically anti-Semitic agenda’.27 Bunzl overstates Europe’s internal integration and the decline in the right’s nostalgia for the ethnically pure state. In Eastern Europe, mainstream political parties still flirt with anti-semitic as well as antiRoma racism, but even here where ethno
Brighter European–Muslim–Jewish futures?
preserve their culture, ethnicity and religion. Occasionally, Muslim theologians allow deviations from the Muslim Sharia law when it serves other, more prevalent or important Muslim principles. The irony of Islamophobia is that it makes it easy for Muslim minorities to remain culturally and religiously Muslim, just as state- and church-driven anti-Semitism has done for the Jews of Europe. An example that reflects the wish to preserve Muslim codes, but also highlights the difficulties of Muslim integration in Western societies, is Tariq Ramadan’s suggestion in March 2005
Redefining security in the Middle East
Tami Amanda Jacoby and Brent E. Sasley
differences between Islam as a spiritual faith and Islamism as a politicized form of religion with tendencies to neo-absolutism and violence. This chapter explores fundamental issues related to Islamophobia and the West, the relationship between Islam and democracy, and circumstances for groups and parties to gain political power and effect social change through indigenous tools and symbols. The intricate
Khaled Abou El Fadl
with reactionary historical forces. This tends to legitimate culturally led religious bigotry. In the colonial era, Islam was regularly caricatured. In the United States of today, the ﬂood of bigoted literature and ﬁlms has risen in proportion to the aggressiveness of U.S. foreign policy. Few weeks go by without one or more Islamophobic books appearing on the New York Times’s best-sellers list. Islamophobia is a necessary adjunct to a foreign policy of social and cultural engineering. The Bush administration and its neo-con ideologues believe that Islam needs social