On June 13th, 2016, 49 people were killed and 53 were injured in an anti-LGBTQIA+ shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Following the shooting, many queer and trans* people of color demanded media coverage to specify that that shooter targeted Latino, Indigenous, and Black people. However, while doing so, other queers and allies took to attacking Islam -- claiming that religious extremism motivated the attack. But, amidst demands of looking at the identity of both the shooter and victims, the perspectives of LGBTQIA+ Muslims were erased. Such noted, in this paper, I hope to investigate other instances how Queer Muslim narrative have been erased by American mass media. To build my argument, I will be relying on Raham’s theory of ‘queer intersectional identities’ and Hoodfar’s meditations on the theoretical construction of ‘the Muslim woman’ and ‘the veil’. Moreover, (methods - comparative historical analysis). This is to ultimately argue that assumptions of incompatibility between various Muslims cultures and LGBTQ+ identities are responsible with erasing Queer Muslim American narratives.
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This is to argue that rather than existing within a Eastern/Western binary, queer Muslims exist in an intersectional space between Eastern and Western politics and social culture that contributes to their oppression. Rahan theoretically presents this idea as ‘queer intersectional identities’ which calls for a focus on experiences of individuals at the most intersections because their experience challenges dominant queer narratives. Raham conducts a qualitative study utilizing their existing data of queer theory. This piece served as my introduction to queer muslim theory, an emerging field. It addresses the alleged ‘impossibility’ of queer muslims existing, what my paper focuses
For this paper, I have chosen to interview an acquaintance of mine who is a devote Muslim and follower of Islam. For the sake of this assignment I will be referring to him under the pseudonym of Jack. I spoke with Jack about some wide-ranging topics discussing things such as, media, bias, stereotypes, and really in general what being a follower of Islam is like in this divided country right now. In our country, today it’s pretty apparent there is a type of fear of Muslims, so much so that 7 heavy populated Muslim countries are not permitted from entering the United States of America. I never had conversations as personal as this with Jack and I feel as if I gained a lot of insight into the types of things minorities, and especially Muslims
The “mold of a Muslim post 9/11 was anyone fitting the description of a Muslim, which was wearing a hijab for women and wearing a turban for men. If you went to a mosque, which was the Muslim house of worship, you were considered a Muslim. Anyone who fit that “mold” had a red flag put on them. For example, Rasha and her family were arrested and detained by the FBI in the middle of the night, “because they were being investigated for possible terrorism connections” (21). Due to the heightened level of security after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 committed by Muslim extremist; this family was targeted because of their religious beliefs. Ironically, the Muslim extremism that the terrorists of 9/11 depicted was a direct contrast of the true core Muslim values of honesty and compassion that Muslims are taught in their families. For instance, when she was young, Rasha’s parents taught her “the simple values of honesty, compassion and protecting her honor” (17). Readers can see that Rasha’s family valued their Muslim heritage and brought her up to value them as
David Eggers, in Zeitoun, shows a story of a Muslim American family living through many challenges. After 9/11 Muslim families, like the Zeitouns, face many problems living in America. Eggers wants to inform other Americans on the situation of Muslim living in the United States, present day. People who are uneducated about the Muslim religion need to be informed on how similar lives are of other people all around the United States. These people throw out stereotypes and aim judgments wrongly at the Zeitoun family. Unjust treatment of the Zeitoun family is a cause of assuming and stereotypes. In this biography, Eggers helps inform his readers about
This is a 39% increase in the Australian Muslim growth rate since 2001, alarmingly, surpassing Australia’s current total population projections, however, although Islam is the fastest growing religion internationally, it is not domestically and Muslims are still an under represented minority in Australia. The above mentioned figures are an example as to how statistics can be manipulated into the wrong context to fit a media publications own construction of Muslim discourse. The contemporary (post 2000) links between Muslims and terrorism made by the media were the unprecedented widespread attacks in the United States that occurred on 11 September 2001. These events set the scene for the Australian medias role in implicitly and explicitly identifying Muslims as the other, equating Muslims [and Islam] with the threat of terrorism (Anne Ally,2007). An example of the equating of Islam with terrorism is Sharia Law. The media often associates this holy law of Islam documenting the expectations of Allah, and the positive principles followed by billions of Muslims of different backgrounds and cultures globally through scenes of brutality and oppression of the people in the conflicted middle eastern region linking it to the corrupted Jihadist fighters
blight on society rather than a useful addition. Abdul presents controversial ideas and themes such as the discrimination that Muslims face in everyday life, the ‘expectation’ all Muslims are extremist, and that they are seen by some as ‘less than
The purpose of this paper is to highlight social and legal constructions of both Muslim femininities and masculinities in regards to race, gender, and the Canadian law. This essay will also explore the cultural challenges Muslims face in Canadian society and why there is still a big part of prejudice involved against them as well as examining cultural racism. Men and women are equal in humanity according to Islam; Islam doesn’t teach men to oppress his female counterpart. Women are not oppressed by ordaining to Islamic laws or by embracing the hijab. The culture of the colonizers use the ‘us and them’ or ‘other’ dichotomy as a way to oppress a social group and to grab their identity away. Muslim men have different identities then the one portrayed in the press. The identities of Muslim masculinity and femininity are wrongly shown in the press as an aberrant peoples
Queer anthropology is often identified under cultural anthropology and combined with studies like gender studies. It focuses on the intersectionality of human life with various identities. Queer anthropologists ask questions around queer theory and how the social constructs of identity can be challenged to envelop a new wave of thinking. Looking back on historical trends like Stonewall, researchers can see how progressive – or not- society has become in teaching history beyond the normative. They can observe how queer history is often blocked out of education in favor of the
Today, Islam is seen as a violent religion, the mention of Muslims anywhere strike fear into people. But yet there are more Muslim doctors, writers, engineers, scientist, thriving in first world countries than anyone else. Muslim people lack the ability to have their own identity due to the medias interpretation of them. It’s even more for Muslim women because they will forever be painted as Oppressed. In American Muslim Women by Jamillah Karim, the author gathers information about barriers Muslim women face living in Chicago and Atlanta, either through segregations, discrimination, and gender roles. The author mentions how people of the same ethnic background tend to stay together, instead of branching outside or their race, and how Muslim women are treated like underdogs when they interact with Muslim men in the mosque, at work, and etc. People that normally identify with the same race, religion, and ethnicity tend to stay together. This reading discussed “boundaries” that women face in the mosque and how they are bound to the back, while men are privileged with front row seats, closer to the Unman. The reason could be that these women that
September 11th holds many hard and upset feelings around the world today. The harsh actions of Muslim extremists unfortunately completely changed the way Muslims are treated, especially in the United States. These events, exacerbated islamophobia. Unfortunately, “the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, connect Muslims and Islam to terrorism within the geographical borders of the United States.” (Byng) Although it has been over a decade since the attack, many still feel racist and discriminatory attitudes towards Muslims. Muslims are the targeted minority in the United States, “the 9/11 terrorist attacks shifted the social and political context for Muslims in the United States. Terrorism within the geographical borders of the United States carried out by Muslims places an identity at the center of national and global politics.” (Byng) The blame of the horrible terrorist attacks, rather than be placed on terrorists or religious extremist, has been placed on Islam in America. After September 11th, hate crimes towards Muslims skyrocketed, “the most dramatic change noted by the report was a more than 1,600 percent increase in reported hate crimes against Muslims -- a jump from 28 hate incidents in 2000 to 481 last year.”
This film is extremely relevant to my study of women and religion because it sheds light on how being a Muslim is not limited to possessing a religious identity. In other words, it explores the totality of women and how they live their lives in daily contexts. Additionally, this film is relevant to my study of women and religion because it strategically offers experiences of women in a way that defeats orientalist beliefs concerted by western cultures. To illustrate the importance of this theme the director stated, “I don’t see them as ‘Muslim’ women; I just see them as women. I hope the documentary deconstructs that sense of ‘otherness’ that has been attached to women who wear the veil."
Queer theory could potentially offer the most qualitative of methodologies for collecting and analysing data. As it questions, even defies, the notions of objectivity and the essentiality of fact, queer theory opens more “texts” for study, and more bodies of knowledge to compile, compare, and evaluate.2
One day, peeking out into the rapidly developing, peaceful, beautiful nation when chaos spread. Our Country was being attacked. Word spread out Iraqi forces started attacking our borders. I, being chief of the Kuwaiti military acted by informing out countries leader. Whom called border control suddenly and placed the country on lockdown. Stopping any external threat immediately, However internally trouble spread. People thought this was the beginning of the end of this country.
Gender segregation is still common in the Middle East and both genders are expected to fulfill their designated roles within society. There is a lot of pressure for both genders to marry and to not do so is considered “social disaster”. Arranged marriages are not uncommon, especially among the more traditional families (Whitaker) and in this relationship, men are generally considered the “active” partners while their wives are the “passive” partners (Tolino 5). These ideas are prominent throughout society in the Middle East and create problems for individuals who do not conform to their assigned roles, specifically members of the LGBT community. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, although all gender and “sexual minorities” are considered part of this community (Human Rights Watch 69). LGBT individuals face struggles all around the world, but their problems are more pronounced in the Middle East, where the concept of homosexuality is vastly different than in the West. People in the Middle East generally view homosexuality as a “Western invention” and there is no clear distinction between “sex” and “gender”. The classification of an individual as “gay” does not always relate to “a physical act with someone of the same gender”. A male could be considered “gay” simply for not conforming to gender roles or acting feminine (Simmons 1). In the Middle East, members of the LGBT community face extreme inequality, primarily in the form of homophobic laws with
The connection between Islam and terrorism was not intensified until the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center that pushed the Islamic faith into the national and international spotlight (Smith, 2013). As Smith (2013) articulated, “Many Americans who had never given Islam a second thought before 9/11 now had to figure out how to make sense of these events and relate to the faith tradition that ostensibly inspired them” (p. 1). One way in which people made sense of these events was through the media channels that influenced their overall opinions by shaping a framework of censored ideas (Yusof, Hassan, Hassan & Osman, 2013). In a survey conducted by Pew Forum (2012), 32% of people reported that their opinions of Muslims were greatly influenced by the media’s portrayal of Islam that depicted violent pictorials and fundamentalist Muslims. Such constant negative depiction is likely to lead to the inevitable—prejudice and hate crime. For instance, in 2002 alone there were approximately 481 hate crimes that were carried out against Muslims (Smith, 2013). Ever since the 9/11 attacks Muslim people have been the target of “suspicion, harassment and discrimination” (Talal, n.d., p. 9).
This is a significant aspect of the course because the article examines the strengths and weaknesses of femininity through a cultural Muslim perspective and the reading is a prime example of how ideologies regarding race affect those involved. In class we have discussed the significances of social constructs and how assumptions are made on the basis of physical characteristics. In this situation, identity is related to gender as Muslim women are categorized as both good/respectful and rebellious/evil individuals because they are apart of a culture where they are both oppressed and liberated simultaneously.