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17. Sexualities and Queer Studies

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Chapter Summary

Muslim gender and sexual minorities have in the last decade displayed unprecedented visibility and political activism, through both self-representations and grassroots organizing in diasporic and local contexts. Scholars of faith, who engage theology from a nonsecular perspective proceed to highlight Qurʾānic verses describing and upholding diversity, and verses which refer to union between people in gender neutral terms (such as the word zawj, which means "pair"). Others emphasize the values of love and ethical conduct praised in the Qurʾān, or refer to the historical coexistence of the Prophet with gender non-normative "men" - mukhannathūn. There is fertile ground for studies yet to be conducted on the existence of these sites of subversion of heteronormativity in Muslim societies, which require tools and methods of analysis that combine Islamic and sociological queer studies.

Keywords: heteronormativity; Muslim gender; Prophet; queer studies; Qurʾān; zawj



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