“The adaptation and interpretation of Islamic texts by average Muslims, denied by Hirsi Ali, Kelek et al., is an everyday practice across the world, including Europe: Islam’s positions on women’s rights and homosexuality are already vigorously debated in Muslim communities, often invisible to a dominant society still not ready to enter an open dialogue—and to a gay and lesbian community not ready to include Muslim queers. Instead, there is a muted reaction whenever these voices try to enter a mainstream that seems largely preoccupied with Islam’s inherent homophobia. Repeating the model described in the last section with regard to Muslim women, homophobia among Muslims is defined as inevitably produced by their culture/religion, Islam itself representing the threat, which in turn, is present in every Muslim—and every Muslim is held fully responsible for the behavior of the community as a whole. While gay voices such as U.S. journalist Bruce Bawer or politician Pim Fortuyn gain additional credibility when supporting the image of Islam’s inherent intolerance, Muslim queers—like women wearing the hijab—appear as silenced victims, their only salvation the rejection of Islam and their ethnic community and the embrace of a majoritarian gay identity.
“Within this binary discursive formation, the Western LGBT community has the role of civilizer, while queer Muslims have nothing to offer, as they, like all Muslims, are products of a culture that is fundamentally inferior to the secular West. This dichotomy puts all nonwhite, non-Western queers in a similar predicament: communities of color appear as by default homophobic and heterosexual, the queer community as by default white, reflecting a global discourse of progress and human rights in which the white West invariably takes the lead, maybe not always progressively enough, but certainly always more so than anyone else. The trope can be reinforced quickly because it references well-known clichés perceived as truth, since they align with the overarching binary discourse affirming Europe’s status as the center of progress and humanism. A successful challenge to this mechanism therefore requires a simultaneous engagement with all of these discursive tropes and their anchoring in European conceptions of public space and time used to subordinate the rest of the world and people of color.”
- From the chapter “Secular Submissions: Muslim Europeans, Female Bodies, and Performative Politics”