Querying “queering Islam”
“Queering Islam” was once a thrilling process for me.
I was quick to fall out of interest with writings that sought to theorise on sexualities in Islam. Much of it, I felt, dealt with Islam as a box that one could either be in or out of.; there was little acknowledgement of its malleability and porousness. I cheered on when Massad stated that it is “Islam in sexuality” that must be studied instead.
“Queering Islam”, in contrast, seemed to disrupt the normative approaches towards sexualities.
But what happens when disruption becomes the purpose rather than the method? When the relationship between queerness and Islam is imagined to be a linear one that either converges, diverges or runs parallel with the other? When the script of a transnational, transhistorical queerness is made to clash with the script of a transnational, transhistorical Islam? When we fail to pause and ask just who authored these scripts? When queering carries the weight of the history and context it was born in and therefore leads to the dismissal of actual queer Muslim experiences?
When we are left believing that is a never-ending clash?