Homosexuality in Islam has long been a thorny topic, not just in some Muslim-majority and Muslim-minority countries, where responses to homosexuality range from clandestine acceptance to exemplary state-sponsored punishment, but also in the allegedly liberal West, where being Muslim and queer can be controversial. In our increasingly more variegated communities, the challenge to live out the Islamic faith while being sexually anti-normative is more complex and worthier of attention than ever. The purpose of this symposium is to bring together prominent voices in the exploration of Islam and sexual dissidence in order to gauge the intersecting workings of Islamophobia and homophobia.
The keynote speaker for this public-facing event is Dr Amanullah De Sondy, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam at University College Cork (Ireland), and author of The Crisis of Islamic Masculinities (Bloomsbury, 2013).
We have scholars, activists, artists, and filmmakers coming to deliver talks and to join the discussion. Our speakers are:
- Peter Cherry: postgraduate scholar of British Muslim literature and film at the University of Edinburgh
- Tareq Sayyid Rajab de Montfort: trailblazing British Arab artist of Kuwaiti and Basrawi heritage
- Rusi Jaspal: Chair Psychology and Sexual Health at De Montfort University working on social psychology and sexual health
- Sara Khan: British Muslim human rights activist and director of Inspire, a counter-extremism and women’s rights organisation
- Ian Iqbal Rashid, a Canadian poet and filmmaker of Ismaili heritage born in Tanzania, and creator of Touch of Pink
- Asifa Siraj: Sociology scholar researching British Pakistani Muslim lesbians
- Aleardo Zanghellini: Chair of Law and Social Theory at the University of Reading, working on law, gender, and sexuality