Contemporary Islam

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 79–97 | Cite as

‘Out to get us’: queer Muslims and the clash of sexual civilisations in Australia

  • Ibrahim Abraham


Drawing on qualitative data from interviews with twelve queer Muslims in Australia, this article analyses the ongoing struggle for queer Muslim recognition within the context of the so-called ‘Clash of Civilisations’. Analysing the rhetoric of national security and ‘Western’ civilisational identity, this article interrogates the incorporation of sexuality into the cultural and political discourse of the ‘war on terror’, from the xenophobic demonisation of Muslims as sexual predators, to liberal Islamophobia that posits Islam as an aggressive and alien Other against which liberal capitalism must be defended. Within this hostile environment, queer Muslims in Australia are articulating various strategies for finding meaning in their lives. From a Marxist perspective, this article analyses these strategies for recognition which range from complex acts of ‘closeting’ sexual, ethnic and religious identities, to subversive acts of critical hybridity that seek to negate the exclusionary nature of homophobia and Islamophobia within Australia’s multicultural society.


Australia Homosexuality Islam Multiculturalism War on terror 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of SociologyUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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