Contemporary Islam

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 41–57 | Cite as

The construction of the homosexual ‘other’ by British Muslim heterosexuals

  • Asifa SirajEmail author


Islam’s explicit condemnation of homosexuality has created a theologically based homophobia which engenders the intolerance of homosexuals by Muslims. In this article I explore Muslim attitudes towards homosexuality and homosexuals as this area has elicited very little research. Based on structured interviews with 68 Muslim male and female heterosexuals I examine the connection between participants’ attitudes towards homosexuality and their understanding of gender and gender roles. I also analyse whether participants’ views are shaped by their religious beliefs and values. Age, gender, education and level of religiosity are analysed to see whether they affect attitudes. Data suggest that participants held negative attitudes towards homosexuals and this is the result of being religiously conservative in their attitudes towards homosexuality and gender roles.


Complementarity Gender Heterosexism Heterosexuality Homosexuality Islam 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Applied Social SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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