On my pile of things to blog about has long sat a pamphlet by Robert Spencer, The Islamic Jihad Against Gays: Why isn’t the Muslim Students Association speaking out? Published by the conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center, the pamphlet addresses an issue which most (but fortunately not all) liberal groups and gay organizations care to consider, the plight of our fellows in Islamofascist nations like Iran.
Now, another one of David’s media enterprises is addressing anti-gay attitudes among Islamic scholars, an issue to which many gay organizations seem blind. On yesterday’s Front Page Magazine, straight blogger Eric Golub reported on a “lecture last week at the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES)” where Joseph Massad, associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University, offered some theories which, if offered by a conservative would raise the hackles of gay organizations from coast to coast.
Golub calls the talk “anti-gay,” but from his report, it sounded just plain bizarre to me:
Massad . . . explained that “Queer is about resistance to Islam.” Similarly, he said that “There is no Arabic transliteration of queer. It is a judgmental notice of deviance.” In a particularly striking claim, Massad insisted that, for Muslims, concepts like “hate and sexuality are only translatable to English-speaking people.” Muslim honor killings, presumably, are only a figment of non-Muslims imagination.
Massad also used the occasion to present a novel – and decidedly homophobic – conspiracy theory. “Queer is an imperialist term,” he announced. “It is part of the Anglo-American gay agenda.” Indeed, according to Massad, “queer is an example of cultural imperialism.”
Now, I’m not particularly partial to the term “queer,” but wouldn’t even consider calling it an “imperialist” term.
It’s good to see mainstream conservative organizations addressing the plight of gays in Iran and confronting the prejudiced attitude certain Islamic scholars have toward people like us. It would be nice if our home-grown gay organizations also took note of these prejudices.