Islam and Homosexuality

by Samar Habib, Editor


Same-sex intercourse is condemned outright under Islamic law, and today, convictions of homosexual behavior are punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, and Yemen. Yet a study of Islamic religion and history shows a more nuanced view of homosexuality than often realized—and evidence indicates that a genuine LGBTIQ movement is gaining momentum in the Muslim world.

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Cover image for Islam and Homosexuality

November 2009


Pages 503
Volumes 2
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Religion/General

An extensive collection of essays that examines the place of homosexuality in the contemporary and classical Muslim world.

The place of sexual and gender minorities in the contemporary Islamic world is the subject of fascinating new directions in research and scholarly thought. Islam and Homosexuality gathers together 20 experts exploring these issues to provide an expansive look at the treatment of same-sex interactions in Muslim cultures today.

Islam and Homosexuality offers one volume on the specific experiences of gay Muslims today and a second volume viewing the issue from a global perspective. Essays explore the lives of LGBTIQ persons in both Islamic nations and Muslim communities in non-Islamic countries. Additional writings explore the roots of homophobia in the theology of Islam, the various judgments against homosexuality in the different schools of Islamic law, and the potential scriptural basis for including LGBTIQ persons in the Muslim community. No other resource on the relationship between LGBTIQ persons and the world's largest religion covers the topic with anything approaching this work's range or depth.


  • Includes the work of 21 contributors, each a groundbreaking scholar on this multifaceted subject
  • A foreword by Parvez Sharma, filmmaker of A Jihad for Love


  • Examines the lives of LGBTIQ and Muslim persons in diasporic Muslim communities around the world
  • Establishes a theological basis for an Islamic faith tolerant of gender and sexual minorities
  • Reveals the distinctions in the ways Islam regards different types of same-sex behavior
  • Measures the influence of Western tradition on the Muslim world in regards to homosexuality
Author Info

Dr. Samar Habib, PhD, lectures at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and is the chief editor of Nebula. Her published works include Female Homosexuality in the Middle East: Histories and Representations and Arabo-Islamic Texts on Female Homosexuality: 850-1780 A.D.



"Presented in two volumes by Habib (U. of Western Sydney, Australia), this collection contains 20 papers examining a diverse set of issues concerning homosexuality in the Islamic world. The first volume concentrates on the experiences of homosexual minorities across the breadth of the Islamic world and includes comparison of the persecution of homosexuals in Islamic Malaysia and secular China, the impact of 9/11 on gay Muslims in the United States, male homoerotic desire and sociability in medieval Arabic literature, gays in American-occupied Iraq, gay autobiographical writing about the Hajj, the ideological underpinnings of gay advance in Muslim-majority societies as witnessed in online chat rooms, female masculinities and the Malay Muslim community of Singapore, and neo-orthodoxy and the debate on the unlawfulness of same-sex relations in Islam. Topics addressed in the second volume include the social construction of religious realities by queer Muslims, synthesizing tradition and modernity in the question of homosexuality in Islam, narratives from diasporic Muslim women on identity and gay liberation, hegemony and hybridity among queer Australian Muslims, queer Turkish organizations in Berlin and the marketing of diversity, and sexualities and the social order in Arab and Muslim communities."Reference & Research Book News

"A timely work for both public and academic libraries, this set undoubtedly will engender intensive, if not heated, discussion. Essential. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students; general readers."Choice

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