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Khan, Abeera (2022) On The Fraught Politics of Becoming: A Queer Feminist Analysis of Queer Muslim Subjectivation. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Restricted to Repository staff only until 8 July 2025.


This thesis critically examines the production of the ‘queer Muslim’ subject in contemporary Britain. It asks, how and why does the queer Muslim subject gain relevancy in particular political and historical convergences? To explore this question, it offers three interrelated queer feminist analyses of ‘queer Muslim’ as a category. First, it argues that the interpellation of queer Muslims in the British imaginary relies on affirming Britain’s imperial hostility towards Islam through sexual exceptionalism, a hailing that forecloses a relational understanding of queer Muslim vulnerability. In response, I foreground this relationality through a genealogical analysis of the queer Muslim subject’s location within coloniality, whereby the queer Muslim holds contradictory positions in relation to the ideological perseverance of Islam-as-Threat and the looming spectre of Muslim deviance. Second, it interrogates how queer Muslim as a category has gained salience in the British landscape of identity politics under (post-/)multiculturalism. Rather than search for a history of the category’s deployment, I instead suggest that we may find the reverberations of a radical queer Muslim politic in the histories of relation that linger in anti-racist and queer of colour movements. Third, I argue for the necessity of ambivalence towards the category of queer Muslim itself. I suggest that the exclusionary normativities that have congealed into the category can be overcome if we search for the collision between ‘queer’ and ‘Muslim’ in cultural and communal sites that exist athwart from the (pro)claiming of ‘queer Muslim’ as an identity.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Alyosxa Tudor and Rahul Rao
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2022 17:23

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