Muslim Response to Sexual Diversity in Canada and the United States

This is a SSHRC-funded research project in collaboration with Momin Rahman, Dept. of Sociology, Trent University.

Our research aims centre on the question, what is the extent and shape of queer Muslim visibility in Canada, with some comparative reference to the United States? Part of what we are exploring is the the public visibility, organizational formation and lived experience of queer Muslims. We aim to assess the extent to which they have secured visibility and recognition both within their ethno-religious communities and within Canadian and American LGBT communities. What kind of identities have developed among queer Muslims; what kinds of networks have they have formed; and what is their relationship is to mainstream queer groups and Muslim organizations? My part of the project focuses on the response among non-queer Muslims to LGBT issues, and to the growing visibility of sexual diversity within their own communities. This requires the assessment of public beliefs of Muslims and looking at the role of major Muslim organizations in public debates over the recognition of sexual diversity. Researching these questions necessarily contributes to urgent discussions of the extent to which ethnic minorities integrate into their host societies, and the ways in which culturally and/or religiously-based identities shape their socio-political beliefs.

We expect research on this project to continue through 2017 and part of 2018.