The best metaphor to understand what some woke Muslim academics are are trying to do to Islam is cosmetic surgery.
Cut what you don’t like, and use implants to fill in any gaps, until you get precisely the shape of wokeness.
When you say you are going to “queer” Islam or any part of it, you are announcing a project of total destabilization and dissolution until all that remains is an identity without any moral or intellectual legacy.
“Queering” Islam is not going to “rescue” it from the oppressive ideologies of modernity. That is really the most insane claim I’ve seen recently. It’s like Trump calling himself a friend to “the blacks”.
“Queer theory” is NOT simply theory about or by queer people. No. It is an anti-rational political project meant to destroy the possibility of stable knowledge. “Queering” is not only LGBTQ related, though it started there.
“One feature common to all queer perspectives is critique of what is perceived as normative, destabilising the status of norms as ‘given’ or taken for granted… no position is safe or stable from a queer perspective.” -Erica Li Lundqvist “Leaving Islam from a Queer Perspective”
Thomas Dowson: “Queer theory is very definitely not restricted to homosexual men and women, but to any one who feels their position (sexual, intellectual, or cultural) to be marginalized”
In this respect one should mentally replace “queer theory” and “queering” with “hyper-deconstruction”. That’s what it is—the bleeding edge of postmodernism. It is philosophical quackery.
One cynical trick is that if you oppose “queering” or “queer theory” it means you are targeting queer people. This is false. “Queering” means a hyper-anti-essentialism about everything e.g. disability or fatness.
Queer theory is not limited to establishing rights for LGBTQ people or to protect them from harm. It is a metaphysical and philosophical approach, not a civil rights program.
If people want to do “queer theory” that’s really their business. But when it comes to “queering Islam” one is trespassing.
“The Quran is teeming with queer potential” spouts a confused man who thinks the Mevlevis wear women’s skirts (!), in a shockingly ignorant TED-talk plugged by a well known Muslim academic who wants to build a queer Islamic studies consortium.
Some think what I’m saying is overblown, but too often Muslim intellectuals want to argue over history or do journalism about the present. One also has to see what’s coming, and what we’ll be leaving our kids and students.
Queer theory is coming for the whole thing. If you think queer theory, actually a total project of hyper-deconstruction, will stop at LGBTQ rights, you’re dreaming. It’s not “going to” happen. It’s already happening.
There’s a real “We have to burn the village in order to save it” feeling to “queering Islam”. Think of it like this: Instead of feeding the homeless, “demarginalize” them by bulldozing everyone else’s houses.
Ask those pushing for the queering of Islam: what moral or intellectual principle is non negotiable in queer theory? (The only principle is that there are no principles.) Ask them.
Again, queer theory is not queer or a theory, but a project to destroy everyone’s ability to think in terms of right and wrong. It is hyper skepticism about everything except their own right to do and say what they want.
How deep is the lizard hole?