Queer Theory is Neither Queer nor a Theory (the case of Islam)

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 content.

“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.

If people want to do “queer theory” that’s really their business. Your time is yours to waste. But when it comes to “queering Islam” you are trespassing.

“The Quran is teeming with queer potential” spouts a confused man who thinks the Mevlevis wear women’s skirts, in a TED-talk plugged by Amina Wadud,  an icon for woke Muslim academics.

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.

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. 

How deep is the lizard hole?

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