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Queer Muslims in Europe

Belgium was the second country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage. It has an elaborate legal system for protecting the rights of LGBT individuals in general and LGBT asylum seekers in particular. At the same time, since 2015 the country has become known as the `jihadi centre of Europe' and criticized for its `homonationalism' where some queer subjects - such as ethnic, racial and religious minorities, or those with a migrant background - are excluded from the dominant discourse on LGBT rights. Queer Muslims living in the country exist in this complex context and their identities are often disregarded as implausible. This book foregrounds the lived experiences of queer Muslims who migrated to Belgium because of their sexuality and queer Muslims who are the children of economic migrants. Based on extensive fieldwork, Wim Peumans examines how these Muslims negotiate silence and disclosure around their sexuality and understand their religious beliefs. He also explores how the sexual identity of queer Muslims changes within a context of transnational migration. In focusing on people with different migration histories and ethnic backgrounds, this book challenges the heteronormativity of Migration Studies and reveals the interrelated issues involved in migration, sexuality and religion. The research will be valuable for those working on immigration, refugees, LGBT issues, public policy and contemporary Muslim studies.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Part I. Towards an Understanding of Silence and Disclosure 1. Belgium: the heart of a Europe in crisis 2. Moralities of Gender, Sexuality and Kinship: Navigating Silence and Disclosure in Kin Relationships 3. Sexuality in a Transnational Social field: The Family Visit Part II. Hardships of the Heart: Same-Sex Sexualities and Transnational Migration 4. Sexuality and Asylum in Changing Moral Worlds 5. Migration and the Transformations of Intimacy 6. The Pinnacle of Homonormativity? Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Migrants in the Pride Parade Part III. Between Piety and Pleasure: Ambivalence and the Moral Self 7. `Inside I Feel it Seethe and Boil': the Moral Breakdown between Religion and Sexuality 8. `There is Nothing I Can Do!': changing Ritual Practices, Changing Moral Selves Breakdown? On Ambivalence and the Moral Self 8.5. Conclusion Appendix 1. List of Organizations and Participants Notes

About the Author

Wim Peumans is an associated researcher in the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. In 2016, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the same center, working on the Andrew Mellon funded project, "Governing Morality: Sexuality, Gender and Asylum in South Africa." As a fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO - Vlaanderen) he obtained his Ph.D. in social and cultural anthropology at the Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre at KU Leuven. He has also been a visiting trainee fellow at the University of Kent - Canterbury. Peumans' Master's thesis was published as a book and his work has appeared in various journals, including Sexualities, the Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies, Studi Emigrazione/Migration Studies.

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