Sexual Orientation Diversity and Islam


Lecture by Professor Jawad Syed at the SexGen Seminar

Date: 30 October 2015
Venue: Quayside, University of Huddersfield

British South Asian Issues of Gender and Sexuality foreground some of the challenges and opportunities facing British South Asians living in the UK today. These experiences are forged via the intersections of age and generation, ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual identity and other social characteristics such as socio-economic class and spatiality. Whilst not avoiding ‘thorny issues’ such as forced marriage, sexual orientation and the impact of fundamentalism, the workshop placed these in the context of the many different subjectivities that British South Asians have, and highlighted agentic coping strategies for dealing with racism and other social inequalities.

Professor Syed’s lecture highlighted the Islam vs West oppositional binaries that currently dominate the issues of sexual orientation diversity with reference to Muslim communities and tend to ignore important colonial and other historical contexts within which such debates are to be placed and critically evaluated. Syed also presented examples of agency and dynamism and heterogeneity of approaches to this topic within Muslim communities.

Speakers :
• Nafhesa Ali (University of Huddersfield): Older South Asian migrant (SAM) women, gender and sexuality: Constructing ‘appropriate femininities’
• Santokh Gill (University of Huddersfield): British Sikh Masculinities in Transition
• Sarah-Jane Page (Aston University): South Asian Identities, Religions and LGBTQI Sexualities: Attitudes and Experiences’
• Jawad Syed (University of Huddersfield) : Islam and Sexual Diversity
• Katherine Twamley (UCL): Sex and intimacy among Gujarati Indians in the UK and India

Seminar Organisers: Surya Monro and Jo Woodiwiss.

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