Sunday, September 30, 2012

Discussion Questions for "Gender & Sexuality in Islam" Course - Week 3

For a previous set of questions for the same class, please click here.

Readings for the following questions are: "Yoesuf: An Islamic Idea with Dutch Quality" by Omar Nahas, and "'Yes, But Suppose Everyone Turned Gay?": The Structure of Attitudes toward Gay and Lesbian Rights among Islamic Youth in Belgium" by Marc Hooghe, Yves Dejaeghere, Ellen Claes, and Ellen Quintelier

Now, the Questions.
2. Pick an article (or both of them) that you really enjoyed and appreciated. What is the main point of this article? Does it have any major pros and cons? Why, if at all, do you think it is an important contribution to your understanding of Muslims but especially of LGBT issues among Muslims?

3. In Nahas's article, we are informed about the kind of work that the Muslim-Dutch organization, The Yoesuf Foundation, does and its efforts in empowering LGBT Muslims. What are some of its accomplishments? Why, if at all, do you think this organization is important to Muslims, especially to Muslims against homosexuality and homosexuals?

4.  On Page 130, we read: "... Our strategy is to leave aside holy texts as they are, and to focus instead on the changeable aspects of the Muslim community's ideas on homosexuality. We find this strategy to be appropriate when attempting to address the many actors contributing to aggression and intolerance towards homosexuality." What does this mean? How, if at all, do you think it is possible to help change people's views about this issue while "leaving aside holy texts"? (Depending on your answer, Hooghe, et al.'s article with a strong discussion on the various factors that contribute to a hostile attitude towards homosexuals might be helpful. See Question 7 for details.)

From the article "'Yes, But Suppose Everyone Turned Gay?'"

5. On pages 137-138, we are introduced to the question "is multiculturalism bad for LGBTs?" How is this question elaborated, particularly on the subject of LGBTs?

6. On pages 138 and 142, the authors critique existing measurement scales for homophobia. What is this critique, and what is their suggestion regarding it?

7. In "Yes, But Suppose Everyone Turned Gay?" the authors discuss multiple reasons that might explain why LGBT Muslims counter hostility from other Muslims in western Europe. Discuss at least three of these reasons.

8.  According to many studies on homosexual Muslims, "Girls offer a far more liberal outlook on homosexuality than boys tend to do" (p. 146). We are not told, however, why this might be. Relying on your own experiences and/or observations, how/can you explain this?

9. Hooghe, et al., why do families take such a strong interest in the sexual preferences of young adults? What do the interviewees say?

10. How and why is selfishness attached to homosexuality among the discussants of this study?

11. What are some of the main conclusions of this study? Why is it important to know these (the conclusions)?

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