The Dutch Homo-Emancipation Policy and its Silencing Effects on Queer Muslims

Feminist Legal Studies 19 (2):143-158 (2011)
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The recent Dutch homo-emancipation policy has identified religious communities, particularly within migrant populations, as a core target group in which to make homosexuality more ‘speakable’. In this article we examine the paradoxical silencing tendencies of this ‘speaking out’ policy on queer Muslim organisations in the Netherlands. We undertake this analysis as the Dutch government is perhaps unique in developing an explicit ‘homo-emancipation’ policy and is often looked to as the model for sexuality politics and legal redress in relation to inequalities on the basis of sexual orientation. We highlight how the ‘speakability’ imperative in the Dutch homo-emancipation policy reproduces a paradigmatic, ‘homonormative’ model of an ‘out’ and ‘visible’ queer sexuality that has also come to be embedded in an anti-immigrant and specifically anti-Muslim discourse in the Netherlands. Drawing on the concept of habitus, particularly in the work of Gloria Wekker, we suggest that rather than relying on a ‘speakability’ policy model, queer Muslim sexualities need to be understood in a more nuanced and intersecting way that attends to their lived realities



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