Academic journal article Michigan Academician

Middle Eastern Studies

Academic journal article Michigan Academician

Middle Eastern Studies

Article excerpt

The Colonialist Closet: the LGBT Rights Movement in the "Middle East" and Its Interpretation, in Historical Context. Kristin LaLonde, Wayne State University, School of Library & Information Science

Civil rights and their necessity in a modern, globalized society are an increasingly popular topic for young activists and community organizers in the region known as the "Middle East". But while this movement has become more popular in general, the civil rights of the Mid-East LGBT community have not been addressed until very recently and when they are addressed they have been met with great opposition, even from within the civil rights community. At first glance, one would assume that the lack of support for Mid-East LGBT civil rights movements is due solely to conservative religious interpretation or traditional family structures but there are also other political and historical causes for this neglect. While homosexuality is recognized to have existed for thousands of years in the region, the LGBT civil rights movement is seen as a distinctly "Western" movement and thus interpreted as another method of Western imperialism attempting to appropriate and destroy the indigenous culture. My paper will discuss the modern LGBT rights movement in the Middle East, the political sources of opposition that it faces and their context within the larger Mid-East political-historical landscape. …

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