Mehrdad Alipour, born in Iran. Ph.D. from the University of Qom, Iran. Researcher at VU University Amsterdam.
Scholars-at-Risk Fellow (1 September 2015 – 30 June 2016)
Negotiating Same-Sex Desire and Act in Islam: A Philosophical- Hermeneutical Analysis of Islamic Sources and Muslim Queer Theology
How theological repertoires are negotiated and what effects patriarchal and revisionist Islamic theologies have on views toward same-sex desires and acts among Muslim scholars, public thinkers, and activists?
How this fosters exclusion or inclusion of Muslim homosexuals and bisexuals?
This project investigates the discursive space for negotiating same-sex desires and acts in Islam. Both in Muslim-majority and in Western Muslim-minority societies, sexual diversity is generally met with strong opposition from Islamic voices, fueled by traditional patriarchal interpretations. Revisionist interpretations proffered by Islamic scholars urge for increasing tolerance. However, only limited conversation takes place between various grassroots actors, between traditional and revisionist scholars, and between scholars and grassroots communities. The analysis of the role of religious patriarchy among Muslim communities and the alternative theological interpretations therefore merit scholarly attention. This project will explore the discursive space regarding Islam and same-sex desires and acts within Muslim traditional and revisionist scholars, public thinkers, and activists through critical philosophical and hermeneutical reflection on the theological arguments and conversations of Islamic scholars. The urgency of the project is found in two conflicts: one between Western societies and traditional patriarchal interpretations of Islam, which leads to orientalist views of Islam as backwards and oppressing. The other between Islamic (sub)cultures and communities and individual homo- or bisexual Muslims who experience discrimination and violence. In our globalizing world these two conflicts meet and intensify each other. A critical exploration of the discursive space in both conflicts seems essential to foster dialogue and this critical exploration should be performed with and by Islamic voices with conflicting perspectives.
Alipour, M. Same- Sex Desires and Acts in Islam: A Theological Reflection on Kugle’s and Naraghi’s Approaches. (2015). The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community of Iran: Examining Human Rights from Religious, Social, Legal and Cultural Perspectives. Farid Haerinejad (ed). International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission: 76-92.
Alipour, M. & H. Hasani. (2011). Paradigm e- Ijtihadi ye- Danesh e- Dini (The Ijtihadic Paradigm of Religious Science – Farsi). Howzweh and University Press (Iran).
Alipour, M. Hikmat e- Ishraq e- Suhrewardi (The Principles and Foundations of Philosophy of Illumination of Suhrewardi- Farsi). (2011). (Co-authored with Y. Yazdanpanah of Bager al- Ulom University). Tehran: Samt press.