Sunday, January 02, 2005

Muslim fags

I am sitting in a cafe, working on a course syllabus. I have had no electricity since yesterday morning. Even though I started the new year in the dark, I tried to have a good attitude and look at the bright side- at least for the first week of the year! That was until I saw this. I love Iranian.com and admire Jahanshah Javid for being able to maintain this fantastic online magazine despite all the strange material he receives. I often read and move on when I'm annoyed by an article, but there are times like this when I cannot take it any longer and have to say something. No matter how strongly one disagrees with suicide bombing, I find it appalling when in an attempt to condemn it, one subscribes to hegemonic representations of Arabs and Muslims. Baniameri's article not only others Muslim men, but also targets queers by using homophobic and hateful language. His satire is a distasteful repetition of the famous "hijack this fag"- only this time written on pages of a cyber magazine rather than on a physical bomb. How many times have we heard the stereotypical pathologization of Muslim men that uses the narrative of virgins and its psychological implications- a knowledge that is informed by post World War II terrorism studies and has established itself as "scientific truth"? How many times have we seen homophobic men use references to anal penetration in order to belittle others? Can one be more creative in her/his critique or satire and move away from cliche stereotypes?


The sidebar image is taken from Mahmoud Pakzad's "Old Tehran", Did Publishers, 1994. Thanks to Jahanshah Javid (www.iranian.com) for sharing it.

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