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In her contribution to Sexuality in Muslim Contexts: Restrictions and Resistance (ZED Book, UK), Anissa Hélie contrasts the emphasis on victimization of both ‘Muslim women’ and ‘gay Muslims’ in mainstream Western discourses with actual strategies designed by advocates of gender equality and sexual rights from Muslim contexts.These strategies include religious reinterpretation efforts in South Africa and Indonesia, and organizing geared towards public visibility in Lebanon, Turkey and Morocco.

Deconstructing the false dichotomy between an ‘enlightened West’ and ‘oppressive Muslim contexts’, Hélie insists on the need to take into account a broad range of factors that impact the ability of both individuals and collectives to claim bodily rights. Drawing the links between limitations placed on women’s rights and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Hélie argues that broader coalitions should be build if gender equality is to be achieved.



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