“Refugees and Islam: Representing Race, Rights, Cohabitation.” Journalism, Gender and Power. Eds. Cynthia Carter, Linda Steiner and Stuart Allan. Routledge, 2019.
“First, locating the origins of sexist and homophobic violence solely or primarily in the country of origin obscures a complex picture; sexist and homophobic violence exist throughout the world. We ought to be able to create representations of experiences of homophobia and misogyny that validate refugee experience, recognize the existence of queer refugees, and recognize that activists against homophobic and sexist violence also exist in refugee communities. By the same token, those who write about refugees should be wary of easy binaries of the civilized West and the backwards other. Many refugees, with good reason, apply for asylum
based on homophobic and gender-based discrimination in their previous country of residence. This does not legitimate a representational politics that excludes people from these countries from participation in contemporary German society, and ignores the work and activism of Muslim women and GLBTQI people and women and GLBTQI people of color. Furthermore, refugees arrive into a complex context in which certain rights may be protected, but homophobia, transphobia, sexism,
racism, and Islamophobia continue to exist; where homosexuality in many ways has only recently been decriminalized; and where rape law until very recently required ‘active physical resistance’ on the part of women. Ending gender violence, violence against GLBTQI people, and all forms of discrimination requires complex alliances and strategies to change cultures throughout European communities, not only among refugees. Representations that may allow the reader to think of those recent
arrivals to a community as co-creators of the future will seek out input from and representations of those groups that are made up of feminists of color and GLBTQI people of color and their allies. Such representations may imagine and participate in the work toward a Europe-in-the-making, a Europe that struggles against racialized, sexualized, and gender violence as a shared project of cohabitation.”